ARDROSSAN Accies under 16s won a rare opportunity to spend a day in the shoes of their sporting idols thanks to Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh West and Oriam.

The four-star hotel, situated on Heriot-Watt University campus joined forces with Oriam, Scotland’s national performance centre for sport, to offer one lucky team a money-can’t-buy training day – and the Ayrshire youngsters recently redeemed their prize. The 16 boys spent 24 hours in the life of a professional player, which included a two-hour training session in world class facilities coached by Scottish Rugby Union professional Gavin Scott. Following the high-octane training at Oriam, they relaxed in the hotel’s Heriot suite – often used by national visiting teams. The suite was kitted out with sofas, an Xbox, projector screen, table tennis table, arcade machine and lots more.

All players were given the VIP treatment including protein-rich lunch, dinner and snacks at The Avenue Lounge and Dining within Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh West. They then enjoyed an overnight stay within the large, bespoke designed team bedrooms with breakfast before check out. Team Manager Ali Cairns said: “I entered on behalf of the boys, I think they’re a special group and really deserved an opportunity to be treated like professional players. The team is embedded in the local area and is always looking at ways to help others – it was great to give something back to them.”

Comments from the team throughout their VIP day included; ‘wow’, ‘best experience ever’, ‘superb training session’, ‘I wish my bedroom at home looked like this’ and ‘if this is what winning gets you, I want to win more often’.

Ali added: “For me, it was amazing to see the boys being spoiled. The hotel team made every one of them feel special and the Oriam experience was superb thanks to our coach for the afternoon, Gav Scott.”

Will Macpherson, General Manager at Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh West, said: “With world class sporting facilities next door, we regularly accommodate sports teams and travelling athletes in our custom designed guestrooms.

We wanted to offer a youth team the opportunity to train like a pro and spend a day in the shoes of their sporting heroes.