Poised to climb up podium of fame

3rd January 2003 at 00:00
Roddy Mackenzie selects school athletes who made a name for themselves in 2002 and are tipped for a bright future


Martyn Paterson Clackmannan Primary

At the age of just nine, Martyn Paterson has already performed with distinction on a European stage. The Grangemouth Broncos player was one of two Scots who represented Great Britain at the European Flag Football Championships in Barcelona, helping the under-13 team reach the final before losing to hosts Spain 33-19.

He scored in each of the five tournament games he played in and contributed six touchdowns, including one with his first touch of the ball in the opener, a 19-18 win over Spain. He was voted most valuable player in the tournament.

With the Scottish Claymores now running kitted junior teams and a development squad, the structure is in place for Martyn to progress in the sport if his interest keeps going.


Gemma Nicol Queen Anne High, Dunfermline, Fife

Gemma Nicol has had an outstanding year which peaked in representing Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester. She is one of the best prospects Scotland has and is guided by the same coach - Jimmy Bryce - who took another Fife schoolgirl all the way to the Olympic Games at the age of 16, namely Linsey Macdonald in 1980 (Moscow).

At the World Schools Games in Caen, France, she won silver at 400m and a bronze medal in the relay with the Scottish quartet. At the Scottish Schools Track and Field Championships she won the 200m and 300m and helped Queen Anne High to take gold in the 4x100m relay. She set a new record in winning the 300m at the British Schools Track and Field international and now aims to set a new schools' 400m record at the Scottish Schools Track and Field event in June.

Gemma has to be considered an Olympic prospect for Britain if she continues to improve.


Scott Frew and Muir Campbell Marr College, Troon, South Ayrshire

Scott Frew and Muir Campbell were integral members of the Marr College team that won the open Scottish Schools' Basketball Cup last season and helped their school to become unofficial British schools champions when Marr College beat Richmond College at Wembley 89-54 at the end of April. Both played in the Scotland cadet team that won a bronze medal at the European Promotions Cup in Cyprus in the spring and played for the Scotland junior team in a summer trip to New England.

Scott, who plays centre and is 6ft 4in, and Muir, a 6ft 0in point guard and son of team coach and Marr College teacher Tom Campbell, both have a big year ahead. They are expected to be in Scotland's junior team for the European Championship qualifiers in Italy in August and the European Promotions Cup in Andorra, where Scotland will attempt to improve on its bronze medal place in 2002.


Allison McIntosh Firrhill High, Edinburgh

Seventeen-year-old Allison McIntosh took up canoeing only four years ago as a recreational pursuit but has already represented Britain at junior level in minor events. She hopes to compete in the European Junior Championships in Germany in June. This will be her first major international competition.

Allison won the slalom at the Scottish Junior Championships in Grantully, was second at the British Junior Championships in Matlock, Derbyshire, and came second in the Scottish Schools Championships last season to a girl a year older.

She has had to clock up considerable mileage in an attempt to make her name in the sport and now trains daily in Edinburgh, has attended Scottish training camps abroad and is a regular visitor to the national canoeing centre in Nottingham where the top British canoeists train.


Bryan Hodge Earnock High, Hamilton, South Lanarkshire

Brian Gilmour Cumnock Academy, East Ayrshire

Midfielder Bryan Hodge, captain of Scotland's Under-16 schoolboys' team, has proved himself an outstanding athlete, showing solid defensive qualities when he chases back and quick to support his front players when going forward.

He has had a fair season so far at international level, with the Victory Shield ending in a narrow defeat by England in Huddersfield.

As an "S" form signing with Rangers, Bryan works under the Ibrox side's youth coaches, Tommy McLean and Jan Derks, and has every chance of progressing in the game.

Another good player in Scotland's Under-16 squad is Brian Gilmour. The midfielder has good vision and passing range and is one of the most naturally gifted players in the squad. He is already playing with his school's under-18 team and is on the books of Rangers.


