A programme started by a former junior international athlete from Deeside has been proving a success so far this year.
Emily Gray, from Durris, played hockey and netball at national junior level for Scotland up until two years ago.
Now, the 23 year-old, is working on a programme she launched in January called Local Talent Camps (LTC).
The aim of these camps is to provide youngsters in areas outside of the mainland and central belt of Scotland with the opportunity to be coached by current Scottish national athletes in several different sports.
“From first hand experience I am well aware of how difficult and financially challenging competing at an elite level can be if you’re not based in Edinburgh or Glasgow,” said Emily.
“As a result I launched the LTC programme in January of this year.
“We have run five local talent camps now at different venues around Aberdeen in hockey, netball and girls football.
“Scottish athletes with Commonwealth Games, European and World Championship experience have come up to inspire the local youngsters in the northeast and the camps have been brilliantly received.
“I have been through the youth sporting programmes in Aberdeen and felt it was my turn to give something back, being a junior with the opportunity to learn from players with over 100 caps for their country at the peak of their game is something I was never fortunate enough to experience.
“I don’t want location to have an impact on the access children have to sport and I’m delighted that through LTC we have been able to provide children with the chance to learn from the best on their doorstep.”
The next camps to take place will be in Orkney where netball will be the sport and in Mintlaw with girls football taking centre stage.
Information on upcoming camps is available by visiting the website www. localtalentcamps.co.uk.
LTC has received support from international athletes, coaches, local authorities and governing bodies who have endorsed the aims and back it to make a positive difference to youngsters’ sporting experience and participation in local areas throughout the country.