Over 120 talented children attended this year’s Borders Sport and Leisure Sports Academy at the Scottish Borders Campus (Heriot Watt) Galashiels.
The event provided three days of sports specific elite coaching and development as well as offering many of the young participants with their first taste of a multi-sports camp, a form of training often used by professional athletes.
Top coaches led the various practical sessions including Lee Makel (football), Chris Dewsnap (rugby), Pippa Bell (hockey), Lauren Jocelyn (swimming), Chris Bryant (cycling), Marc Kinsey (tennis) and Neil Renton (athletics). The coaches were supported by BSL’s senior sports development officer John McBay, club development officer Mark Forsyth and Drew Kelly, the Scottish FA’s development officer plus guest coaches including Chris Paterson (rugby) and Darren Murray (football).
Ewan Jackson, Chief Executive of BSL said: “This year, a record number of young athletes have participated in our Academy.
“This reflects the growing number of highly talented individuals we have within the region at the moment. Each participant was nominated by their coach based on the promise they have shown within a particular sporting field.”
The Sport Academy is now in its 14th year. It was established to nurture young athletes and help to develop their skills to the next level. The format of bringing together athletes and coaches from different fields is considered to be highly productive and many former Borders Sports Academy participants have gone on to perform at national and international level.
”This year’s Sports Academy provided an excellent platform for the 123 talented athletes from across the region to train and learn about their sport, added Mr Jackson.
“The athletes were given the opportunity to work with both regional and national coaches and interact with elite athletes from other sports in the Academy workshops and generic activities.
“We hope that many will follow in the footsteps of previous participants who include Sarah Robertson (Scotland and GB Hockey player), Emily Newlands (U21 Scottish Hockey), Ruaridh Howarth and Gregor Hunter (Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors respectively), Chris O’Hare (GB Athletics), Danny Galbraith (Manchester United & Hibs), Lucy Hope (Scotland & GB Swimming) and from last year’s cycling squad, Joe Agnew who now competes within the National Road Race series.”