Sir Chris Hoy has opened up about his mental health while in Bishopbriggs to encourage others to do the same.

The 47-year-old Olympian spoke out at Huntershill Sports Hub while launching a ground-breaking four-year partnership between SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) and sportscotland.

The initiative hopes to help people feel the benefits of exercise to support their mental, social and physical health.

The partnership aims to boost opportunities for people with poor mental health to participate in sport and physical activity, supporting sporting communities to improve their mental health and to create inclusive, accessible environments.

Glasgow Times: The launch was held at Huntershill Sports Hub in Bishopbriggs.The launch was held at Huntershill Sports Hub in Bishopbriggs. (Image: Newsquest)

Chris said: “We all feel that someone is in a worse situation, so you never want to complain about your situation, but we need to recognise mental health is a sliding scale.

“It is like physical health, it's not a binary thing that's good or bad. It can change hour to hour and daily.

“Personally, I've been very lucky I've not had any major problems or issues but I'm well aware that there are times you need to talk about things that are making you feel down.

“If you are aware of it I think that is half the battle and being able to talk about it and share it with the people around you.”

Glasgow Times: Sir Chris Hoy hopes the partnership will make the city more activeSir Chris Hoy hopes the partnership will make the city more active (Image: Newsquest)

SAMH Ambassador Sir Chris Hoy celebrated the partnership as Glasgow prepares to welcome the start of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships.

It will be the biggest cycling event in history and is being hosted in the city leaving Chris hoping it motivates others to become more active.

The talented athlete is hoping the event will inspire people to get involved in the sport and use exercise to feel better.

He said: “Being active is a terrific way to help us stay both physically and mentally well. This partnership is about making sure we can all join in with sport and exercise, so everyone has the chance to feel those benefits.

“SAMH and sportscotland are already working together to make a difference, and this new, enhanced partnership aims to have a positive impact on even more people’s lives.”

Shirley-Anne Smith, a Senior Active Schools and Community Sport Coordinator, added: “As a manager, the training SAMH have provided has given me an excellent base and made me more aware of the importance of the mental wellbeing of my staff. It’s also supported us to hold true to the principles of being a person centred, inclusive and collaborative organisation.

“An Active Schools Coordinators recently reached out looking for help for one of their schools-based coaches and I was able to refer them back to the ‘Having Mental Health Conversations’ training and toolkit, which then gave them confidence in opening a conversation and practical ways to best support the coach.

“This partnership helps spread the message of the huge benefits that physical activity can have on an individual’s mental health. Making real and positive intentional changes through sport is so important.”