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Lothian Disability Sport News

News & Updates from Lothian Disability Sport

Disability 'Come and Triathlon'

Disability 'Come and Triathlon'

Disability 'Come and Triathlon' - Blantyre Leisure Centre, Blantyre

Sunday 20th September saw the inaugural Disability 'Come and Triathlon' event being held at Blantyre Leisure Centre, South Lanarkshire.  This partnership event saw Scottish Disability Sport, TriathlonScotland and South Lanarkshire Leisure & Culture work closely on the day and in the lead up to ensure the Triathlon ran smoothly and provided the participants with a enjoyable experience.

Three distances were offered to athletes - Short, Medium and Long - allowing individuals of all ages and abilities to test themselves on a challenging course around Blantyre Leisure Centre and the surrounding park.  Athletes covered the swim element before leaving the warmth of the community centre through transition and onto the bike.  A range of bikes were offered to athletes depending on disability - with recumbent hand bikes, trikes, mountain and road bikes all on show over the event.  On completion of the cycle, athletes were then tasked with completing the run course before finishing and receiving a well earned medal.

Lothian were well represented across the three races with athletes from a swimming background keen to try the three discipline sport.  Livingston District Dolphins Rainbow Squad (Corey & Aaron McDowell, Callum Leather and George Forbes) and Lothian Racers (Jamie O'Boyle) were represented as well as athletes from a more athletics focused background (Neil Russell).  It was an excellent insight to the sport of Triathlon and thanks must go to all partners involved in organising for producing an fantastic event.

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Lothian Athletes Travel to Manchester for the Sainsbury's School Games

Lothian Athletes Travel to Manchester for the Sainsbury's School Games

 

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Lothian Disability Sport Benefit from BNY Mellon

Lothian Disability Sport Benefit from BNY Mellon

Lothian Disability Sport (LDS) are reaping the rewards of the recent Community Partnership with BNY Mellon as the company's staff recently raised a remarkable £1141.35 through their 'Dress Down Friday' policy. 

This policy allows staff to wear more informal clothing on a Friday each week, providing they donate a small amount of money in return.  This money is then kindly donated to a charity of choice each month with LDS fortunate enough to be picked for the month of July.  In addition to this highly significant amount, the company BNY Mellon also 50% match this amount - bringing the total figure raised to £1712.03!  Thanks is extended to everyone and BNY Mellon for their efforts in raising such a fantastic amount, and especially LDS committee member Colin Buchanan who was the driving force behind this piece of work.

Such a significant amount of money can make a large difference within disability sport, through club development or coach education & training.  However on this occasion, the Lothian Disability Sport committee have opted to use the money to support athletes to reach their sporting potential - providing financial support for athletes progressing through the performance pathway.  Hopefully this money can help an athlete(s) reach their goals, whether that is National or International competition.

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Mixed Success for Lothian Athletes at SDS Lawn Bowls

Mixed Success for Lothian Athletes at SDS Lawn Bowls

Scottish Disability Sport Lawn Bowls Championships

Saturday 5th September 2015 - Westburn Park, Aberdeen.

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Coach and Athlete Recognition at this Year's Edinburgh Sport Awards

Scott Kris Copy

 

Lothian Disability Sport were well represented at the 2015 Edinburgh Sport Awards.  The event celebrates the tremendous achievements from clubs, coaches and volunteers from across the city on behalf of ClubSport Edinburgh.

Midlothian Swimmer Scott Quin received a Special Achievement Award, along with his coach Kris Gilchrist at this year's Edinburgh Sport Awards held on Sunday 6th September at Broughton High Shool.  The Warrender Baths duo have formed a excellent working relationship during their time together and this has been reflected in Quin's results in the pool as he claimed a silver medal at the European Championships in Eindhoven in September 2014 and the IPC World Championships earlier this summer - twice losing out narrowly to Dutch powerhouse Marc Evers.  Quin (25), who swims in the SB14 Breastroke for athletes with an intellectual impairment, is the current Lothian Disability Sports (LDS) Senior Sports Person of the Year and we are delighted that the Edinburgh Sport Awards have recognised his outstanding achievements.

