Two student athletes on their marks for Emirates Arena

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Two student athletes from New College Lanarkshire are set to compete this week at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.

Alexander Thomson and Dylan Drummond, who both study Sports courses at our Motherwell Campus, will compete in the Scottish Student Athletics Indoor Championships this Saturday.

As part of its ‘Healthy Body, Healthy Mind’ initiative to encourage participation in sports, the Students’ Association is supporting their entry by paying their fees and covering the costs of new kit.

Scores of student athletes are set to compete in the Scottish Athletics-licensed event in a range of track and field events, including sprint and middle distance running, pole vault, long jump, shot putt, high jump and triple jump.

Dylan Drummond, 18, who lives in Bellshill, is a student of NQ Sport and Fitness. He will compete in the 800m event at the Emirates Arena.

He has trained for almost five years with Motherwell Athletics Club, which trains at Wishaw Sports Centre.

The former pupil of Cardinal Newman High said: “I started running for fitness but I’ve performed well and I’ve now been competing for the last three years.

“I want to see the highest level that I can achieve in athletics – I’d really like to improve on my personal best of 1:57 for the 800m.

“I competed at the Emirates Arena in the Under-20s Scottish National Championships last year and I really enjoyed the atmosphere.”

Alexander Thomson, meanwhile, is making a name for himself in both mainstream and disability athletics.

The 18-year-old sprinter from Hamilton, who studies NQ Level 4 Access to Sport and Fitness, competed in the first Scottish Student Athletics Opening Match in October.

The ex-Hamilton Grammar pupil is set to again compete in both the Men’s 200m and 400m distances.

Last year, he won a silver medal in 400m at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, and represented Great Britain at the World Para Athletics Junior Championships in Switzerland in August.

Furthermore, a good performance from Alexander at the European Championships in Poland in June could lead to selection for the GB Paralympic team for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Alexander trains several times a week with Whitemoss Amateur Athletics Club, which is based at John Wright Sports Centre in East Kilbride.

Alexander said: “I’m looking forward to competing again against the athletes from colleges and universities across Scotland.

“The atmosphere was quite chilled last time – it was good fun and I was pleased to make the final of the 400m.

“I was racing at the Emirates two weeks ago and I ran a personal best at 54:57 in the 400m.

“Fingers crossed I’ll be selected for Tokyo if I keep training as hard as I can.”

A spokesperson for Scottish Student Sport said: “It is excellent to see such interest from New College Lanarkshire students in these events!

“The efforts by the NCL Students’ Association to boost activity in sports and fitness amongst students is brilliant.”

Jim Griffin, Curriculum and Quality Leader, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for both Alexander and Dylan to represent New College Lanarkshire whilst showcasing their talents against other elite athletes in their chosen disciplines.

“The assistance provided to Alexander and Dylan by the Students’ Association will raise awareness that there is support available and reducing potential barriers will hopefully encourage higher levels of participation.

“Alexander and Dylan should savour the experience, relish the challenge and we wish them both every success.”

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