Awards for young Angus achievers

THE convener of education at Angus Council revealed teachers are “queuing up” to work in Angus Schools when he opened the Angus Young Achievers Awards in the Reid Hall, Forfar last Tuesday evening.

Over 220 pupils were presented with their awards by the BBC’s television and radio sports presenter Rhona McLeod, after reaching national standards or achieving a national level in any field from sports and the arts to science and technology.

In his opening address councillor Peter Nield said the award recipients had demonstrated the “terrific array of high achievers” across Angus schools. He added they were “great ambassadors for Angus, throughout the UK and beyond.”

He continued: “The wide range of achievements being recognised this evening demonstrate the array of opportunities available to all pupils across all Angus schools and local communities. Being education convenor is the most demanding and sensitive job any councillor could undertake. It is events throughout the year, with recognition tonight, that makes Angus one of the most respected education departments in Scotland. We have teachers queuing up to work in Angus schools, such is the high regard professionals have across Scotland for our schools and pupils.”

Guest speaker Rhona McLeod inspired the award recipients in a revealing insight into her career to date. She said her plans and dreams had come crashing down when, as a fifth year pupil, she contracted glandular fever and missed months of schooling. However, she stressed that when “one door closes, another opens”. Whilst her career path took a different direction when she went to America for a year’s scholarship, she eventually got back on track and is now following a career which has taken her to every continent in the world.

The former international athlete urged the pupils to persevere in their quest to follow their dreams before presenting the awards to local pupils who have been placed in the top three in a national competition, represented their country or made an outstanding contribution to their community. They were as follows:-

Dance: Scottish aged 12 Highland Dance Champion, Airlie McIntyre, Webster’s High School, Kirriemuir. Won a place in the Knightswood Dance School of Scotland, Ryan Kopel, Webster’s High School.Won various awards in national dance competitions, Rebecca Graham, Webster’s High School.

Literature: Award winner in Learning for Life - John Templeton Literature competition, Ellie McCallum, Forfar Academy. Poetry: finalist in the National Children’s Burns Poetry festival, Niamh Henderson, Southmuir Primary School, Kirriemuir.

Athletics: Gold medallists in the Scottish Secondary Road Relay Championships, Webster’s High School - Robyn Hill, Sophie Scott and Eilidh de Klerk. Bronze medallist in the Scottish Primary Relay Championships, Ben Starkey, Northmuir Primary School, Kirriemuir. Bronze medallist in 800 m at Scottish Schools Championships, Katie Anderson, Webster’s High School.

Basketball: Member of Tayside team that won the Scottish U16 League championship, Gavin Thomson, Forfar Academy.

Curling: Member of Scottish Junior Curling Team, Adam Flint, Webster’s High School. Silver medal winners at the Dutch Junior Open representing Scotland, Louise Joiner and Katy Shepherd, Forfar Academy.

Cycling: silver and bronze medallist at Scottish championships, Emily Fyffe, Forfar Academy.

Football: represented Scotland at U-15 level, Chloe Dunn, Forfar Academy.

Equestrian: Represented Scotland and won at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Mounted Games, Morven McLean, Webster’s High School. Represented Scotland in Dressage, Kyle Brooks, Webster’s High School. Produced two champions at Ponies Association UK event, Jennifer Adams, Webster’s High School.

Roller hockey: Member of Scottish Age Group team, Drew McLaggan, Webster’s High School.

Motocross: member of Scottish team, Robert Smith, Webster’s High School.

Speed skating: Age group Scottish champion, silver medallist in GB championships and member of GB juniors squad, Ben MacFarlane, Webster’s High School.

Kick boxing: winner of Scottish national event for charity, Peter Watt, Webster’s High School. Winner of 240 cm and under world championships, Garth Hendry, Friockheim Primary School. Karate: member of Scottish squad, Mitchell Watson, Webster’s High School.

Tetrathlon: selected to represent Scotland in age group, Emily Baillie (captain) and Robin Baillie, Webster’s High School.

Skiing: Scottish schools champions, Ewen Matthew, Daniel Brodie, Jamie Cowie and Joss Peters, Webster’s High School. Scottish schools bronze medallists, Ella Peters, Ailsa Peters, Rosalyn Hall and Emily Baillie, Webster’s High School (Ailsa also won a team bronze in the Scottish Cross-Country relay championships).