Oct 5 2011 by Sharon Liptrott, Dumfries Standard Wednesday
A HOST of sporting stars and top coaches are set to make the October Annandale and Eskdale Sports Academy the best yet.
During the half-term holidays from Monday, October 10 to Saturday, October 22, youngsters can look forward to week long sports academies in Annan, Langholm and the new schools in Lockerbie and Moffat.
So far this year 4,900 children have taken part in the Sports Academy run during the February, Easter and Summer school holidays and bookings for the October activities so far means it is looking like a record-breaker.
Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Annandale and Eskdale sports development officer Calum Graham, who devised the award-wining sports academy says he is delighted with the list of top coaches, Olympic athletes and world champions now involved.
He said: “This year so far has been the most ambitious and best attended academy since we started in 2003.
“We believe our October academy is our biggest and best programme yet, with a number of high profile sport people taking part or coaching.”
Calum says everyone involved in the academy is grateful to the main sponsors Energy Solutions and funding from Awards For All, Andrew Stevenson Foundation and the Annandale and Eskdale Area Committee which has kept prices to a minimum.
A day of swimming with Commonwealth Games swimmer and Annan son, Andrew Mayor, is one of the highlights of the activities which will be available in Annan.
There will also be a martial arts day including karate, taekwondo, kung fu and Thai boxing, as well as cricket with a visit by a member of the Scottish Saltires, volleyball, tennis, boxing, netball, trampolining and a fire station physical challenge.
Lockerbie Academy’s sports hall will play host to a variety of activities including coaching from former Olympian badminton player Anne Robertson and tennis with Lawn Tennis Association senior coach Colin Dunbar.
Scotland’s Commonwealth gold medal gymnast Steve Frew will host a gymnastics workshop and there will be table tennis with table tennis Scotland coach David Main, trampolining with Scottish gymnastics trampoline coach Mike McGhee and fencing with Scottish fencing coach Judith Holmes.
There will be a basketball special with players and coaches from the Glasgow Rocks, the only professional team in Scotland. At the same time a cheerleading session will be available with the well known Scottish Rockettes.
Martin Woods, the Scottish under 21 coach, will spend a day at Lockerbie Squash Club and Lockerbie Curling Club parents can join their children and wheelchair curlers on the ice for curling with World Champion skip Anna Sloan, and British team skip at the last winter Olympics, Eve Muirhead.
In Langholm children can also try the volleyball, tennis, boxing, cycling, football, golf, fencing, boxing and athletics with highly regarded coach Duncan McNeill from Scottish Athletics.
Scottish rugby camps with rugby development officer for Langholm Rugby Club, Iain Park, will be held in Langholm, Moffat and Lockerbie.
Sessions in badminton, hockey, table tennis, cricket, golf, netball, volleyball and tennis have been lined up for Moffat which will also see a visit by Lynn McCafferty, captain of the British handball team.
The Lochmaben Centre will play host to Dumfries Judo Club instructor Danny Roberts.
The Sports Academy is also offering two supervised trips, one to Dumfries Ice Bowl for a day of Ice Hockey with players and coaches of the Solway Sharks Ice Hockey team and another day at Xtreme Karting’s new and biggest track in Edinburgh.
John Grierson, site director at Chapelcross who represents the main business sponsor EnergySolutions.
Online bookings are available at www.dumgal.gov.uk/sportsacademy