Sport stars in the making

Two Newbattle Community High School pupils could be on track for sporting stardom following recent achievements on the international stage. 

Ellie Russell (15) and Angus Menmuir (14), both from Newtongrange, have enjoyed success in their respected sports over the last few months.  

Team Scotland

Gymnast Ellie was part of a senior team which picked up Bronze at the Northern European Championships in the Faroe Islands last month while synchronised diver Angus recently won gold at a junior event in Sweden. Ellie Russell - gymnast Nov 17 (2)

S4 pupil Ellie, who defended her junior all-around title at Scottish Gymnastics Championships earlier this year, is also the youngest gymnast currently taking part in the selection process for Team Scotland at Commonwealth Games in Australia next year. 

Enjoying the experience

Although it would be a fantastic achievement to make the team at such a young age, Ellie is still taking things one step at a time after her success in Torshavn.   

Ellie said: 

“It was the first time in a while the team managed to medal at the Northern European Championships so that was really good, especially being my first time in the senior team at an international competition too.   

“I’ve just been trying to do my best at competitions, enjoy the experience and then just see what happens next.  I would love to make a commonwealth games one year, even if it’s not the one coming up, hopefully there will be more chances.

“The school have been really good with me too, allowing me time off to get some extra training or if I need to get away for competitions.”  

Inspired by London 2012

S3 pupil Angus also has dreams of competing at the highest level after being inspired by the diving events at the Olympic Games in London back in 2012. 

Angus now trains six times a week at the Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh with synchronised diving partner, Danny Mabbit (13) from the capital’s Liberton High School.

Success in Sweden

After his success in Sweden, where he and Danny competed against seven other countries, Angus now has his eyes set on next year’s British Elite Junior Championships in Plymouth. 

Angus said:

“I’ve been diving for about seven years.  I started after the Edinburgh Diving Club were using the pool at Newtongrange while the Commonwealth Pool was being refurbished and got asked to try out with them.”   Angus Menmuir - Diving Nov 17 (2)

“To medal at the Elites would be really good as there is a lot of competition.  It would also mean I would get support from Scottish Swimming who would put me into a number of programmes to help me develop more.” 

Local support

Angus has been receiving support for his diving from the Midlothian Council Talent Awards and the Dean Tavern Community fund.

Newbattle head teacher, Gib McMillan, said:

“We are extremely proud of Ellie and Angus’ achievements. Modest and hard working pupils, they are both a credit to the school – we are sure they can go on to achieve even more great things in their respective sports.” 

17 Nov 2017