One-two for Borders basketball teams

The wnning Kingsland school with Kieran Achara.
The wnning Kingsland school with Kieran Achara.

Two Borders primary schools have triumphed at the Lothian Primary School Basketball Finals by claiming the top two places.

Having qualified for their places at the Borders Final, held at the Queens Leisure Centre, Galashiels, Kingsland Primary School (Peebles) and Glendinning Primary School (Galashiels) made their way to Oriam Sports Complex at the Heriot Watt University Campus in Edinburgh to compete in the final against teams from Edinburgh, East Lothian, West Lothian and Midlothian.

The Glendinning basketball squad.

The Glendinning basketball squad.

Both Borders outfits performed brilliantly to win their groups and qualify for the semi-finals, where again they both put in another magnificent performance to win their respective games and set up an all-Borders final.

It was a breathtaking game, with both teams going all out for the win. After some end-to-end basketball, with the lead changing frequently, Kingsland Primary School came out on top by the narrowest of margins (28-25) to claim the title of East of Scotland champions.

The final was organised by Kieran Lynch (Basketball Scotland) who is the East and Central Region basketball development officer. He, along with GB and Scotland team captain Kieron Achara, travelled to Peebles to present the winners with their trophy.

Achara said: “It’s a great achievement to see Kingsland and Glendinning performing so well. With there being no formal basketball club in the area, seeing the growth of the sport is a testament to the school and all involved.”

Local cluster competitions and the Borders final were organised by the Live Borders Active Schools team and supported by PE staff, school staff, senior pupils and parents. Senior Active Schools co-ordinator Paul Murray congratulated both schools on their fantastic achievement.

“After coming through local area championships and then claiming the two qualifying spaces at the Borders finals, both schools did the Borders proud at the Lothian finals with some inspiring play, great teamwork and impeccable sportsmanship,” he said.

“Thanks to all of the Live Borders Active Schools Team for all of their hard work in organising/co-ordinating area and regional competitions and to the volunteers who both supported these events and/or provided children with extra-curricular basketball opportunities within their schools.”

Councillor Euan Jardine, Galashiels & District’s executive member for culture and sport, added: “It is a tremendous achievement for the Scottish Borders that two of our schools made the final.

“I have coached and played basketball for over 20 years in this area, so I know first-hand the depth of talent in the Lothian region. For Kingsland and Glendinning to excel like they did is remarkable.

“I hope these young athletes continue to play the game and start to create a new basketball legacy in the Borders.”

Live Borders Active Schools team works with a variety of partners to put school sport competition structures in place, giving children the opportunity to progress through a pathway of local/area/regional school sport.

The basketball programme is one example in the Scottish Borders of this in action and has been extremely successful this year.

Active Schools is part of charitable trust Live Borders www.liveborders.org.uk