On marks for Italian trip

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A GROUP of local teenagers are under starter’s orders for a trip to Italy.

Six athletes from Glenrothes and Markinch will be part of the Fife team at this year’s Olympiad.

Callum McCracken, the 16 year-old athletics squad vice-captain and Glenrothes High pupil, Auchmuty’s Ewan Paton and Niall Curley, both 15 from Markinch, and Glenwood High’s Jack Robb and Matthew Arnott, both 15 and 14 year-old Scott Bernard, say they are very much looking forward to the experience.

“Not only does it allow us to compete at a very high level against international competition,” said Callum, “but it also lets us travel to Italy, to meet new people and make new friends.

“We can’t wait to take part.”

Callum will be taking part in the 400 and 800 metre events, Ewan the 1500m, Niall the 400m, Jack and Matthew the sprints and jumping, and Scott the 1500m and throwing events.

All over the kingdom just now, groups of young participants and their coaches are busily fine-tuning their preparations for the event which will take place in Alba, in the north of the country, between July 27 and 31.

The programme of sports will include athletics, badminton, basketball, football, judo, karate, swimming, table tennis, volleyball and tennis, with representatives, both male and female, being selected from youngsters who will be over 13 and under 18 on August 1 this year.

“Even though there are a couple of months to go, we are already working very hard to ensure that everyone taking part is in peak condition and will be able to acquit themselves well at international level,” added athletics coach Rachel Edgar, also from Glenrothes.

“We have put together a very able and enthusiastic squad and believe that we can come back with medals to add to those which previous teams have accrued over the years.”