At the end of the year, Lindsay MacNeill of Shettleston Harriers, claimed the West District Senior Women’s title with an aggressive run over a muddy Irvine course.
Returning to the form which saw Lindsay being a regular member of the international team, she tracked the other athletes during the first lap before pushing clear over the last half mile. It was a great day for the ladies with Shona Robertson taking the Masters title in the over 40, when finishing 9th overall and with Avril Mason closing in the team in 18th position Shettleston took the team title for the first time in the club history.
Avril did a great job getting out a strong team with Carole Setchell (23rd)
and new member Neah Evans ( 24th ) supported by Susan Breckenridge
(69th) and Joanne Harkins (89th ).
The ladies were delighted with their success and it set up the men to defend their district title. Trying to claim the title for the 5th year in a row did not get off to a great start. Thomas Fay suffered a pulled hamstring in the first 100m and Tewelde Mengisteab also failed to finish because of a back problem. It looked as if the Club was in trouble.
Strength in depth is the key to success in team competitions and with 17 athletes starting for the club and strong competition to make the team we were never in danger.
Inverclyde athletes broke clear to fill the first three positions but then Shettleston athletes closed in.
Junior star Lachlan Oates returned to great form finishing first in the under 20 athlete then finishing 4th in the Senior race and leading his team to victory.
Medical student Michael Gillespie, just off night duty, finished 5th and with Scottish Hill Running Champion Jethro Lennox coming in 9th, it made a good base for the team.
Later, Mike Deason was competing in a 28 mile race so the 6 miles of Irvine must have been light relief for him when finishing the course in 11th position. Matt Sullivan returned to cross country for the first time this season after helping the club dominate the Hill Running scene in Scotland during the summer and took 5th position for the team.
New boy Adam Peters had a big smile on his face claiming his first ever district medal and closing the team in to win from Cambuslang and Inverclyde. Since 1991 the club has taken the title 8 times placing second 11 times and third once. Congratulations to all who have made this possible.
The under 20 athletes, Gary Turner and Gary McBride, combined well with Lachlan to take silver in the team competition. This was repeated by the under 17 girls with Stella Winters in third position just beating club mate Laura Penrice who finished 4th.
The team was closed in by Victoria McGloin in 21st position. The first race of the day at Irvine was the Under 13 Girls in which Shettleston had four finishers. The team finished 8th with Natasha Mackay 32nd, Claire Mason 49th, Emma Arbuckle 57th and Georgia McDonald 64th. In the under 15 Girls, Myrtle Breckenridge finished 13th with Amy Harkins 21st.
Ryan Flanagan finished a credible 12th in the under 15 Boys race with Daniel Tolland coming in 24th.
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Children from Chinese families had an exciting day on Tuesday 4 October, when they were part of the welcome to the Confucius Institute which was officially opened at the University of Glasgow by First Minister Alex Salmond MSP.
The Institute –a partnership with China’s prestigious Nankai University– is part of a network of more than 350 around the world, supported by the Chinese government to spread awareness, understanding and appreciation of Chinese language and culture.
Funded by the Chinese National Office of Chinese Language Council International – known as Hanban – the main purpose of the Confucius Institute is to teach the Chinese language. It will also organise cultural activities, including lectures and exhibitions and provide information and support for businesses in Scotland planning to operating in China.
The ceremony in the University’s Bute Hall was attended by Li Ruiyou, Chinese Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Scotland, and Xiaogang Tian, Minister Counsellor for Education, Chinese Embassy London.
Mr Salmond said: ‘The promotion of the educational, economic and cultural ties between Scotland and China are further strengthened by the creation of the Confucius Institute at the University of Glasgow. The work being done in partnership with Nankai University will support the Scottish Government’s China Plan through support for Confucius Classroom hubs and for Sino-Scottish business links.
‘During the past two years, I have had the pleasure of visiting China twice to reinforce this bond and I am greatly looking forward to returning later this year. It is vital that the Scottish Government, our agencies and Scotland’s business and education organisations continue to do all they can to advance Scotland’s relationship with mainland China and Hong Kong, particularly as we pursue opportunities to build growth and therefore a stronger Scotland.’
Professor Jane Duckett, Director of the Confucius Institute, said: ‘Our aim is to increase understanding of China, its fascinating language, and its rich culture. China is playing an ever more important role in the world. Within the next decade or so, it will be the world’s biggest economy and it will become an increasingly important trading partner and investor for Scotland and the UK. It is therefore essential to Scotland’s future economic success that we understand China in all its diversity and are able to communicate with its people.
She continued: ‘The Confucius Institute will make a significant contribution to the Scottish Government’s China Plan through support for Confucius Classroom hubs and for Sino-Scottish business links. It is a symbol of Glasgow’s and the West of Scotland’s engagement with China and will be an important source of support for that engagement across education, the arts and business.’
The Confucius Institute builds on long-standing research collaborations focused on social sciences, arts, business and chemistry, between the University of Glasgow and Nankai University in the major northern city of Tianjin.
The focus of the Institute’s programmes will be on contemporary Chinese society and culture, promoting understanding between young people in Scotland and China, and supporting links between the cities of Glasgow and Tianjin.
One of the first events organised by the new Institute is a six-week exhibition of art works by Professor Fan Zeng, one of China’s most famous artists, whose traditional ‘splashed ink’ and figure drawings are hugely popular in China. The exhibition will run until 20 November in the Kelvin Gallery of the Hunterian Museum.
The Confucius Institute is located in the John McIntyre Building on the University’s Gilmorehill Campus. For more information visit www.gla.ac.uk/about/confucius/ and see a video of the children of Glebe Primary School, Irvine who performed an umbrella dance for the opening ceremony on University’s Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/glasgowuniversity
Head teacher Francine MacKenzie of Glebe Primary told this website:’The children had a wonderful day at Glasgow University at the opening of the Confucius Institute. One parent phoned me the next morning to say thank you for giving her son the best opportunity of his life so far. The Chinese families whose children attend this school, consider themselves Scottish and are very pleased that we celebrate their other culture. We take full advantage of every opportunity to learn of the richness of Chinese culture.’ The school has already sent teachers to visit China and is about to send another one to study Mandarin.
The Scottish/Gambia Human Rights campaign will have a speaker at the Irvine May Day rally on Saturday 7 May. In Glasgow there will be a stall in Buchanan Street on Sunday 22 May at 1pm to mark International Day of Action and a rally in George Square on Friday 22 July.
A video of a debate on the issues of human rights in the Gambia at the STUC’s annual meeting can be viewed on YouTube.