Seven set to shine at School Games showpiece

Aimee Gale.
Aimee Gale.
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Seven athletes with links to the area will join around 1,600 elite competitors in England next month for the four-day School Games.

Aimee Gale, Alana Doyle, Angela Sagayno, Craig Taylor, Mathieu Outhwaite, Ross Good and Ryan Upton have been selected for volleyball and hockey at the high-profile multi-sports tournament from September 1-4.

Portadown College’s Gale, Sagayno and Good will represent Northern Ireland on the volleyball court.

Two pupils from Craigavon Senior High School have been called up - with Taylor and Upton team-mates in Northern Ireland’s volleyball squad.

Outhwaite from Southern Regional College will also feature with the national volleyball panel.

Royal School Armagh’s Doyle is set to compete with Ulster’s hockey group.

Twelve sports - seven of which include disability disciplines - have been listed on the schedule across Loughborough University and Sheffield venues thanks to support from National Lottery funding from Sport England delivered by the Youth Sport Trust.

“I’m extremely proud to be representing Northern Ireland,” said Gale, a member of the Aztecs club. “I’m looking forward to the experience.”

Doyle is on the books at Ards and will be competing across her fourth School Games.

“It’s an overwhelming feeling to be selected,” said Sagayno, another Aztecs competitor. “I can’t wait for it all to begin.”

Taylor has described his pride at “representing my country” and considers the competition “a fantastic opportunity to play against other national teams”.

Outhwaite can call on past School Games experience, plus April’s European Championships - with Good, his Aztecs team-mate at the Craigavon-based club, “excited to represent my country”.

“I’m very excited to be part of such a large event,” said Upton. “I’m honoured to represent my country.”