Courses at Ayrshire College

College Olympians receive special medals

College Olympians receive special medals

Ayrshire College celebrated the achievements of five sporting superstars who put in magnificent performances at the Special Olympics GB National Games in Sheffield this summer.

Current students Jack Dickson, Frances Smiley, Connaire MacLindon, Michael McLelland and former student Laura Logan, were selected to represent Scotland West in running, shot put, swimming and tennis events.

Jack is a Connect to Learning student who trains at Prestwick and Scotstoun Tennis Clubs every week. He won gold medals in two events - the men’s singles and the mixed doubles, where he partnered Frances. Jack has been invited to apply for one of the six places on the UK tennis team for the World Games in 2019 in Abu Dhabi.

Frances, as well as winning gold alongside Jack in the mixed doubles, also won gold in the women’s singles event. Frances is a Connect to Careers student who trains at Prestwick Tennis Club. Her aim is to compete in the Special Olympics World Summer Games that will be held in Abu Dhabi in March 2019.

Connaire is on the Routes to Careers IT course and was competing at the Special Olympics for a second time. He won gold in the shot put and also competed in the 4x100m relay team, finishing 4th. Connaire recently became the British Under-20s number one at the shot put in the UK School Championships, which could enable him to make the transition to the Paralympics. He was recently invited to represent Scotland in the Special Olympics as an ambassador to showcase that it is possible to transition from the Special Olympics to the Paralympics.

Michael is a Connect to Learning student at the College’s Kilmarnock Campus and is a member of the Kilmarnock Jets swimming team. Michael is a modest competitor who says he swims for the enjoyment rather than the glory, however he did win a gold medal in the front crawl event.

Laura has left the College following the successful completion of the Connect to Enterprise and Connect to Learning courses. She now has a part-time job in a local motor spares firm and coaches swimming three times a week at the Citadel and Prestwick pools. Laura achieved three personal bests in Sheffield and is going to Paris later this month as part of the GB Down Syndrome team to participate in the European Championships.

College Principal Heather Dunk OBE presented the fantastic five with special Ayrshire College medals to recognise their sporting achievements.

The presentation was made in front of the students’ parents and carers at a memorable breakfast club organised by the Connect to Learning class at the Ayr Campus.

Ayrshire Ambassador badges were also distributed to each Connect to Learning student as a result of the great effort they put into organising the event, which included freshly baked shortbreads and cupcakes.

Heather said “I am delighted to present the students with Ayrshire College star medals. Their achievements are outstanding and I believe it is important to recognise their dedication and commitment to their sports. They are amazing young people who are great ambassadors for Ayrshire.”

Arlene Trapp, Essential Skills Curriculum Manager at Ayrshire College, said “The Special Olympics uses the transformative power of sports to teach athletes to dream, strive for success and be resilient. We are incredibly proud of our students' success, and the life skills they have built. Well done to our athletes, and thank you to our Principal for recognising their achievement.”

9 October 2017


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