Saturday was a pivotal stage in the preparation of our young squads preparing to represent Scotland at the 2014 Sainsbury’s School Games in Manchester.
Linlithgow Academy was the venue for the tournament. The tournament was set so that our East squads played our West squads at the start and end of the day in order to allow the coaches to experiment with their teams and get every player in their squads a good amount of court-time as the players continue to strive to get up to peak condition following the summer break.
In between both team played against the ‘School Games All Stars.’ The all-stars teams were made up from players who had represented Scotland at previous School Games. They were there in order to challenge our squads to reach for a higher level. With the players having been through the same process as our current squads there was a real understanding and respect given by the teams.
On paper the all-stars teams were hot favourites to win the matches but they definitely did not have it all their own way with our girls squads taking early leads in their games before the experience of the all-stars proved key as the finished the day without losing a set.
In the boys competition, the friendly side of the tournament was put to one-side and the competitive nature quickly returned for all sides as two very close matches so East and West narrowly miss out, losing 1-2.
The bar has been raised higher and now our athletes have been challenged to maintain and improve on the level that was reached at the weekend.
There was significant parental support present at the day with parents having travelled from Ayrshire to Aberdeenshire to support their child’s progress in the programme and they helped create and open and friendly environment in the sports hall.
Many thanks to all the all-stars for playing and their contributions to the day, the referees, and to all 95 people who were present and helped with creating a great buzz in the hall.
Next up for the squads is another training day on Saturday before the residential camp at Dundee University on 23rd & 24th August.