Rugby player Gavin Hastings and footballer Michael Stewart were among the first to register their support for Heriot -Watt University's bid to host the National Performance Centre for Sport (NPCS) at the bid's new 'Go Edinburgh' website.
Heriot-Watt's bid, partnered by the City of Edinburgh Council, is one of three shortlisted for the NPCS, intended to provide Scotland's top sports men and women with the facilities, programmes and services that will enable them to prepare to excel on the international stage. A decision on the successful bidder is expected later in the summer with the new Centre scheduled to open in 2016.
At the Sports Academy at the Heriot-Watt's Edinburgh Campus, Gavin Hastings and Michael Stewart were joined by University Principal Professor Steve Chapman and Councillor Richard Lewis, Convenor of Culture and Sport at the City of Edinburgh Council.
Gavin Hastings said, "Having an elite training facility for Scottish athletes based near the home of Scottish rugby will be a great boost for the development of the sport. Heriot-Watt University's vision for the centre is hugely exciting and their strong sporting credentials clearly speak for themselves. I'd love to see the National Performance Centre for Sport come to Edinburgh - our Capital City would be a brilliant home to the national centre and is deserving of such a facility."
Michael Stewart said, "The National Performance Centre for Sport is vital to the development of sporting success in this Country. Having world class facilities and support services has to be at the heart of developing the next generation of footballers who have the skills and physical attributes to compete at the top of the game. The chance for football to work alongside other sports can only be beneficial and will create the perfect environment for sports to learn from each other's success.
Heriot-Watt University has excellent transport networks and is the ideal location for this National Centre. Their plans for this facility are very impressive and will provide an inspirational environment in which athletes can focus on developing their performance. Their experience of working extensively with professional football and performance sports makes them the ideal partner to help our athletes compete on the world stage."
Professor Chapman said, "It's wonderful to have two such high calibre Scottish sporting figures to kick-off our bid and sign up to our new website. I'm sure they will be the first of many!
"Our desire is to create a world class sporting facility that will have a positive impact on the preparation of our athletes, readying them to compete successfully on the world stage. The location and accessibility of the proposed site coupled with innovative design will create a National Performance Centre for Sport that will impact on the development of sport nationally, regionally and locally and will greatly enhancement the sporting infrastructure of the city region."
Councillor Richard Lewis, the city's Culture and Sport Convener, said, "The National Performance Centre for Sport is going to be a great boost for Scotland's sporting facilities when it's built. As the capital city, Edinburgh is the perfect home for this national centre and would provide an easily accessible facility for Scotland's top performing athletes to train and develop. The fantastic work Heriot-Watt University are already doing to develop Scottish sport will only complement the exciting aims and ambitions of the National Performance Centre for Sport.
"With next year's Commonwealth Games approaching, there is a lot of focus just now on sport in the west of the country and it would restore the national balance if Edinburgh's bid were to be successful. To do this though we need everyone to back our bid and bring this national facility to Scotland's capital."
Back the bid
Visit the Go Edinburgh website to register your support for the Go Edinburgh bid.