- Senior School
The PE & Sports Department is delighted to once again partner with Sporting Start as part of the school’s community partnerships programme.
The department has a strong relationship with the charity, having developed Hockey Start with partner schools in 2019 - an initiative that allows Sporting Start to continue helping finance one of Watson’s hockey coaches to mentor and train young people at various local primary schools, promoting the joy of sport. Following on from this success, Watson's announced a similar scheme - Cricket Start, a new two year programme that started in February 2022. With the Watsonian Hockey and Cricket clubs now jointly funding these programmes with Sporting Start, we are excited to develop activity further with partner schools.
Sporting Start, a charity that is close to the hearts of so many in the GWC community, is also one of the school’s long term ‘designated’ charities and raises funds for their work supporting access to sport in Edinburgh and beyond. This included raising £1,250 for the charity last year by selling school-branded bobble hats.
This year, a number of items of kit will be branded with Sporting Start's logo to help raise awareness and any additional funds will be donated to support the development of sport across Edinburgh. The kit items include t-shirts for the 1st XV rugby side to warm up in, tracksuit tops for tennis and shirts for badminton and tennis.
Upon the new partnership, Sporting Start’s Trustee, Lucy Macari said:
“We are delighted that our partnership with George Watson’s continues to develop and are honoured the school will be featuring the Sporting Start logo on some sports kit. Hockey Start and Cricket Start are now very established community outreach programmes and thanks to the excellent efforts of the GWC coaches involved, enabling many children to have the opportunity to experience and enjoy these sports. We are very grateful to the whole of the GWC community whose ongoing generosity and support makes a huge difference to the work of our charity."
Head of Sport at GWC, Mike Leonard reiterated the importance of Watson’s relationship with Sporting Start, drawing on their inclusive ethos as a charity:
“Sporting Start does incredible work in supporting pupils' access to sport right here in our local community. Over the last five years we have developed an excellent relationship with them, and they continue to support our hockey partnership programme in Oxgangs, Gracemount and Leith Primary Schools. Our aim is simple - we want to enable as many children living in Edinburgh as possible, regardless of background or ability, to try the sport and perhaps grow to love it. If nothing else, through this programme we want to give young people the chance to have some fun, gain new skills and enjoy being physically active. This would not be possible without the support of Sporting Start.”
Sporting Start was founded in memory of Martin Macari, an inspirational and talented sportsman whose life was cut short by cancer aged 47. He was a passionate advocate for the power and joy of sport and led by example as player, coach and leader across multiple sports. He was, and remains, the ultimate role model.
As a father, one of Martin’s greatest hopes for his own children was that they developed a lifelong love of sport and thrived from the many ways sport would enrich their lives. He strongly believed that every young person should be given this opportunity.
With this ethos in mind, Sporting Start was set up by Martin’s family and friends in 2017. The charity was driven by his incredible zest for sport, health, friendship, laughter and living life to the full.
Through the brilliant work of Sporting Start, Martin’s legacy can live on, influencing the lives of generations to come. As a school we are honoured to play our part in ensuring such an inspiration is never forgotten as we raise awareness and funds for a truly incredible cause.