Month: July 2017

SDS Summer Camp 2017 Highlights

On Wednesday the 5th of July, young people with disabilities from all over Scotland congregated at the National Sports Centre Inverclyde for what can only be described as an action packed few days! On arrival participants were split into 3 teams who then competed against each other over the 3 days to see who would be crowned Summer Camp Champions for 2017!

On day 1 the teams went head to head into the gym, competing in the “SDS Superstars” event. This activity required the team members to work together and think outside the box as athletes had to complete various challenges using heavy weights. The participants and staff then competed in a 200m time trial on the rowing machines which certainly brought out the competitiveness of the athletes and staff. It was like the teams were competing for gold in Rio! After a very busy afternoon everyone was feeling pretty tired, thankfully a barbeque and sunshine helped everyone to recover. Wednesday night saw the teams compete again, this time doing activities such as boccia, goalball, hockey, golf and many more.

After a great night’s sleep in the newly refurbished accommodation the participants were raring to go for day 2. With the competition heating up it was all to play for with teams taking part in an orienteering challenge full of clues and riddles which made everyone think hard and work together to gain the points. Campers also took part in Archery where there were definitely some future stars of the sport taking part with some fantastic shooting on display. Cycling proved to be a big hit as the three teams battled it out in a time trial round the course. I’m not sure who was more determined to get the fastest time… the staff or the campers. Blazing saddles helped to give every participant the opportunity to cycle with a variety of adapted bikes to suit everyone’s needs. After a quick break for lunch the athletes were back at it with one group doing water sports whilst the other did their SDS Superstars Challenge.

The water sports involved a variety of activities from an exhilarating trip around the loch on a speed boat to a more sedate paddle in a canoe or kayak. Despite the rain everyone smiled from ear to ear all afternoon.

Soaking but satisfied everyone headed back to Inverclyde for some ice cream which helped fuel our brains for the evening quiz. With each team excelling at different rounds the quiz was closely contested but the green team eventually won through.

The last morning saw the final chance to grab some last minute points. The Military Mayhem challenge was organised by non-other than camp legend John De Courcy! Teams were put through their paces having to create a marching routine, shoot targets and complete an assault course as a team, which included running with an injured soldier in a sling! The staff thoroughly enjoyed this activity as they got to dress up and get saved by the young people! There was some great cohesion on show from all the teams throughout the tasks

After the morning’s tasks, everyone sat down for lunch before the highly anticipated reveal of the SDS Camp Champions 2017! With excitement and anticipating filling the room Mark announced the placings for the camp. In third place was the Red team, closely followed by the Green team and the Blue team were crowned SDS Summer Camp Champions for 2017!

Apart from the fierce competition, Summer Camp is all about giving young people with disabilities the opportunity to try new sports, meet new people and learn new skills. Throughout my time at summer camp I have seen so many people develop and grow into fantastic young athletes. Summer camp has given me lots of opportunities and helped my personal development as well as motivating me to continue to improve myself physically and mentally. None of this would be possible without the support of Celtic Football Foundation and the National Lottery Big Fund Scotland, so a massive thanks from me and all the other participants!

 

By Gemma Lumsdaine

Young Person Sport Panel Member 

Borders Duo Travel to Ayr for the National Championships

Two para bowlers from the Scottish Borders are all set to compete at the National Championships in Ayr on Friday 27th July. Mike Nicoll and Daniel Porter have been invited by Scottish Disability Sport selectors to compete in the Para-Bowls events at Ayr Northfield, presenting an excellent opportunity to showcase the Para side of the sport to hundreds of spectators over the weekend of 27th/28th July.

Porter, 26, will be participating at the Championships for the first time having only become involved with Para Bowls in February this year after attending an East of Scotland Development Day. The Galashiels Bowling Club player kicks off his Championships in the B7/B8 Category against John Hughes on Friday 28th July at 12.30pm and will be looking to spring a few surprises on his debut.

