Olympians back charity campaign

Swimmers with newton pupils

Ross Murdoch and Aimee Wilmott helped to deliver one of the NSPCC's Speak Out Stay Safe assemblies

26th September 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Two top level swimmers have backed a charity campaign to keep children safe at school.

Olympians Ross Murdoch and Aimee Wilmott attended Newton Primary School this week to help deliver a Speak Out Stay Safe assembly.

The NSPCC assemblies, which the charity runs in primary schools, help children to recognise different types of abuse and to feel confident about speaking out to a trusted adult.

Research from the children’s charity shows that on average at least two children in every primary school classroom across the UK will have suffered some form of abuse or neglect.

NSPCC Scotland began the assemblies in Scotland in 2012 and since then its staff and team of dedicated volunteers have spoken to tens of thousands of school children the length and breadth of the country.

Speak Out Stay Safe helps ensure children understand what abuse is and know how to keep themselves safe.

Ross and Aimee took time out of their busy training schedule to support NSPCC Scotland in delivering the service to pupils. They have been swimming since the age of four and six respectively and have represented Scotland, England and Great Britain at top level swimming.

Ross won Commonwealth gold in front of a home crowd in Glasgow 2014 and Aimee also won gold this year at the Gold Coast Games. Both have represented Team GB at Olympic, European and World championships.

Ross said: “Sport has such a key part to play in physical health, but I have always thought that sport has really helped with my own mental health. I remember having a hard time at school and at university when exams were coming up. When I went for a swim I always found that the pool was a place for me to escape and I’d always come out after a swim feeling so much better.”

Aimee, 25, whose father Stuart Wilmott also represented Team GB at Olympic level, said: “Sport is a huge part of being healthy and definitely physically. As you get older you also begin to realise how important mental health is, and I believe sport benefits this significantly. Sport can be great for feeling involved in something and being part of a big team.

Enola Butler, NSPCC Scotland school service coordinator for Stirlingshire, added: “We were delighted to welcome Ross and Aimee to help us deliver a Speak Out Stay Safe assembly at Newton Primary School.

“The children really engaged with what they had to say, and they really helped to reinforce the importance of sport in relation to mental and physical wellbeing.

“It is so important for children to have a voice, and that they shouldn’t stop speaking out until action is taken.”