Inspiration all round for academy kids and coaches

This young lady was getting to grips with her tennis skills at the recent Borders Sport and Leisure Sport Academy
This young lady was getting to grips with her tennis skills at the recent Borders Sport and Leisure Sport Academy

Almost 100 promising sporting youngsters from across the region have been honing their skills at the 2014 Borders Sport and Leisure Sports Academy.

Taking place over four days at the Heriot-Watt University campus in Galashiels, the academy involved 96 of the region’s top young athletes aged 12- 16.

Designed to replicate a professional multi-sports training camp, similar to those attended by top athletes as part of their development, this year’s academy covered seven different sports: cycling, football, hockey, rugby, swimming, athletics and tennis.

The children were given the opportunity to work with both regional and national coaches and to interact with elite athletes from other sports through training sessions, coaching activities and workshops.

Sarah Robertson, part of the Scottish Commonwealth Games hockey squad and a former sports academy student, paid a visit to host a hockey training session and to participate in an open question-and-answer session.

Sarah also presented a series of awards to the youngsters who had excelled during the event.

Ewan Jackson, chief executive of Borders Sport and Leisure said: “This year’s academy was another resounding success. We have received fantastic feedback from the young athletes, their parents and our guest coaches.

“We are already planning next year’s event and looking at ways in which we may be able to build on the academy model throughout the coming year, including the possibility of giving youngsters more access to professional coaches and arranging team-building initiatives.”

Drew Kelly, Scottish Football Association development officer added: “I would like to issue special thanks to all those involved in the academy this year including the coaching team, parents, young participants and all the behind the scenes staff who helped to organise the event.

“We have been running the Sports Academy for 13 years now and it just keeps getting better.

“It is an inspiration to the participants but likewise their enthusiasm and effort inspires the coaches too.”

The 2014 Sports Academy Most Valuable Player Awards were given to: Cameron Clamp, Jedburgh (athletics), Corey Watson, Hawick (cycling), Finlay Dodds, Lauder (football), Jemma Willins, Broughton (hockey), Finlay Scott, Jedburgh (rugby), Finlay Lindores, Galashiels (swimming) and Alice MacBrayne, Melrose (tennis).