Another LDS link at Sunday's Annual Awards, was Lothian Phoenix and Scotland Wheelchair Basketball coach Niall Ritchie.  The Edinburgh based former player and current LDS Coach of the Year was recognised by the Edinburgh Awards as the Disability Coach of the Year for 2015.  Niall has been involved in wheelchair basketball for over 5 years and now acts as the head coach for the Lothian Phoenix U15 & U19 Squads - with the U15 being crowned Junior League Champions earlier this year for 2014/2015.  Additionally, Niall also leads the Scotland under 15 squad and fills the role of assistant for the Scotland under 23 side.  These roles within the sport are undertaken alongside a full time job and again, LDS and Lothian Phoenix, are delighted that this commitment and dedication  has been deservedly recognised.

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Numbers Continue to Rise at the LDS Swim Gala

Numbers Continue to Rise at the LDS Swim Gala

Mercat Gait Pool in Prestonpans, East Lothian was the venue for this year's Lothian Disability Sport Autumn Swim Gala , providing swimmers from across the region and further afield the opportunity to try and better times and performances in the pool.  Lothian were extremely well represented through local clubs Lothian Racers, Lothian Waves, Livingston & District Dolphins, Loanhead Swim Team, ELST, Enjoy ASC and Mercat Greats.  Additionally, LDS welcomed other branches from across the country with the Borders (Borders Baracudas) and Stirling (Arion Swim Club, Stirling Swim & Stirling SC) completing the 75 swimmer strong entry.

The gala was able to provide some further competition for athletes who had just returned from the CPISRA World Games in Nottingham  (Stirling athletes Mairin Savage and Sam Agnew) and the Special Olympic World Games in LA (Loanhead swimmer Michelle Moran) - all three athletes were able to medal at their respective Championships, with Michelle Moran claiming the first medal of the games for the Great British Team.  In addition to these established swimmers, the competition provided a first step into disability swimming for many young people - highlighting the good work that clubs, local leisure organisations and Scottish Disability Sport have been doing recently through the facilitation of development days in East and West Lothian.  Enjoy Leisure (East Lothian) held a development day back in June, which has helped boost the number of swimmers from 5 to 17 in just six months at their ASN session on a Tuesday evening at Musselburgh Sports Centre.  There is lots of excellent work being done by clubs throughout the region and this is now being reflected by the number of swimmers accessing competitive opportunities.

Another swimmer who has recently made big strides in the pool is East Lothian Swim Team's (ELST) Christian Buchanan.  The youngster from Tranent has worked extremely hard over the previous 12 months making the transition from Musselburgh Amateur Swim Squad and Lothian Racers to the ELST and is now completing 17 hours training per week - in addition to making the difficult step from primary to secondary school.  Christian has also recently been included in the Scottish Swimming Talent Programme 2015/2016  and will travel to Manchester next month for the Sainsbury's School Games.  A great year for the East Lothian swimmer and for this reason, Christian was chosen as the recipient of the Mark Headden Memorial Trophy for the most improved swimmer over the last 12 months.

If you are interested in swimming opportunities across the Lothian region, please get in touch on 0131 475 2364 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Andrew Slack

Andrew Slack

Lothian Disability Sport would like to remember West Lothian's Andrew Slack, who sadly passed away on Saturday after fighting a serious illness for the past month.

Andrew was a founder member of No Limits, being involved from the start and very much having a hand in shaping its history.  Andrew is currently the club's 'Sportsperson of the Year' holder and this is a result of his achievements in the sport of Boccia, regularly attending and achieving success at the LDS and SDS Championships.

Andrew will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him at Lothian Disability Sport and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time. 

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Lothian Runners Up at Kelvingrove

Lothian Runners Up at Kelvingrove

Inter-Area Bowls Test Match

Wednesday 12th August 2015

Kelvingrove, Glasgow

Lothian produced a commendable display at yesterdays Inter Area Bowls Competition and finished the day as runners up to a very strong Fife team.

