Athletes strike gold

Three athletes from Wigtownshire represented Dumfries and Galloway at the Scottish Disability Sport Open Junior Athletics Championships on Wednesday, June 6, at Grangemouth Stadium, bringing home a total of five medals.

After only three weeks of taster athletic sessions at Stranraer Academy and Park Primary School, all pupils were providing excellent times in the track events.

In these disability sport sessions, three juniors – Andrew Toal, Craig Copland and Reece Clive – gained outstanding times in both the 100 and 60 metre events. With a desire to compete, all three athletes’ times were put forward to the Dumfries and Galloway Branch of Scottish Disability Sport. All three were asked to represent Dumfries and Galloway at the Scottish Disability Open Junior Athletics Championships in the 100m and 60m race events.

All three trained twice a week for the four weeks remaining until the championships. They were supported by their school, friends and family, and Glenda Dewar, the council’s community sports coach, to continue improving their times.

On competition day, the first race for the 100 metres saw Andrew Toal and Craig Copland compete in the same event along with youngsters from Lothian, Tayside and Donaldsons. Andrew won a gold medal with an impressive time of 17.2 seconds and Craig gained the bronze, also with a very good time of 17.8 seconds. Straight after this race, Reece Clive ran his 100m, winning bronze with an outstanding time of 16.4 seconds.

The 60m event was the last for the Wigtownshire athletes, with all three being placed within the same race. This event was won by Reece, who claimed the gold medal with a personal best time of 9.9 seconds. Second place and the silver medal went to Andrew, with again a personal best time of 10.0 seconds.

Chairwoman of Wigtown Area Committee, Councillor Roberta Tuckfield, said: “With a total of five medals and all athletes gaining personal best times, this is a wonderful achievement for all three. This shows how important sport can be in people’s lives and they are a great example to others.”

Anyone who would like information about any of the disability sport sessions should contact the Sports Development Team at Dumfries and Council.