The Scotland under 19 team became the first ever Celtic Nation to achieve a podium finish, securing the bronze medal in the wheelchair basketball element of the 2017 School Games which was held at Loughborough University between 31st August and 3rd September. The School Games is a highlight of the UK’s Junior Wheelchair Basketball Calendar, inviting many of the top junior players from around the country to test themselves against their peers while representing their respective regions.
The young Scottish starlets tipped off their tournament on Friday with their first Pool A match, losing heavily to one of the pre competition favourites England Central, 78 – 39. The young men, selected from across Scotland, were given the opportunity to rectify their first result by testing themselves against their Welsh counterparts in their second match of the day. The young Scots showed significant character by claiming a thoroughly convincing victory, 60 – 34 with West of Scotland athlete James Beattie top scoring with 28 points. The victory was ultimately enough to secure a semi-final sport for Scotland team.
Day 2 saw the Scotland team come up against a strong England North team and the Scotland youngsters kept the match tight in the first quarter (6 – 3) before losing the second quarter 18 – 8 – the deficit proving too great to claw back as the game eventually finished 58 – 29 to England North. The team had to place the defeat and the disappointment to one side on day 3, as their final match of the 2017 Games was for the Bronze medal against England South. The team from South of the Border came into the match after suffering a heavy defeat to England Central in their Semi Final and the bronze medal match was nip and tuck throughout with only 2 points separating the teams after 4 quarters – the Young Scots securing a 58 – 56 victory with CWSC Panthers player James Beattie top scoring with 24 points. Full results from the three days of competition can be found here – http://results.schoolgamesfinals.org/2017/results/wcbb/index.php.
The victory marks a milestone for the Scottish team, securing the first medal for any Celtic Nation since the inception of the Games in 2009. The School Games (formerly known as the UK School Games) is an integrated multi-sport event for the UK’s elite young athletes of school age and seeks to create an inspirational and motivational 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.
Head Coach for the Games, Tina Gordon, added, “All the players & staffs efforts prior to the competition certainly paid off, and I couldn’t be more proud of the squad’s achievements. The camaraderie between athletes, staff, and officials across all squads encapsulates the core values of the School Games and reflects the family atmosphere of the sport. I know everyone will be inspired for next year”.
|James Beattie (5.0)||CWSC Panthers||West of Scotland|
|Ben Leitch (4.5)||Dundee Dragons||Tayside|
|Cameron Watson (4.5)||Lothian Phoenix||West of Scotland|
|Adam Donnachie (3.5)||Lothian Phoenix||West of Scotland|
|Josh Manson (3.5)||Tees Valley Titans||East of Scotland|
|David Beattie (2.0)||CWSC Panthers||West of Scotland|
|Craig Brown (2.0)||Lothian Phoenix||West of Scotland|
|Tom McCaffrey (2.0)||St Mirren Warriors||West of Scotland|
|David Hird (1.0)||St Mirren Warriors||West of Scotland|
|Dylan Cummings (1.0)||Worcester Wolves||Carlisle (Dual National)|
|Tina Gordon||Head Coach||East of Scotland|
|Gemma Lumsdaine||Assistant Coach||Tayside|
|Jen Scally||Assistant Coach||Tayside|
|Sally Lumsdaine||Team Manager||Tayside|