The 4th Inter Area Bowls Test match was played at the home of Bowls during the Commonwealth Games - Kelvingrove - and gave the players from Lothian, Fife and West of Scotland the opportunity to experience the standard of venue that was offered to the International stars last summer.  The competition gives players with a learning disability an additional competitive opportunity in the sport and exposes them to an alternative format of the game, requiring players to play in singles, pairs and triples matches.  This format really enhances the teamwork ethic and gives all players selected form their region, the chance to win points for their team.

The Lothian team experienced a tough first session as a strong Fife side took control and secured the victory 16 - 8 after winning 8 matches to Lothian's 4.  The Lothian Ladies managing to secure the majority of those points, while Gordon Graham won his singles match against a very experienced Fife bowler, 13-3.  However, Lothian really stepped up against West of Scotland during their second match and it looked like they could be in with a shout of winning the trophy.  However as the matches drew to a close, it became clear that Fife had set a points total that would be too hard to better.  There were many excellent performances during this session with all Lothian bowlers picking up points for the team.  Lillian Renshaw continued her superb form from the earlier session, claiming another two victories and totalling four for the day.

The day was a great example of the talent we have across Scotland and all players seemed to thoroughly enjoy the competition in addition to the superb atmosphere that was created by all who participated.  Many congratulations to Glasgow Disability Sport for hosting such a positive event and Scottish Disability Sport for facilitating.  Next year the competition will move to Fife, with Lothian taking control in 2017.

If you are interested in Bowls opportunities in the Lothian region, please get in touch on 0131 475 2364 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Lothian Disability Sport are always keen to engage new players to the sport and have opportunities for individuals starting out in the sport and experienced players alike.

Lothian Team

Female

Amanda Craig (West Lothian)

Gillian Donald (West Lothian)

Christina McSherry (West Lothian)

Lillian Renshaw (Midlothian)

Lynne Tweedie (West Lothian)

Jacqueline Vickers (West Lothian)

Male

 

Robbie Anderson (Edinburgh)

James Bennett (Midlothian)

Gordon Graham (West Lothian)

Ronnie McLintock (Edinburgh)

John McMillan (West Lothian)

James Watson (Edinburgh)

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Disability Snowsport UK - Hillend Sessions, Midlothian

Disability Snowsport UK - Hillend Sessions, Midlothian

Disability Snowsport UK is a charity with a mission to enable anybody, regardless of their disability, to take part in and enjoy the thrill of snowsports.  The charity has existed for over 30 years, and has recently received a donation enabling us to begin to deliver ski lessons at Midlothian Snowsports Centre in the Pentland Hills.

The ski school has adaptive trained instructors and specialised equipment available to assist people to learn to ski both standing and sitting.  One of the first skiers to attend a lesson at the new DSUK ski school was Charlie, an 8 year old boy who was born with cerebral palsy.  Charlie learnt to ski using a piece of equipment called a biski, which is steered by leaning from side to side with the help of an instructor.  After his lesson, Charlie’s mum told DSUK that ‘Charlie absolutely loved the skiing and we will definitely be doing it again’.  Other skiers have reported benefits to their co-ordination, concentration and sociability as well as simply enjoying the new experience.

DSUK can deliver both group and individual lessons to people with physical, cognitive and sensory disabilities.  Please contact Louisa at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information, or call 08455219338 to book a lesson.

(Photo credits Melanie Kay)

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Lothian Athletes and Coaches Excel at World Games in Los Angeles

Lothian Athletes and Coaches Excel at World Games in Los Angeles

Lothian Special Olympics World Games Report

6 athletes, 1 Unified Player and 4 Head Coaches coaches from Lothian Special Olympics, joined the rest of the Scottish contingent at Edinburgh airport on Monday 20 July to fly to London.  After 3 long years of planning, training and getting to know each other, the atmosphere was electric and excitement was hitting the roof.

On arrival in London, the 48 athletes and 20 coaches from Scotland, joined up with the rest of the GB team and for the first time, we all put on our tracksuits and became TEAM GB.  The whole GB team consisted of -  112 Athletes, 5 Unified Partners, 19 Head Coaches, 22 Coaches, 5 support team members and 34 management. 

