Rhys wins sporting honour
Dumfries High School
An inspirational Dumfries High School pupil has been named Disability Sports Person of the Year at the Nithsdale Sports Council awards on Friday night.
Seventeen-year-old Rhys, who is in S6 at the Dumfries school, was nominated not only for his achievements whilst swimming with a disability but also for his charitable work.
Last year Rhys raised more than £1,000 for the Yorkhill Children’s Hospital in Glasgow to raise awareness of PraderWilli syndrome which affects the family of one of his teachers.
“I did a 45-mile sponsored swim because I wanted to do something to help and to make people more of aware of the illness,” said Rhys.
Rhys, who has Autism and Asperger’s, has been swimming competitively with the Dumfries Dolphins since he was nine.
He is very open about the fact that the swimming has helped him manage his conditions whilst also helping him to feel more confident with his peers.
He said: “I train six days a week, morning and night, and I really like the structure of my day.
“It doesn’t matter how tired I am, I will always be at training. I think that I am proof that there should be no obstacles in anybody’s way.
“We can all be the best that we can be, we just have to work hard and not give up.”
Rhys’ mum and grandad were on hand to see him given his prize last Friday night at the Loreburn Hall.
The inspirational teen who will leave school next summer now hopes to become a PE teacher so that he can pass on his passion for sport to the next generation.
Bronze medal for Kieran A second year pupil from Dumfries High School won a bronze medal at the Mixed Martial Arts competition in Swindon last weekend.
Kieran, who has been doing mixed martial arts since he was six, won third place in the sparring competition.
“I am really proud of my achievements so far,” said Kieran. “I’m working towards something quite big in the coming years but I can’t say what it is yet. This bronze medal is a great start to that journey.”
Currently Kieran has a red belt but is hoping to gain a black belt over the next two years.
In Swindon he was awarded a bronze medal in the sparring category. This involves two fighters squaring up to each other in the ring.
Kieran trains three nights a week and says it is a physically demanding sport.
“I like the structure and the discipline that is involved in martial arts. It also keeps me physically fit,” he added.
Dementia-friendly Dumfries High School is one of the first in the region to be recognised as being dementia-friendly after its S6 students underwent training from Alzheimer Scotland.
The school was celebrated for its involvement with Alzheimer Scotland’s Dementia Friendly Communities project when its pupils received their certificates at a ceremony last week.
The project has seen young people support older people to use the internet for the first time for banking, emails and searching for products and services such as personal aids and care homes.
Over the five weeks leading up to the October break, the S6 pupils all undertook training from Jill Rennie of Alzheimer Scotland in order for the school to work in partnership to help create a Dementia Friendly Community in Dumfries and Galloway.
Teacher Marie Weir, facilitator of the scheme, said: “Our S6 pupils are now proud supporters of Dementia Friends Scotland.
“All of this can only have a positive effect in terms of improving knowledge of dementia while contributing to assisting in other important areas such as reducing social isolation and loneliness.”
Training day S6 students with their certificates Mixed martial arts Kieran with his bronze medal
Well done The S6 cohort proudly displaying their certificates with trainer Jill Rennie of Alzheimer Scotland
Congratulations Rhys being presented with his Disability Sports Person of the Year award