GIFTED young sports stars from East Renfrewshire have received medals from two highly decorated Scottish athletes.

Children who took part in a Road to Rio Passport initiative met with Olympic silver medalist and Glasgow Warriors centre Mark Bennett and Paralympic silver and double bronze medal-winning swimmer Andrew Mullen at a special awards ceremony.

The East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure-run event saw talented youngsters from the region rewarded with gold, silver and bronze medals for their efforts in a series of sports, arts and cultural activities.

Close to 150 kids, including participants from schools in Barrhead and Neilston, took part in the initiative which culminated in the medal presentation at Mearns Castle High School.

Anthony McReavy, chief executive of East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure, said: “Our Road to Rio initiative was a great success in encouraging more young people to try out new sports, arts and cultural activities with many of them enjoying the experience so much, they continue to participate.

“And when the youngsters did try out something new for the first time, the range of skills they showed was very impressive.

“They liked the idea of trying something new and different and we hope we have sparked an enthusiasm for sport, arts and culture of all kinds they will take with them throughout their lives.”

Scores of youngsters got involved in the Road to Rio Passport events which were held at a variety of the area’s schools throughout the summer holidays.

In the run-up to this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, school pupils were given a passport which was then filled in every time they tried a new sport or activity.

Those who had a go at up to five new activities received a bronze medal, silver was given to participants who took part in six to 10 events, while gold medals were awarded to children who completed 16 or more.