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18th annual Sports Academy

Young athletes from across the Borders converged at the Heriot Watt Campus in Galashiels last week for three days of top performance coaching at the 18th Annual Scottish Borders Sports Academy organised and delivered by local charity, Live Borders.

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: athletics, cycling, football, hockey, rugby, swimming, and tennis.

A total of 123 youngsters were given the chance to work with both regional and national coaches and to interact with elite athletes through training sessions, coaching activities, and workshops.

Via the Academy, Live Borders provides a first taste of a multi-sport residential camp. Live Borders’ Scottish FA Development Officer Drew Kelly, who coordinated the event, told us:

“The Academy is a great example of sports development in the Scottish Borders working in partnership with national governing bodies towards the creation of great athletes of the future.

“I look forward to seeing the athletes that have been present this week go on to reach their sporting goals.”

The aim of the Academy is to nurture young athletes and help develop their skills to the next level.

The format of bringing together athletes and coaches from different fields is highly productive and many former Borders Sports Academy participants have gone on to perform at national and international level.

At the conclusion of the camp, each of the seven sports awarded a participant a ‘Most Valuable Player’, they were: Evie Renwick (athletics), Callum Dickson (cycling), Ben Garwood (football), Holly Hobbs (hockey), Luke Thompson (rugby), Kelsi James (swimming) and Ivan Burt-Smith (tennis).

John McBay, Live Borders Sports Development Manager, thanked all those involved in the Academy including the coaching teams, parents, young participants and all the behind the scenes staff who helped to organise the event saying, “This event doesn’t happen overnight, it takes about seven to eight months of planning.”

Former participants who have already made a big impact on their chosen sports 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), and Lucy Hope (Scotland & GB Swimming).

Live Borders is a charity. Every penny you spend with us is reinvested into supporting active, creative and healthy communities in the Scottish Borders.