Nicoll is slightly more experienced in the world of Para Bowls having recently returned from the Gold Coast in Australia where he represented Scotland at the 8 Nations and Para Sport event – an event that will have a bearing on Commonwealth Games qualification. The Jedburgh bowler, who was also part of the Scottish team who competed at the Home Nations International in Wales in April this year, will be hoping for a repeat of last year’s result in Ayr – the Borders man claiming victory in the competitive B6 Category and begins his defence tomorrow at 12.30pm against Andrew Semple. Although Nicoll has enjoyed success in Para Bowls, he too has only been involved for a relatively short period highlighting the opportunities for bowlers with a disability.

This year’s National Championships in Ayr includes the Men’s B6 and Men’s B7/B8 categories, in addition to the Ladies Open Class Competition. However for the first year, the Championships are extending the competitive opportunity to male and female players with a visual impairment with the introduction of the B2/B3 classification. This development highlights an exciting time for Para Bowls in Scotland with the Commonwealth Games just around the corner in 2018.

RDA National Championships 2017

Every year I attend the Championships it grows more exciting, inclusive, exhausting, thrilling and above all, the friendliest sporting event that I have ever been involved with.

There is little time between the qualifiers and the championships to really get your head around the whole experience but for those travelling from Scotland, Northern Ireland and the furthest South Western reaches of England, it is like mounting a major expedition.  Groups need to sort out ponies, transport, support teams, accommodation, fundraising.  I am delighted to say that in 2017, Carrick, Equipower, Forth Driving and Forth Valley all rose to the challenge from West & Central Region.

We all know that when horses are involved nothing is a certainty and when the horse that Janette and Bernadette were sharing, went lame just days before the event, they thought all was lost.  However, the owner of Dramatist, who Janette had ridden at the Qualifiers, stepped into the breach and said that Dramatist could travel.   The Unicorn Centre kindly came forward with Thunder for Bernadette to ride.  Janette and Dramatist rose to the occasion for both their tests.  Having just been introduced to her ride the night before her test, Bernadette was rather thrown in at the deep end.  However, she put in a mammoth effort, with little assistance from Thunder, just to make sure that all her hard work had not gone to waste.  The camaraderie and working together in the light of adversity was to me the essence of the National Championships and RDA.

My congratulations to all the West & Central participants.  It was fantastic to see you all at Hartpury and I hope that your enjoyed the ‘Championship Experience’ as much as you appeared to.

The results were:

Carriage Driving

Linda Farquhar Ozzy Forth Driving Novice 1st
Alison Colvin Ozzy Forth Driving Open 3rd

Dressage

Johanne Picken It’s Bobcat Carrick Championship Grade 4 10th
Freestyle 7th
Janette Lightbody Dramatist Carrick Championship Grades (1-6) (Walk & Trot) 11th
Freestyle 1st
Bernadette Leslie Thunder Carrick Championship Grade 1 HC
Anne Brown Basil Equipower Championship Grade 3 4th
Best Turned Out 4th
Millie Smith Ozzy Forth Valley Championship Grades (1-6) (Walk) Junior 4th
Countryside Challenge 79.75%

Linda Smith of Clydesdale Group entered two beautiful pieces of art into the Arts & Crafts Competition.

If you are interested in volunteering or want to loan a pony to your local RDA contact: Gillie Drapper on 01360 860 243.

South Ayrshire’s Colin Duthie Retires

It is a fond farewell to Colin Duthie, who has retired from his role as Sports Development Officer for South Ayrshire Council.  Colin had worked for the council since the early 2000’s, undertaking various different work, but his main role and passion were disability sport where he made a huge impact on the people of South Ayrshire.  His enthusiasm, knowledge and persona will be greatly missed.

Colin started out in disability sport himself doing equestrian where he represented Scotland and Great Britain, doing extremely well in a very tough sport.  To this day he is involved in equestrian as a trustee and active member of Carrick RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association) where his support is invaluable.

Along with Gordon Rainey, Colin founded South Ayrshire Access to Sport (SAAS) in 1999, which at the time was a branch organisation of Scottish Disability Sport, and would provide activities, support and funding to the local people who wanted to get involved in disability sport.  SAAS was a charity and Colin and others would actively fundraise for the group.

