Maureen’s Matters - Realising potential at any age is fantastic

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In the past few days pupils all over Scotland have returned to school after a record result of Higher passes – up about 5.5 per cent on last year.

For others they will be taking their hard earned qualifications and looking forward to the university or college. Other may have already started one of the record 25,247 number of apprenticeships created by this government since 2007, which is why Scotland has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe

Realising potential at any age is fantastic to see and I was delighted when I saw the news that the Portlethen and District Pipe Band finished fourth in the Grade 3B Category of the World Pipe Band Championships last weekend.

Since the band started competing in 2008 this has been their most successful season so far. The excellent result from the World Championships follows victories at the European Pipe Band championships and the British Pipe Band championships, and the Portlethen band has demonstrated that its pipers and drummers can hold their own with the very best of global talent.

This was the very first time that Portlethen had played at the World Championships, and they took their place alongside 230 pipe bands including around 8000 pipers and drummers from 16 nations including Australia and Malaysia, at Glasgow Green.

Playing against 25 other bands the local musicians took fourth in their category and they should be very proud of this achievement and their considerable talent.

2015 marks the 35th anniversary of the Portlethen and District Pipe Band and they can certainly finish this season on a high.

Congratulations to the band and also to local youngsters who have made the most of their education this year – hard work and determination really does pay off.