Courses at Ayrshire College
Tennis aces set for Abu Dhabi
After serving up gold medal wins in the Special Olympics National Games last summer, Ayrshire’s Jack Dickson and Frances Smiley have sealed their places in the Great Britain team heading to Abu Dhabi for the Special Olympics World Games 2019.
The Special Olympics World Games take place from 14 to 21 March 2019 and there will be 7,000 athletes from 170 countries represented at the Games.
The Ayrshire College students are two of just six tennis stars selected to represent Team GB.
Jack and Frances teamed up to secure gold medals in the Mixed Doubles at the National Games in Sheffield, where they competed as part of the Scotland (West) team. Their results - both players also won individual gold medals in the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ singles events - have since earned them a place in Team GB next year.
Both players, along with three other Ayrshire College students who competed at the National Games, recently received special commemorative medals from Ayrshire College Principal Heather Dunk to celebrate their Sheffield success.
Jack is a student on the Connect to Learning course at Ayrshire College, while Frances is enrolled on the Connect to Careers course. The pair currently play their tennis at Prestwick Tennis and Fitness, where they train twice a week.
Jack, 20 from Troon, said “The whole Sheffield experience was fantastic. The opening ceremony took place at Sheffield United’s stadium, with Tony Hadley singing, and to win two gold medals was obviously brilliant. When I found out I was selected for Team GB, I was so excited. I was jumping about! I’ve never been to Abu Dhabi, I’m really excited to be going.”
Frances, 19 from Prestwick, said “I’m really looking forward to the experience and can’t wait to meet up with the team in Abu Dhabi. I really enjoy the team atmosphere of the Games.”
Doreen Tait, Essential Skills lecturer at Ayrshire College, said “We are incredibly proud of Jack and Frances for earning their spots on Team GB. Considering the six-person team is made up of the best players in Scotland, England and Wales, it is a remarkable achievement. They should be very proud of themselves.”
1 February 2018