STERNER TEST YET TO COME SAYS SCOTTISH ATHLETE
Bishopbriggs runner Kris Robertson may be lining up on a global stage for Team Scotland in the 4x400m relay at the Commonwealth Games later this month – but the 26-year-old still believes that his school’s World Challenge expedition to Malawi in October will be a tougher test!
Kris ensured home representation at the Games in Glasgow (23 July to 3 August) when he, along with fellow athletes Grant Plenderleith, Jamie Bowie and Greg Louden clocked 3:06.58 at a qualifying event in Belgium.
The quartet’s performance in Namur also placed them second on the all-time list for Scottish men in the 4x400m event.
“Representing Scotland is always a great achievement but to have a home crowd cheering you on will make the experience even more special for me,” said the five-time Scottish champion.
“However, regardless of all my athletics training, I’m sure I’m going to struggle in Malawi. It’ll be a bit more intense than running around a track!”
Kris, a geography teacher, will travel to Africa as a School Leader with Whitehill Secondary School (Glasgow), and it was his passion for the outdoors that generated that initial interest in World Challenge.
“I love the impossible and live for a challenge – I wanted the students of Whitehill to also experience that challenge.
“Some of the pupils we’re taking on the trip are from difficult backgrounds and have had bad experiences in life. I want them to be grateful for what they do have and to push their bodies beyond what they thought was possible.
“I want them to come home and tell everyone what a life-changing experience the expedition was and to be able to pinpoint why,” added Kris, who also plans to walk all of the Munros – Scotland’s largest mountains – next year.
Kris has also been passing on fitness advice to the school’s students in the lead up to the expedition.
“Every student has a different set of abilities so we’ve picked a team with a wide range of skills. I have been training the team up so that everyone has a good level of fitness before we travel so that they can gain the maximum benefit and complete every aspect of the expedition,” he said.
But in the short-term, Kris is focusing on the job in hand at Hampden Park, as he reaches the end of his competitive running career.
“I wouldn’t be competing if I didn’t think I could win but it all comes down to your performance on the day. I’m currently ranked 8thbut that can count for little on the day.
“It’s also warming to have received so many good luck posters and cards from the school students and I know they’ll be cheering me on!”
Further information about World Challenge can be found at: www.world-challenge.co.uk
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