Liddell daughter launches sports scholarship

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THE daughter of Olympic legend Eric Liddell is to launch a sports scholarship in his honour.

Eldest daughter Patricia Russell will join representatives from the University of Edinburgh today to launch the Eric Liddell High Performance Sports Scholarships. The awards will support student athletes at the university aiming to compete at the highest level, irrespective of financial circumstances.

Next month, world champion cyclist Sir Chris Hoy will launch a funding campaign for the scholarships with Dr Katherine Grainger, the Scottish rower who has won three Olympic silver medals.

Mrs Russell, 77, said: “On behalf of the Liddell family, I am delighted that our father is being honoured in this way.

“The scholarships perfectly capture his love of studying and athletics. Anything that helps today’s students follow in his footsteps is to be encouraged and supported.”

Eric Liddell won gold in the 400 metres at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games while a student of Pure Science at Edinburgh University. His triumph has been immortalised in books, documentaries and the Oscar-winning feature film Chariots of Fire.

The film’s producer, Lord David Puttnam, said: “[The scholarships] embody an important part of what Eric stood for, and make it possible for future generations to benefit, in a tangible way, from his unselfish example of a life well lived.”

Jim Aitken, director of the university’s Centre for Sport and Exercise, said: “We want to play our part in ensuring there is a legacy from this year’s games continuing into and beyond the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

“The Eric Liddell High Performance Sports Scholarships is the next step in ensuring that vision.”