At the same time Colin was heavily involved in Ayrshire Sportsability (ASA), which was established in 2001, as one of the founding members and represented the Council on the board.  ASA initially started out providing opportunities for children and young people with disabilities in all three of the Ayrshires, but has since moved on to include adults, and SAAS is now under the wing of ASA who are now the branch of SDS.  Colin is still actively involved in SAAS and ASA and this will undoubtedly continue for as long as possible.

Cars, bikes and going fast have always been Colin’s passion and he was instrumental in setting up Disability Motorsport Scotland (DMS) where he is also a trustee and races for DMS in Superlap Scotland at Knockhill.

 

Colin is an extremely pleasant, caring, friendly and patient individual who always has time for others.  His desire for disability sport and helping others get involved and realise their potential is second to none. He has always been a great supporter of SDS and everyone who knows him wishes him well for the future.  See you soon Colin!

Keeley and Ryan with their medals

Lanarkshire Duo Attend Amputee Football Camp

Keeley Cerretti and Ryan Gregson (both from South Lanarkshire) were lucky to get a place in the Junior Amputee Football Camp in Poland.  They were put forward by Ashley from Finding Your Feet, and there were 58 other children (only three girls) from across Europe.  Keeley and Ryan travelled with their dads (David and Stephen respectively) to the camp and everyone had a fantastic experience across the three days, making many new friends.

The training was based at the Soccer Arena in Warsaw and was split into sections based on age group, with first class coaching making it fun and challenging for all involved.

Both families were impressed with the organisation of the camp, and got a friendly welcome from all the officials, coaches and volunteers representing the European Amputee Football Federation. It was also managed really well with designated assistants to help with arrangements and translation etc.

This was a great experience for both Keeley and Ryan and David (Keeley’s dad) said he was really inspired by the kids and how he will remember the joy they had and the smiles on their faces.

Keeley’s quote from her experience: “I really enjoyed playing football with boys and girls my own age.  I also met a new friend called Chloe from Ireland (now pen pals) and I loved the fact that Donald Trump was in Warsaw at the same time as me.”

The camp is supported by UEFA and is in its second year, with the first taking place in Dublin in 2016.

For anyone interested in finding out more about Amputee Football in Scotland see the website below

www.amputeefootballscotland.co.uk or the next training session is:

Petershill Sports Complex, Springburn
Sunday 30th July
10-2pm.

Borders Boccia League Goes to the Wire

Kelso Gliders have been crowned 2017 Borders Boccia League Champions following a dramatic final day at the Queens Centre Galashiels.

Contested over five successive days, five teams, Eyemouth Pirates, Hawick Hawks, Peebles Bears, Gala Gladiators and new addition Kelso Gliders took part in this year’s tournament with each fixture comprising of six single matches, three pairs and two triples games.

The final round, on Friday, proved to be the pinnacle day, as Peebles Bears and Kelso Gliders were the only two teams to have won three matches and after a count back on games points for, the Tweedsiders were proclaimed eventual winners with the Bears taking the well-deserved runner-up spot.

Alan Oliver, Disability Development Officer, Live Borders, said: “The playing standard of this year’s league has improved dramatically and the majority of the matches went to the wire.

“To create a league structure for the Borders Boccia Club members is an honour and testament to how well the sport has developed throughout the region in the past four years.

“It is also a further testament to how well the league format works and the success and self-development it brings to all players.

This is the second season of the Borders Boccia League, which is made up of teams within the Borders Boccia Club. The organisation of the league is conducted by Oliver and support is provided by the club’s committee, Scottish Borders LAC Team and local volunteers.

Oliver added: “The league again demonstrates the need for a competitive element, as it provides players in the Borders with the opportunity to compete as a team in a competitive environment, but more importantly it brought all players from the club to socialise.

“It is our ambition for our players to progress up the Boccia pathway and have the opportunity to be selected for regional and National squads, but also to encourage players to attend competitions further afield.”

Quite possibly the only Boccia league in Scotland, over 48 players ascended to the Queens centre for every league fixture to play multiple games against each area.

