The Commonwealth Games may be coming to Scotland next year, but a group of Fife youngsters are heading overseas to take part in their own international sporting event.
The Fife Olympiad group was started back in 1978 as a result of conversations between the German town of Boeblingen and its six twin towns – one of which is Glenrothes.
It was decided to create a sports competition for secondary school pupils, held every three years at the various twin towns, involving the core sports of football, athletics, badminton, basketball, judo, karate, table tennis, swimming and volleyball.
Fife sent around 180 youngsters and coaches to the last Olympiad event held in Alba, Italy, in 2011, bringing home many medals and memories from the various sports.
And the Fife Olympiad committee, made up of dedicated volunteers with support from Fife Council, is now planning the next trip to Bergama, Turkey, which hosts the 14th Olympiad in June 2014.
John Vaughan, Fife Olympiad spokesman, explained: “It’s one of the most unique events of its kind and I don’t think it’s replicated in many other places.
“It gives the children the feeling of competing in an Olympic Games with the lighting of the flame, the opening ceremony, followed by the various competitions, and then a closing ceremony.
“The ethos is to use sport as a vehicle for youngsters to get to meet their opposite numbers in other countries, and to see these countries in a different light in terms of the social and cultural aspects.
“It is solely aimed at school children in Fife between 13 and 17 and we know that just about every single secondary school across Fife has been represented at previous Olympiads.
“Since it started, around 2200 young people from Fife have taken part. We think this is a really great experience for young people.”
Fife is planning to take 130 children and 18 coaches to Turkey – an expensive trip that will run into tens of thousands of pounds.
Funding has always provided a challenge for the Olympiad committee and without sufficient sponsorship or grants the whole trip could be in jeopardy.
Anyone wishing to support and sponsor the Fife Olympiad can email John for further details at email@example.com.