The people of our host town, Calabasas could not have made our stay with them anymore enjoyable, they were extremely friendly, and couldn’t do enough for us.   We trained each morning and just acclimatised ourselves to the very hot Californian weather.  On the last evening, the whole town turned out at the King Gillette ranch and put on a hoe down for us, with a huge BBQ, an excellent bank, old Wells Fargo stage coach, this was one of the highlights of our stay,  teaching us line dances, we taught them Strip the Willow.  Many friendships between the Team and the People of Calabasas will I hope continue long after we come home.

On the Friday, we travelled back to LA, were we were all taken to the British Ambassadors residence, again we were treated to a lovely afternoon of food and entertainment, meeting a few celebrities, like Audley Harrison,(with his gold medal)  and Isaac C Singleton, of Pirates of Caribbean fame.

Settling in to our athletes villages on the UCLA and the USA university sites, we were then able to start thinking about the competitions ahead.  Some of the sports started their heats on the morning of the opening ceremony, finishing at lunch time so we could get ready and be taken by bus to the Millennium Coliseum for the opening ceremony.  Walking out as Team GB was one of the most proud and dare I say the loudest experience I have ever witnessed.   For the first time we were able to say hello to family members who had travelled to LA to support us.

The opening ceremony was very emotional with very inspiring speeches from people like Michelle Obama, entertainment was from artists such as Stevie Wonder and Avril Lavigne. 

From the following day, most of the sports started to compete, or at least train.  From the very word go, at the competition, GB athletes started to excel.  I am delighted to say that Michelle Moran won the very first medal for the GB team, which was Silver in her individual 50m Breatstroke.  From then medals came in thick and fast.

From the  68 Golf medals, 69 Silver Medals and 42 Bronze Medals that the GB team returned home with.  Lothian Special Olympics athletes won –

Bocce                    Colin Robertson                   5th Individual Comp and Gold in Doubles

Ten Pin Bowling    Richard Cooke                      Bronze Individual Comp, Bronze Pair Comp and Bronze Team Comp 

Judo                      Kathleen Inglis                      Bronze in Individual Comp

Football 11s          Dean Lawrie                         Gold in Team Comp

Unified Football     Jack Bell                                Silver in Team Comp

                             J o Van’t Hoff (Joe is our football coach who went to LA to play in the Unified competition as an athlete)

Swimming              Michelle Moran                   Silver 50m Breastroke, Bronze 50m Freestyle and Gold in Freestyle Team Relay

Total of

3 Gold Medals

2 Silver Medals

5 Bronze Medals

I am sure you will agree that the LSO athletes surpassed all expectations and once again rose to the challenge making us all the Proudest coaches in the Country.

The Head Coaches who were also part of the GB Team from Lothian were, Jamie McDonald Golf, Elaine McKenna Footballs 11s, Jo Imrie Judo and Yvonne Anderson Swimming.  These guys were selected as Head Coaches because of their commitment, dedication and knowledge.  LSO are very proud to have coaches of this calibre and extremely proud that they were able to inspire and lead our athletes into a very successful World Games.

Mirren McDonald was also part of the GB team in the role of Family Liaison, a very difficult role to hold as there were a number of problems with transport throughout the games, Well done Mirren on all your hard work.

The closing ceremony was held on Sunday 2nd August, this was a more relaxed affair, again held in the Millennium Coliseum, Entertainment from singers such as Carly Rae Jepsen, the athletes and coaches were able to dance the night away, enjoying all the friendships they had made with people from across the world.

In total there were 7,000 athletes in LA 22 sports, 177 countries this made this the biggest sports event anywhere in the world this year.

What can I say but well done to all the Lothian athletes and coaches who were part of this,  you did us all proud.

Yvonne Anderson - Chair, Lothian Special Olympics 

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Lothian Disability Sport Lawn Bowls Championships 2015

Lothian Disability Sport Lawn Bowls Championships 2015

Players with a Physical Disability/Sensory Impairment

Sunday 9th August 2015 - Longniddry Bowling Club

                                                                                                                       

After last year's successful annual event held at Longniddry Bowling Club, Lothian Disability Sport were delighted to be welcomed back to the club this year - with the weather also being a little kinder than this time last year.