Nathan MacQueen

Scottish Archers hit Silver

Scottish para archers Nathan MacQueen and Brad Stewart proved their class at the European Cup that took place last week at the SC Stadium in Nove Mesto in the Czech Republic.

The duo, who are members of the University of Edinburgh Archery Club and coached by Alistair Whittingham, formed part of the men’s Open Compound Team, along with England’s John Walker.  The team comfortably defeated Austria and Ukraine in the early stages of the tournament, whilst also breaking a European record in doing so.  As a result, they set up a gold medal shoot against the top seeds, Iran.

It was an extremely tight affair, where the Brits were edged out into Silver position.  This is a fantastic achievement for the archers, particularly for Fife based Brad Stewart, who was making his international debut.

World Champions, World Records and Pundits – Scots Shine at IPC Athletics

Great Britain & Northern Ireland finished third in the medal table, behind China and the USA, winning an incredible 39 medals at the IPC World Athletics Championships held in London over the past nine days.  The tally, which includes 18 golds, is GB’s best since the Birmingham Championships in 1998.

The London Stadium, which hosted the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, once again delivered an incredible event; showcasing para athletics to the masses, with more than 230,000 spectators attending.  In context, this is more than in all eight of the previous championships combined!  The word ‘legacy’ springs to mind……

This unprecedented success has prompted UK Athletics, with the support of the British Paralympic Association, to enter into negotiations to repeat the feat by bringing the next IPC World Championships back to London in 2019.

Central to proceedings in London was a quartet of talented Scots, who claimed three gold medals and three bronze medals between them.

Stef Reid became World Champion in the T44 Long Jump, delivering the first of ‘Scotland’s’ gold medals, prior to spending the rest of the Championships on Channel 4’s sofa, working as a pundit! With an undoubted talent for broadcasting, she demonstrated her in depth insight and knowledge of all track and field disciplines.

East Lothian’s teenage sprinter, Maria Lyle, equalled her Rio 2016 Paralympic medal haul of two bronze medals in the T35 100m and 200m, whilst F51 Club Throw Paralympic Champion, Jo Butterfield MBE, finished in fourth place and had to withdraw from the Discus due to injury.

However, one of the stars of the Championships was Borderer, Samantha Kinghorn, who became double World Champion in the T53 100m and 200m.  Her 200m achievement was a new World Record!  Sammi also claimed a bronze medal in the 400m and a fifth place finish in the 800m, to showcase her ability across a range of distances at the extremely young age (for a wheelchair racer) of 21.  The achievement is all the more remarkable, considering 10 months ago, she returned empty handed from Rio last summer.  This highlights the huge amount of work she has put in with her coach, and Scottish Athletics’ Para Events Lead, Ian Mirfin MBE.

Although, well known in Scotland, Sammi’s profile has grown considerably across the globe due to her performances on the track, as well as her incredibly positive and insightful post-race interviews.  Below are several quotes taken from the media over the course of the Championships:

“My class isn’t an easy one to win, but I’ve spent the last year getting a bit stronger and just learning so much. I also got a new chair in February and it’s just a bit lower and a bit more aerodynamic. It’s been a big learning curve. I knew that I wanted it after Rio. I wanted it more than anything. I wanted to be the best in the world so I’ve just trained and trained every session.” The Scotsman, 24 July 2017

“I really just believe this is the start,” she said. “I have got so much more to give. I am still only 21, have still not reached maturity yet. They reckon 28 is when we start to mature so I have still got a lot of time, and I hope this year I can keep getting faster and faster.” Evening Standard, 24 July 2017

“I’d love to be as good as Tatyana McFadden and compete at every distance and smash them all. I’d love to be the first T53 to go under 16 seconds so that’s my aim between now and Tokyo. Hopefully, one day I can be unbeatable.” Evening Standard, 24 July 2017

“I hoped I’d win one medal, but to win three with two gold has been incredible. My class is so unbelievably competitive, so I think it’s going to take a couple of months for it to actually sink in properly.” British Athletics, 23 July 2017

 

Scottish Disability Sport is incredibly proud of all our athletes and we wish them every success on the Track-to-Tokyo…..