Team Scotland came away as the second-best region at the 2021 School Games hosted by Loughborough University over the weekend. The best young athletes from across the UK took part in the multi-sport event.
BMX was due to make its debut in the School Games this year but were unfortunately abandoned. We look forward to their inclusion in 2022.
Friday saw the Track events take place at Manchester Velodrome, due to the velodrome in Derby’s unavailability.
Scotland’s Female Team Sprinters opened the medal account with a silver medal, only narrowly missing out to South (England) who claimed the Gold. The Female Madison Team also claimed a silver medal only narrowly missing out against a very strong outfit from the South.
The Men’s Team Pursuit squad continued this Scottish success with another silver – with a time of 03:29.233 for 3km – missing out to Wales by under a second. Whilst the Female Team Pursuit squad of followed suit to also claim silver.
After four silver medals on Friday, Saturday’s criteriums brought more success. In the “street sprints” Jamie Thomson claimed a bronze before Deeside Thistle’s Arabella Blackburn continued her recent form to claim Scotland’s first cycling gold of the games.
Whilst, Sunday’s Road Races around Slawston unfortunately did not provide the same level of medal success as seen in the first two days of action, it was still a learning experience for the riders in action.
Arabella Blackburn finished a creditable fifth, which is a fine achievement given that there were some riders two years older than her in the Girls Road Race field. Cormac McConville and Elliot Rowe were Scotland’s best finishers in the Boys’ Road Race finishing in 11th and 12th respectively.
On the School Games, Scottish Cycling Performance Director David Somerville said:
“UK School Games again provided a priceless development experience for our youth bike riders. The Games experience not only offered valuable experiences on the bike but also offered for many the first experience of representing Scotland or attending a multi-sport event, both of which are experiences we hope the riders will have the opportunity to experience again. Although the competition was cut short for our BMX riders, the debut of BMX in the UK School Games offered enough evidence of what BMX can offer and look forward the future inclusion. All riders involved made the most of the experience following in the footsteps of a long list of Scottish bike riding talent that has passed through the UK School Games and we hope the experience will set the current generation up for the future.”