Carole Martin (Longniddry) claimed victory in the combined section (1 and 5) for the second year in succession - however, she was pushed very close in her first match of the day by a re-invigorated Bob Sinclair (Longniddry).  The tie had to be decided by an extra end, which Carole claimed and won 6-5 overall.  This spurred Carole on as she went on to record a convincing match against Campbell Ridge (Kirkliston) and claim first place in the section. 

Results were also mirrored from last year's Ambulant Bowlers (and B3) section as Robert Kelly (Prestonpans) continued his undefeated record at Longniddry, claiming the top prize.  However this victory needed to be decided on points difference as Robert, Gary Clelland (Bellsburn) and Robert Harvey (Independant) all claimed one victory each to make for an extremely competitive group.

Players will now qualify to represent the region at the Scottish Disability Sport National Lawn Bowls Championships on Saturday 5th September at Westburn Park, Aberdeen.  We wish all the Lothian players all the very best.

Longniddry Bowling Club provided an excellent venue again this year with the green in excellent condition and the hospitality second to none.  The club operate entirely inclusively and offer opportunities to players with a disability - hosting two Bradshaw Buggies and providing players with a physical disability complete access to the green.  

Results can be found below -

Section 4 (Ambulant Bowlers and B3)

Winner:                Robert Kelly (Prestonpans Disability Bowling Club)

Runner Up:         Gary Clelland (Bellsburn Bowling Club)

3rd Place:            Robert Harvey (Independant)

Sections 1 and 5 Combined

Winner:                Carole Martin (Longnidrry Bowling Club)

Runner Up:         Campbell Ridge (Kirkliston Bowling Club)

3rd Place:            Bob Sinclair (Longniddry Bowling Club)

Lothian Disability Sport would like to explore all possibilities to try and increase participation across bowls in the region.  If you are interested in supporting this development work then please get in touch to discuss further on 0131 475 2364 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Event Reminder - Lothian Disability Sport Autumn Swimming Gala

Event Reminder - Lothian Disability Sport Autumn Swimming Gala

Saturday 22nd August 2015 - 10am Registration, 10.30am Warm Up

Mercat Gait Centre, Prestonpans, East Lothian.

Entries are open for the annual LDS Autumn Swimming Gala, scheduled slightly earlier this year on Saturday 22nd August at the Mercat Gait Centre, Prestonpans.  If you are interested in this opportunity, an entry form can be obtained by contacting Neal Herbert on 0131 475 2364 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The gala is open to swimmers of all ages with a physical, sensory or learning impairment.  Swimmers can be members of a club or independent entries, the only pre-requisite is that you can swim 25 meters unaided.

Nominations for the Mark Headden Memorial Trophy are also encouraged for this gala.  This Trophy is awareded to the swimmer who has reached personal achievements over the previous 12 months.

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Sport Takes Centre Stage at Kidz Scotland Event

Sport Takes Centre Stage at Kidz Scotland Event

Disability Livings’ Kidz Scotland event is coming to the Royal Highland Exhibition Centre in Edinburgh. The Kidz exhibitions are the largest UK events of their kind, with the focus being equipment, products and services for children and young adults with disabilities. 

Scottish Disability Sport, in partnership with Lothian Disability Sport and local clubs, will be coordinating a sports arena including badminton, boccia, table tennis, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis.  These activities will be run using a timetabled system allowing people to come and try throughout the day.   This will demonstrate to visitors that there are a variety of sporting opportunities available in the area and we will be able to advise anyone who is interested.  There will also be a stall at the event, which will provide a range of information about sporting opportunities, clubs and events that currently take place in the region and throughout Scotland.  Our aim is to raise the awareness of sport for people with a disability as well as encourage people of all abilities to be healthy, get active and take part in sport. 