Chris Logan and Kirsty Myles George Watson's College, Edinburgh

The past year has been something of a breakthrough for Chris Logan, who has impressed at Scottish national level through to Great Britain junior standard.

The 17-year-old has won junior single sculls races at Chester, Boston and Tees and in November was fastest sculler at the Clydesdale scullers head race on the River Clyde, beating all of the senior competitors on the day. "It is the first time I can remember a junior winning the fastest sculler of the day," said coach Jim Ferguson.

Earlier this season, Chris was second overall in preliminary British squad identification trials in Boston and he was the only Scot included in the potential world championships squad which went to Switzerland in December for training.

Sixteen-year-old Kirsty Myles is another George Watson's College pupil who is impressing at British junior level. She was the top junior sculler at the Clydesdale scullers head race in November, finishing a minute ahead of her nearest rival.


Scott Newlands Kelso High, Scottish Borders

Scott Newlands is already a fixture in the Kelso first XV national rugby league side. The 17-year-old has been playing as a blind-side flanker and has made a big impression with his strength and speed.

He will be looking to graduate to the Scotland Under-18 team this year and eventually to gain Scottish Institute of Sport support. He has the ability to make a big impact in the sport and the potential to play at full international level for Scotland.

Other players worthy of note are Ben Cairns (Royal High, Edinburgh), who has been playing stand-off for his school, James Eadie (Belmont House, Glasgow), a second row player who has already played with the Scotland under-18 A team, and Cameron Johnston (Merchiston Castle, Edinburgh), a fast winger who is still eligible to play at under-17 level.


Mark Branch Greenwood Academy, Irvine, North Ayrshire

Mark Branch set a British junior record in 200m breaststroke (short course) in early December at the Shanghai meeting of the FINA World Cup and within days established a British junior record in the 100m breaststroke (short course) at the Melbourne meeting.

The 15-year-old holds a third British junior record in the 200m breaststroke (long course) and a Scottish junior record in the 200m breaststroke (short course). He is the top British junior in his age group and still has six months in his band at GB level to get more marks.

This year, his main target will be to compete in the European Youth Olympics in Paris at the end of July. Before that, he faces the British trials in March in Sheffield.

Mark heads a pool of young Scots who are swimming to the fore. One to look out for is Andrew Hunter (Millfield School, Somerset).


Graeme Dyce Stewart's Melville College, Edinburgh

Graeme Dyce, who is 13 and already stands 5ft 10in, is ranked in the top five in Great Britain in his age group and has the potential to go on and do well at senior level.

Graeme has a strong forehand and is a member of the Lawn Tennis Association tennis academy in Scotland. His coach, Leon Smith, says: "He has all the physical attributes to do well in the game and could follow in the footsteps of Scots like Jamie and Andrew Murray and Nicola Allan."

He reached the semi-finals of the European Tennis Association Junior International Championships in Edinburgh in July and was an under-13 doubles semi-finalist at the British Junior National Championships in Nottingham in August. Graeme also helped his school to the British finals of the HSBC championships in a team including Jamie Duguid, Ian Morrison and Hamish Rankine.


Jim Gaughan and Alistair Fruzynski Knox Academy, Haddington, East Lothian

Jim Gaughan, aged 15 and 6ft 1in, has made outstanding improvement in the game working under Tommy Dowens, Scotland's high performance coach, and is tipped to become a future international player. He currently plays as off-setter.

Jim was first spotted by Margaret Ann Fleming, volleyball development officer for East Lothian, playing in primary school festivals and he has progressed through the ranks. Now a member of the Jets, based in Tranent, he has not yet played a national league game but has played in the Power League.

School and club mate Alistair Fruzynski, aged 16 and 6ft 2in, has followed a similar path and is also rated as an outstanding prospect. He plays as an outside hitter.

Both are in the Scottish Junior National League, where they still have three years to make their mark.

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