Three young Lothian athletes represented the region at the recent 2016 School Games, which were held in Loughborough University Campus from Thursday 1st September to Sunday 4th September. Ruairi Logan (wheelchair tennis), Josh Manson (wheelchair basketball) and Christian Buchanan (swimming) experienced varying levels of success south of the border, however all three will be more experienced in their sports as a result of their participation at the multi sport event for the UK’s elite young athletes of school age.
The event seeks to create an inspirational and motivational setting that not only provides our elite young sports people with the opportunity to thrive and perform at the highest levels, but encourages more young people to take part and succeed in sport. The event consists of some 12 sports and around 1,600 young athletes.
Christian Buchanan (East Lothian Swim Team) picked up a bronze medal in the 100m breaststroke (1:29.53) and was within one second of his personal best in the 200m Individual Medley (2:52.67), missing out on the top three. The Scotland Wheelchair Basketball Team found it tough going, losing both pool matches (46-52 v England South and 35-73 v England North). However the young Scots, including current Lothian Disability Sport Young Person of the Year Josh Manson, redeemed themselves somewhat in the 5/6 playoff match, defeating Northern Ireland convincingly 49-27. Wheelchair tennis player Ruairi Logan secured some gold medal success, progressing through to singles final stage, dropping only two games along the way. Ruairi carried this excellent form into the final, winning against Josh Cooper 4-1, 3-0 before the young opponent was forced to retire. The young player from Edinburgh and the 2015 LDS Young Sports Person of the Year, complimented his singles gold medal with a silver in the doubles, losing out with partner Leo McLeod to duo Ben Johnson-Rolfe and Clayton White.
The School Games provides an opportunity for athletes to experience the unique multi sport atmosphere with 11 of the 12 sports being facilitated at the University campus and reinforces the Olympic and Paralympic values, complete with opening and closing ceremonies. With the Paralympics in Rio taking centre stage, many of the young athletes who were involved at the School Games will have aspirations towards Tokyo in four years’ time.