Tickets for the event are completely FREE and you can find out more on their website www.kidzscotland.co.uk 

For more information about the Scottish Disability Sport Sports Arena, please contact Gary Fraser on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kids Scotland Poster

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Lothian Athletes & Coaches Head to LA for Special Olympic World Games

Lothian Athletes & Coaches Head to LA for Special Olympic World Games

Six athletes and five head coaches from the Lothian region set off for Los Angeles this morning to represent Great Britain at Special Olympic World Games.  The games are scheduled to begin on Saturday 25th July.

With 6500 athletes and 2000 coaches representing 165 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators, the 2015 Special Olympic World Games will be the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015, and the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games.  The opening ceremony, broadcast live on ESPN, is expected to attract around 80,000 spectators.

The Special Olympic Movement empowers people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their community, using sport as the vehicle for this.  Lothian has an extremely strong programme of sports for their athletes and this is reflected in the number of athletes and coaches travelling to LA and representing their country at this fantastic event.  In addition to the athletes and coaches, Lothian also have a Unified football player and Family Liaison Officer travelling as part of the Great Britain team.  A full list of athletes and coaches has been highlighted below -

Athletes

Colin Robertson (Bocce)

Kathleen Inglis (Judo)

Michelle Moran (Swimming)

Jack Bell (Football)

Dean Lawrie (Football)

Richard Cooke (Ten Pin Bowling )

Joseph Van Hoff (Unified Football)

 

Head Coaches

Elaine McKenna (11-a-side Football)

Jamie McDonald (Golf)

Jo Imrie (Judo)

Yvonne Anderson (Aquatics)

Mirren McDonald (Family Liaison Officer)

Everyone at Lothian Disability Sport would like to wish all athletes and coaches all the best for the World Games.  More information on the Games can be found at www.la2015.org.

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Dalkeith CYP's Disability Officer selected as Regional Winner

Dalkeith CYP's Disability Officer selected as Regional Winner

Dalkeith Miners CYP Disability Officer Steven Williams has been selected as Regional Winner 2015 in this year's SFA Grassroots Awards in the category of Disability Football.

In partnership with McDonald's and the Sunday Mail, the SFA Awards recognise the value individuals such as Steven bring to football and their communities.

Steven devotes a huge amount of time and effort to our football club in his role as Disability Officer as well as running a team. His involvement means that school kids who might not otherwise get a chance to play football have that opportunity.

Tony Begg, Club Development Manager for the Scottish FA South East Region said, 'The annual regional grassroots awards, in partnership with McDonalds and The Sunday Mail, is a chance for us to reward and highlight the great work that is done by volunteers across the region and to extend our thanks to all those who commit so much time, energy and passion to our game. I am delighted for Steven that he has won this award, he gives a tremendous amount to disability football and he is a worthy winner'.

The awards ceremony will be on Saturday 29th August at Easter Road Stadium ahead of the Hibs v Raith Rovers match that day.

Following his selection as Regional Winner, Steven will now go forward within this category to the national awards panel with the potential of being a National Winner, to be awarded at Hampden Park in September.

*article taken from Dalkeith Community Football Club website.

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The Flying Scott takes Silver at the IPC World Swimming Championships!

The Flying Scott takes Silver at the IPC World Swimming Championships!

Scott Quin continued this year's impressive form at the IPC World Swimming Championships at Tollcross Swimming Centre, Glasgow - with the man from Loanhead, Midlothian claiming silver and only losing out to the ever impressive Marc Evers from the Netherlands.

The Flying Scott qualified second fastest from the SB14 100m Breaststroke heats behind Dutch Swimmer Evers and this pattern was set to continue during the evening's final.  Quin, who was superbly welcomed poolside by his Warrender Baths Club colleagues and the majority of the partisan Tollcross crowd, looked great going into 50 meters where he lost some momentum on the turn and ultimately couldn't quite make the distance up - posting a time of 1.07.10 and touching at exactly the same time as current World Record holder, Yasuhiro Tanaka of Japan.  Quin, the current LDS Sports Person of the Year, was in great company on the podium for his first medal at World level and explained after the race, 'I'm feeling in the right place.  Everything is going good' before adding, 'To be honest, it is quite surreal to think how much I've came on being a late developer in the sport.'

