The annual School Games was held over the weekend 31st August to 3rd September at Loughborough University, attracting many of the most talented school aged athletes from across the United Kingdom. The School Games (formerly known as the UK School Games) is an integrated multi-sport event and seeks to create an inspirational and motivational setting which encourages more young people to take part and succeed in sport. The competition reinforces the experience of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and has provided a platform for many future International stars to showcase their talents as young athletes.
There were three athletes from the East of Scotland who travelled south of the border to participate in their chosen sports – Beth Johnston & Dylan Bleakley (Swimming) and Josh Manson (Wheelchair Basketball) – with all individuals experiencing a great level of success.
Borders Elite Swim Team (BEST) youngster Beth Johnston (Galashiels, Scottish Borders) continued her excellent progress in the pool securing an impressive two gold and one silver medal on her return to the School Games. The current Gala Academy Sports Personality of the Year recorded excellent times on her way to first place finishes in the 100m Back (1.18.22) and 200m Individual Medley (2.53.58), while securing second place in the 100m Free (1.10.96). The S10 swimmer has had an excellent year, competing around the world including the World Para Swimming Series in Indianapolis, USA.
East Lothian Swim Team (ELST) youngster Dylan Bleakley (East Lothian) revelled in his first appearance at the Games, recording a third place finish and bronze medal in the 200m IM (2.59.20). The S14 swimmer who recently only turned 14 will be hoping to build on the success and carry the form into the forthcoming season with ELST.
An athlete who has experienced the School Games a number of occasions is 17 year old Josh Manson (Edinburgh). However, it was a first for the former Currie HS pupil, and Scotland as a team, as they achieved their most notable result since the inception of the School Games in 2009 – claiming the bronze medal after a nail biting match which finished 58 – 56 against England South. The Edinburgh based wheelchair basketball player was instrumental in helping the Young Scots reach the heights of 3rd place and record the best result by a Celtic Nation at the Games. Manson, who has recently moved from Lothian Phoenix to Tees Valley Titans will be hoping this success continues as he moves into the new season with his new club south of the border.
Full results from all sports at the 2017 School Games can be found here – http://results.schoolgamesfinals.org/results
For more information on disability sport opportunities in the East of Scotland, please contact Neal Herbert on 0131 625 4414 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit – Dylan Bleakley displaying his bronze medal from the School Games.