Bonnie the seal has been unveiled as the face of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships – a year ahead of the first-ever multi-sport event of its kind to be staged on the continent.

Around 160 school children welcomed the pup seal mascot at the Scottish Events Campus (SEC) in the city yesterday alongside double Olympic gold medal winner and three-time European Champion gymnast Max Whitlock.

The mascot was developed following consultation with around 100 children aged seven to 12 from three primary schools: 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. The video was animated by Christopher Ross and produced by Stripe Communications and Signal, with the illustration created by John Davey.

Bonnie the Seal was developed as the Glasgow 2018 mascot after a consultation with around 100 schoolchildren

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 added: “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.”

For background on the Championships see our exclusive interview with Event Director Colin Hartley.