The man with the lucky trunks will be hoping he gets the chance to wear them in Rio next year - it's all looking good!!

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Lothian athletes selected for the Scottish Disability Sport Academy 2015

Lothian athletes selected for the Scottish Disability Sport Academy 2015

Congratulations to the Lothian athletes recently selected for the Scottish Disability Sport Athlete Academy for 2015 - highlighted below:

Archery               Nathan MacQueen (West Lothian)         

Badminton          Fiona Christie (Edinburgh)

Badminton          Colin Leslie (Midlothian)

Swimming           Stephen Clegg (Edinburgh)

W/c Basketball    Robyn Love (Edinburgh)                          

The Scottish Disability Sport Athlete Academy is a support structure for talented athletes who have the potential to progress onto World Class Performance Programmes (WCPP).  The academy offers financial support at an integral stage in an athlete's development and underpins the sportscotland institute of sport (SIS).

SDS has a strong working relationship with Scottish Governing Bodies of Sport (SGBs) and we invite nominations from them for our Academy.  Athletes are selected based on strict criteria relating to performance levels, attitude to training and commitment to their sport.  Each athlete must be eligible to compete for Scotland and have aspirations of reaching podium level for Great Britain. 

Gary Fraser, Scottish Disability Sport, commented: “It is an exciting time to be involved in performance disability sport, and the standard of athlete that has been selected for the SDS Athlete Academy indicates a promising future for Scottish para athletes competing on the international stage.  This year’s Academy is the largest to date and this growth can be attributed to the increased focus from SDS, and other SGB partners, in developing performance pathways.  The SDS Academy, as a support mechanism, comes in at the right time in an athlete’s journey, and provides a much needed sustenance en route to WCPP level.”

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LDS Annual General Meeting and Awards

LDS Annual General Meeting and Awards

The Lothian Disability Sport (LDS) Annual General Meeting (AGM) for 2014/2015 was held at Caledonia House, South Gyle on Thursday 25th June and there was good representation from local clubs and athletes with around 45 people in attendance.  This proceeded the Annual Awards Ceremony as LDS continue to recognise the huge impact that athletes, volunteers, coaches and teams have in sport across the Lothian area.  The awards ceremony gives LDS the opportunity to celebrate these achievements and are proud to have such talented, dedicated and enthusiastic individuals within the region.

LDS presents a total of six awards and a brief description of the winners is detailed below:

Senior Sports Person: Scott Quin - Scott wins the award for the second year running after he continued his hugely impressive form into 2015.  The Warrender Elite Squad swimmer secured silver at the IPC European Championships in Eindhoven last year and carried this form into 2015, breaking the SB14 100m Breaststroke world record as Scotland claimed victory at the British Gas Disability Championships in Manchester - only to better this time at the Scottish Short Course Championships at his home pool in Edinburgh a week later.  The Midlothian man is also only one of two Scots to be included in the GB squad due to compete at the IPC World Championships in Glasgow in mid July. 

Young Sports Person: Ruairi Logan - The young wheelchair tennis player has been a member of Edinburgh based club Winning Wheels since 2009, demonstrating exceptional dedication towards training and competition.  Ruairi currently trains five times per week, taking part in both individual wheelchair tennis sessions and group sessions with ambulant juniors of a similar age and ability.  This hard work has paid off and Ruairi was recently selected for the GB Junior Wheelchair tennis team, competing in Turkey and testing himself against the top seed at the competition.

Club of the Year: Livingston & District Dolphins - Rainbow Squad - The West Lothian club were able to facilitate their first disability specific swimming gala at the beginning of June, providing another competitive swimming opportunity for the swimmers of Lothian.  The gala is the latest development from the club, having increased members, found additional pool time, facilitated extra training sessions and recruited more poolside volunteers and coaches who are able to assist non-swimmers, improvers, stroke development and competitive swimmers.  Livingston & District Dolphins also act inclusively, providing full integration with the competitive section of the club and some Rainbow Squad members are currently training with the mainstream section's silver squad.  The increased number of swimmers can be easily identified through entry to recent LDS Gala's with the Rainbow Squad now amongst the biggest club entry across the Lothian region.

