1 June 2012

On Your Marks, Get Set ... Grow!

Primary pupils from across Edinburgh have competed to be crowned the most green fingered of them all, in a competition that saw them grow their own country for the Olympic Games.

Each school was given the name of a country competing in the 2012 Games and tasked with growing a basket of flowers to represent the nation for the chance to win gold for their school.

The City of Edinburgh Council teamed up with Gardening Scotland for the competition and the winners were crowned champions today by Scottish Environment Minister, Stewart Stevenson MSP.

Gold medal was won by Ferryhill Primary , Silver by Gylemuir Primary and Bronze went to Bruntsfield Primary.

Convener for Children and Families, Cllr Paul Godzik, said:

"This is a great, innovative way for pupils to feel a part of the Olympic Games and also learn valuable lessons about the environment and other cultures and countries.

"The Games are set to be a historic time for the whole of Great Britain, and involving all our schools across the city in a wide variety of Olympic activities will inspire pupils to enjoy taking part in sport and learn about the world they live in."

Environment Minister, Stewart Stevenson MSP, said:

"With Olympic football at Hampden and the torch coming to Scotland, the Country in a Basket competition will help excite pupils about the forthcoming Olympic Games. This schools contest is an excellent way to engage pupils in the inclusive international spirit of the Games, while also helping them learn more about gardening, biodiversity and the natural world. I look forward to seeing the many creative country basket designs that pupils come up with and wish them all the best of luck for a place on the winners podium."

Martin Dare, organiser of Gardening Scotland 2012, said:

"At Gardening Scotland we welcome the participation of gardeners of all ages and we are delighted that this year so many green-fingered youngsters will be taking part through Country in a Basket. They'll be taking their place alongside top garden designers, some of the UK's best nurseries and more than 400 exhibitors selling everything for the garden."

The competition and display will form part of the Gardening Scotland event at Ingliston, running from 1 to 3 June. The annual event is expected to see more than 40,000 people attend. The schools' flowers and plants will be on proud display throughout.

The schools were provided with a basket, bag of compost and £50 to spend. Volunteers were also on hand to provide practical growing advice.

This is part of a wider initiative Edinburgh Gets Set for the Games - a series of cultural and sporting events held across the city. The programme includes a concert at the Usher Hall and a major sporting event at Meadowbank Stadium.

Schools have also run a wide range of curriculum based educational projects based on making international links, learning about other Olympic nations, healthy eating, sport, international culture, concerts and events and international twinning.
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