Continued support from trust helps future stars

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THE memory of a young Galashiels cricket star has been honoured again with two more deserving sports people being awarded assistance from the trust set up in his name.

Burgh Primary School pupil Beth Johnston, 11, received £300 from the Rowan Boland Memorial Trust to help towards her goal of making it into the Scottish Disability Swimming Squad.

Already a member of Gala ASC, Lothian Racers and the Lothian Regional Squad, Beth was born with a rare condition known as Poland’s Syndrome. After competing in the Braw Lads’ gala in 2011 she got the swimming bug and wanted to compete more. In order to give her a level playing field, her family made enquires about disability swimming and following this Beth has flourished and competed in 2011 in the Scottish Disability Sport Junior Championships. She competed in four events and won two gold medals and one silver.

Beth has shown potential, commitment and drive and secured a place in the Lothian regional squad. She now trains twice weekly with Gala ASC, monthly with the Lothian squad and since being awarded sponsorship from the Rowan Boland Memorial Trust, has been able to join Lothian Racers’ disability-specific session under coach Don MacFarlane.

In order to compete at a national level, Beth must attend a classification clinic in England and is currently on the waiting list to attend. These clinics are held over two days and will incur travel and accommodation costs which her sponsorship money will help with.

Beth will compete again in the Scottish Championships on November 7 and will swim in her first mainstream gala as part of Gala ASC on November 10.

Her goal in the near future is to be classified and hopefully secure a trail with the national squad.

Also receiving help with her climb towards international hockey fame is Rhona Gowans who was awarded £250.

Having just moved up from Balmoral Primary School to Galashiels Academy, 12-year-old Rhona is one of the brightest young prospects on the local hockey scene.

A member of Borders Fjordhus Under-15s Rhona, has been selected for the Under-14s Borders Hockey development squad. Through the summer she attended an elite Scottish Hockey camp in Largs and has been selected for the Sports Academy squad 2012.

z Kelso has now joined many other Borders towns by having defibrillators sited in two areas of the town where large crowds often gather.

One is within the Cross Keys Hotel in the town centre where members of staff have been trained in the use of the equipment. The other defibrillator is held at the Border Union Agricultural Showground and will be available for use by suitably-trained personnel at the various events held there throughout the year.

The money to pay for both units was raised by a cycle race during Kelso Civic Week, the local cycling club Kelso Wheelers carrying out a 12-hour static cycle challenge and generous funding from Charity Begins at Home.

If an incident occurs where it is thought the equipment is required, someone raising the alarm should call the reception at the Cross Keys or the site office at the showground.