Sports Academy inspires talented young athletes

Borders sport and leisure
Borders sport and leisure

Borders Sport and Leisure has declared the 2014 Sports Academy as one of the best yet.

The Academy, which took place over four days (August 3-6) at the Heriot Watt campus in Galashiels, involved 96 of the region’s most promising 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 participating children were given the chance 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 attendee, paid a special visit to the Academy to host a hockey training session and to participate in an open questions and answer session. Sarah also presented a series of Academy Awards to the youngsters who had particulary excelled during the event.

The 2014 Sports Academy Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards were given to - Cameron Clamp from Jedburgh (Athletics), Corey Watson from Hawick (Cycling), Finlay Dodds from Lauder (Football), Jemma Willins from Broughton (Hockey), Finlay Scott from Jedburgh (Rugby), Finlay Lindores from Galashiels (Swimming) and Alice MacBrayne from Melrose (Tennis). The Sports Academy Team Award went to the football squad.

Ewan Jackson, chief executive of Borders Sports 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 cross-sport team building initiatives.”

Drew Kelly, Borders Sport and Leisure’s Scottish FA 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 thirteen 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.”