Duns javelin thrower Keira Waddell’s summer of excellence continues after it was announced she has been selected to compete for Scotland U16s in the Celtic Games in Swansea on Saturday.
Keira, of Chirnside Chasers Athletics Club, will travel with the rest of the Scotland team to face Wales and Ireland in the Celtic Games, an annual U18 and U16 match.
This is recognised as the first toe on the ladder in terms of international representation and Celtic Games head coach, Mark Pollard, has urged them to seize their moment of opportunity.
As is usual for the Celtic Games, it was one athlete per event at both U18 and U16 age groups with recent form taken into account in the selection process and Keira will be the only javelin thrower in the Scottish girls team.
Her selection is the culmination of recent form where during 2016 she has broken records at U15 age group in the Forth Valley League, East District, Border Schools, Scottish Schools and last week claimed the Scottish record throwing 1.5 metres further than the previous best. Keira currently sits top of the Scottish rankings and is third in the British rankings.
Alex McGregor, throwing coach at Chirnside Chasers, is obviously delighted for Keira and all at the club wish her well for the match this weekend.
This is viewed as a development opportunity and gives those involved including Keira the chance to compete at international level in their teens – and that may well prepare for future chances with Scotland and GB and NI when they become U20 athletes and Seniors.
This is Keira’s first international selection and the second for Chirnside Chasers this season. Alexandra Vallance, also in javelin, represented Scottish Schools earlier this season at a British Schools international at Ashford, Kent.
Looking back over the years a whole host of our established names – now Olympians – will recall the Celtic Games as their first taste of international athletics at U16 or U18 level.