Nicola Sturgeon joined sports stars of the future to mark the official opening of Scotland’s new £33 million performance centre.
Oriam, situated on Heriot-Watt University’s campus in Edinburgh, will become a home for Scottish football and rugby, and will also cater for basketball, handball, squash and racketball.
The concept of a national centre was taken from the findings of the McLeish review into Scottish football.
The Scottish Government contributed £24 million to the project, with sportscotland, Heriot-Watt University and Edinburgh City Council providing the remaining £9 million.
The development’s main features include Europe’s biggest indoor football facility and high-performance sports provisions such as a hydrotherapy pool and a strength and conditioning suite.
The centre opened in August when Scotland’s Olympians celebrated at an event on their successful return from Rio but Oriam was officially opened by the First Minister on Friday.
Ms Sturgeon was joined by dozens of schoolchildren to try out the centre along with athletes including judo Olympic bronze medallist Sally Conway, tennis player Colin Fleming and rugby international Willem Nel at the opening on Friday.
She toured the facility and even tried some of the hi-tech equipment, including a rowing machine cheered on by youngsters.
The First Minister said : “I’m delighted to officially open the new Oriam national performance centre, which is a fitting home for our current sporting heroes and for generations of future stars.
“Our top sportsmen and women deserve the facilities, programmes and services that will help them excel.
“That’s why, in recent years, we have invested heavily in our sports infrastructure – including the £26 million we and sportscotland have invested towards Oriam.
“It’s fantastic that as well as elite athletes, these world-class facilities can also be used by people in the local community.”
Oriam chief executive Catriona McAllister said: “Throughout the planning and build, we worked tirelessly with our partner sports which will use Oriam as a training base, and other partners, to create a state-of-the-art sporting facility.
“We believe Oriam will have a positive impact on the preparation and development of athletes, coaches and support staff, and inspire future generations to aim for sporting excellence.”
The Scotland rugby team have been using the facilities this week as they prepare for the autumn international series.
Prop Nel said: “The Scotland squad checked in to Oriam for the first time this week and are already benefiting from the facilities available; they’re world-class.
“The players really like the indoor surface, which creates an excellent environment to work on our skillsets, while the outdoor pitch and gym are also excellent.”