London 2012 fencing hopeful McKenzie relishing Italian Job
Lisa McKenzie was speaking to Gerard Meagher on day five of Bank of Scotland National School Sport Week 2011
SEEING as I spend a lot of time training in Italy I can have only one complaint with Bank of Scotland National School Sport Week - it's a bit chilly in Edinburgh!
ITALIAN JOB: Lisa McKenzie believes her intensive training sessions in Milan are doing her London 2012 hopes the power of good
Other than that, today has been a fantastic showcase of school sport in Scotland and a great opportunity for the schoolchildren.
It's fantastic to see so many kids being so active and trying out such a wide range of sports. Playing sport at a young age can be a great way of raising self-esteem and boosting confidence.
We've had a host of different sports ranging from javelin to long jump and the level of excitement among the kids has really amazed me.
I think there have been seven schools here at Meadowbank Sports Centre with about 250 children and again I've been really taken back by the big turn-out.
And who knows who we might have running around here today - there could be a couple of major sporting stars of tomorrow here.
The kids also got a chance to do a mini-relay with the Olympic Torch which was excellent at it hammers home the fact that the London Games are on their way - after all, some of the key aspects of the Olympics are inclusion and participation and that's what this week is all about.
Something like the London Olympics, not to mention the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, are things that have to be capitalised on in terms of the impact they can have on youngsters and with events like National School Sport Week I believe that's happening.
In terms of my own Olympic goals, things are going really well at the moment - I've just got back from a competition in St Petersburg and while it didn't exactly go to plan, it's all a learning curve for me at the moment and there were some world-class fencers out there.
I'm also really pleased with my training. I feel fitter than ever and so provided I can get my head right in competition then I will be very pleased indeed.
But having said that I'm back in Edinburgh to put my feet up and have a well-earned rest for a few weeks now.
It's been a long season and it will get going again in the not too distance future and I need to be ready for the Olympic trials next April so I can't spend too long on the sofa!
I'll be heading back to Milan as well - it's really opened my eyes to their ideals of hard work. The Italians are among the best in the world and they have a philosophy of fence, fence, fence and just do as much as possible to continually improve.
The dedication that they show is so impressive, I couldn't believe it at first but I have got used to it and I believe it will pay dividends as we move ever closer to London 2012.
The Italian philosophy and the hope of competing at the Olympics, is really inspiring for me - and my Italian is coming along OK as well, I can just about order a coffee now!
Bank of Scotland National School Sport Week, in partnership with sport scotland, uses London 2012 to inspire children to achieve a personal best in Olympic and Paralympic sports. To help your local school carry the Olympic Flame in the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, or to win tickets, visit: www.bankofscotland.co.uk/nationalschoolsportweek
© Sportsbeat 2011