Three athletes from Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire have been selected to compete for the Scotland squad in Athletics at the 2018 School Games – a national multi-sport event for the UK’s most talented school-age athletes.
The three pupils, two from Johnstone and one from Newton Mearns will compete at Loughborough University, Leicestershire, in the East Midlands from Thursday 30th August to Sunday 2nd September.
Kirsty Costello, 15, from Johnstone who goes to Glasgow Academy, trains with Kilbarchan AAC will compete in the hammer throw. She has an impressive record of success, placing third at the Celtic Games and winning gold at the U15 England Championships in hammer and javelin. Kirsty is also Scottish U15 javelin record holder and U15 Scottish hammer record holder.
Kirsty Costello Photo: Loughborough University
Luke Deighan, 18, also from Johnstone, attends St Benedict High School and is a member of Red Star Athletics Club. He will compete in the wheelchair racing 100m. Luke has plenty of competitive experience, having competed at the Swiss Nationals.
Luke Deighan Photo: Loughborough University
15-year-old Helen Chong, from Newton Mearns, studies at Eastwood High School and trains with Giffnock North Athletics Club. She will compete in the 1500m steeplechase. She was recently selected to compete in the SIAB Internationals in July 2018, coming in fifth place in steeplechase.
Helen Chong (far right) Photo: Loughborough University
Over 1,400 athletes will compete across 11 sports at the School Games, five of which include disability disciplines. This year the School Games has introduced four new sports (Canoeing & Rowing, Laser Run, Netball and Triathlon). The event will give young people, across a variety of different sports, an experience of high-level competition in a multi-sport environment similar to an Olympic or Paralympic Games.
The trio will be following in the footsteps of some of Britain’s biggest sporting stars who have competed at the event before going on to senior international success. Previous competitors include Paralympic champions Hannah Cockroft, Ellie Simmonds and Jonnie Peacock, Olympic champion Adam Peaty, heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson and sprinter Adam Gemili.
At the event the athletes will experience the excitement of competing at the highest level. They will live in a dedicated Athletes’ Village on the Loughborough University campus, take part in a School Games ceremony and perform in front of huge crowds of spectators.
Ali Oliver, Chief Executive Officer of the Youth Sport Trust, said: “The School Games National Finals provide a great opportunity for talented young athletes like Kirsty, Luke and Helen.”
“Competitors get a real taste of what it’s like to be part of a world-class sporting event at the amazing sporting venues of Loughborough University, and the event is a great way to see our future sporting champions in action today.”
The 2018 School Games is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and Home Country Sports Councils and is delivered by the Youth Sport Trust.
Tickets for the event are available now, at https://www.schoolgamesfinals.org/buy-tickets.