Pupils at St John's Primary in Stevenston got a treat recently - when curling world champion and Olympic silver medallist Hammy McMillan Jr arrived to lead their PE class.

The visit – arranged by local homebuilder Persimmon Homes as part of their partnership with Team GB – saw ‘Hammy’ make a special guest appearance at the school, where he talked about his journey to winning medals for Scotland and Great Britain on the world stage.

He also highlighted the Scottish roots of the sport – from stone extraction on Ailsa Craig, to the manufacturing of Olympic curling stones in Mauchline.

He then led PE lessons, with pupils given the chance to try out special indoor curling kits and get a taste of the skills needed to succeed in the sport.

Amongst the keen curlers was Depute Provost of North Ayrshire Council Cllr John Sweeney, who joined primary pupils in the taster session.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Active Schools volunteers at the eventActive Schools volunteers at the event (Image: Persimmon Homes)

Hammy, who lives in Glasgow, was part of the team crowned world champions earlier this year in Canada. He was also part of the successful Team GB side that won a silver medal at the Beijing Winter Olympics last year.

North Ayrshire Council’s Active Schools team helped organise the event and hope Hammy’s visit will inspire the young people to be active and, potentially, take up the sport.

Senior pupils from St Matthew Academy North Ayrshire Sports Academy (NASA) leaders held indoor curling sessions for the pupils after the visit and will continue to hold these over the coming weeks.

Hammy said: “ The partnership between Persimmon Homes and Team GB helps us to inspire the next generation of athletes and gives the kids the chance to meet local athletes. Being 'local' to the area, only living in Glasgow, I really enjoyed the chance to share my passion for sport with pupils. 

“They really enjoyed the chance to try their hand at indoor curling and who knows, we might just see one or two of them representing their country on the ice in the future.”

Depute Provost Sweeney said: “A big thanks to Hammy, Persimmon Homes and our Active Schools team for organising this special event.

“The young people will have absolutely loved it and it might inspire a future Olympian. Being active is so important and it’s great that a young role model took the time to speak with them and share his passion for the sport.”

Chris Logan, managing director of Persimmon West Scotland, said: “I am delighted to have seen first hand the impact of Hammy’s visit on local students, and I hope that they have been inspired by Scottish athletes excelling on the world stage."