Bonnie the seal has been unveiled as the new face of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships today, 2 August 2017, exactly one year to go until the new must-attend, must-watch event which will see more than 3,000 of the best athletes on the continent compete in a range of venues in Scotland.
Around 160 excited children provided the famous Glasgow welcome to the pup seal mascot at the Scottish Events Campus (SEC) today. With lots of energy and a sense of adventure, Bonnie doesn't always get things right on first try but knows the most important thing is to at least have a go and try her best.
True to form, after watching Glasgow 2018's new sporting ambassador, double Olympic gold medal winner and three-time European Champion gymnast Max Whitlock, demonstrate a series of moves on the pommel horse, Bonnie joined in with a dance troupe's routine on stage.
The mascot was developed following consultation with around 100 children aged seven to 12 from three primary schools, namely Miller Primary, Kelvindale Primary and St Rose of Lima Primary. The name was chosen by the general public from a shortlist.
Bonnie's backstory was developed by award-winning children's author Ross McKenzie and is available here. Everyone can get to know her better by watching the video of her journey to Glasgow ahead of the European Championships.
Aileen Campbell, Minister for Public Health and Sport, said: "The mascot's fun personality is ideally suited to encourage children to try their hand at new activities and sports. This fits perfectly with 2018 as the Year of Young People, and also our priority to increase active and healthy lifestyles. I'm sure Bonnie will become a much loved face in Scotland and beyond, helping to build on the legacy from the Games - and of course the legacy of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships."
Leader of Glasgow City Council, Cllr Susan Aitken said: "Today marks one year to go until the biggest sporting event to come to Glasgow and Scotland since we hosted the best ever Commonwealth Games.
"As the excitement builds ahead of championships time, it's fantastic to be able to introduce Bonnie - who will engage with young people and communities across Scotland.
"Her gregarious and playful character perfectly embodies the spirit of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships."
Max Whitlock said: "I'm really excited about Glasgow 2018 - it is always great to compete at a multi-sport event and I have always loved it here in Glasgow. The crowd is always amazing and give you that extra lift. It can make such a difference to your performance out there on the podium.
"I witnessed that first hand during the 2014 Commonwealth Games and again at the World Championships the following year. So I have no doubt that Glasgow 2018 will be a huge success. I'd just urge fans to get their tickets quickly to avoid disappointment."
To keep up to date with Bonnie's adventures, like her on Facebook at Glasgow 2018 Mascot, follow her on Instagram at Glasgow 2018 Mascot and follow her on Twitter @Gla2018Mascot
Glasgow 2018 announce their new sporting ambassador as Max Whitlock, see media release here.