Coach of the Year: Niall Ritchie - Niall has been coaching wheelchair basketball for 5 years and this year saw his under 15 side become National Junior League Champions after a triumphant visit to Nottingham for the National Finals.  In addition to this role Niall is also heavily involved with the Scotland programme, acting as head coach for the under 15's and assistant to the under 23 squad.  As a result of his undoubted d dedication, Niall regularly commits four hours per week to coaching and many weekends are spent travelling to Leeds for National league matches - all on top of juggling a full time job and supporting additional programmes and events delivered by Lothian Disability Sport and partner organisations.

Endeavour Award: Ross Foley - Ross has been playing badminton with Lothian Disability Badminton Club (LDBC) since its formation in 2008, rarely missing a training night or event the club support.  This commitment is now paying dividends and Ross is now at a standard of play which enables him to compete at the 4 Nations Disability Events across the United Kingdom, winning a gold medal in the Junior SS6 category Boys Doubles earlier this year.  However, his friendly positive attitude off the court is what makes him such a popular club member and these characteristics are the reasoning behind the nomination from his club coaches.

Jim Anderson OBE Bursary - Stephen Clegg - Stephen was the deserving winner of the cash award presented in recognition of Jim Anderson's outstanding achievements in the sport and link with LDS.  Stephen has developed superbly since his transition to East Lothian Swim Team and under the guidance of coach Bruce Halloran is reaching new levels in his performance which has only wetted his appetite to emulate his siblings and reach a Paralympic Games himself.

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Lothian Leopards Disability Athletics Club - Race Running 'Launch Day'

Lothian Leopards Disability Athletics Club - Race Running 'Launch Day'

Lothian Leopards Disability Athletics Club (LLDAC) were delighted to host the 'launch day' for their new running bikes on Saturday 20th June at club's home, Meadowmill.

LLDAC Head Coach Jean Dobson has worked closely with Lothian Disability Sport over the past 12 months and were lucky enough to secure funding from the Bank of Scotland Community fund, enabling the club to purchase two running bikes and provide another opportunity for young people with a disability in the Lothian region.  In addition, Enjoy Leisure have also supported the club's vision and also purchased two running bikes which will also be used by members during club sessions.  The bikes will be the first across the East region of Scotland and proves to be a extremely significant development.

The race running bike is a three wheeled cycle with no pedals which supports riders as they walk/run.  They are designed for those with a disability that affect mobility, balance and co-ordination, such as cerebral palsy.  The lightweight frame and low rolling resistance, little effort is required to propel the bike.

The 'launch day' was supported by Enjoy Leisure, Lothian Disability Sport and East Lothian's Athletics Development Officer, Jamie Bowie.  The day was also lucky to have coaches from the ACE Race Running Club in South Ayrshire attend - Peter and Margaret Drysdale using their considerable experience to provide some valuable input and information for coaches and athletes alike.  In total, the day attracted 13 young people along - some who had experience of running bikes and some individuals trying the sport for the first time.  We hope that these athletes will engage on a regular basis and strengthen the club and race running in the East as a whole.

If you would like further information on this opportunity, please contact Neal Herbert on 0131 475 2364 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Wheelchair Tennis Camp - Craiglockhart

Wheelchair Tennis Camp - Craiglockhart

The Tennis Foundation and Tennis Scotland are running a one day Wheelchair Tennis Camp at Craiglockhart Tennis Centre in Edinburgh again this Summer.

Date:  8th August 2015

Day: Saturday

Time: 10am-4pm

Level:  Beginners and improvers (suitable for players that have never played before also)

Cost: £15 includes a packed lunch

Coaches: Kevin Simpson & Anna Myatt

Bookings are being taken online please click on the link below to book your place.

http://www3.lta.org.uk/Tennis-Foundation/Tennis-for-Disabled-People/Disability-Camps/

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LDS News

This section will include all the latest news and updates on disability sport across the Lothian region - information on Regional and National events can be found in the Event Section of the website.

If you have exciting news you would like to share regarding disability sport in the Lothians, please get in touch on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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