Strathblane Primary School have become the first Scottish team to be crowned British POP Lacrosse champions in over a quarter of a cenutry.
The school’s pupils beat off competition from 20 other teams from England and Wales at the British finals in Sheffield to lift the silverware and take the trophy north of the border for the first time in 26 years.
Pop Lacrosse is a non-contact version of the sport, using plastic-headed sticks and softer lacrosse balls.
The school had earned the right to represent Scotland at the finals, which was held at the English Institute for Sport, after winning the Scottish Pop Lacrosse Championship in May.
After topping their group with four wins and a 100 per cent record, Strathblane reached the final with wins over Honeywell and St Peter’s, helped by vocal support from parents, family and friends.
And they took the trophy back across the border for the first time since 1993 following a brilliant, battling 12-9 victory over Hampshire school Kingscourt.
Danii Bairner, Principal Teacher at Strathblane Primary and the school’s lacrosse coach, said: “Winning the British Lacrosse Championships is an amazing achievement for our small village school in Stirling.
“We have been the Scottish Lacrosse Champions for four consecutive years and we are immensely proud that this year, we have gone all the way and lifted the British Championship trophy.”
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“The children in the team showed real grit and determination as well as outstanding talent! I’m so proud of the team.
“Special thanks to all former Strathblane Primary lacrosse players, who are now at high school, for helping me coach the team this year. I would also like to thank all the team’s family and friends who travelled to the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield to support and cheer on our team as they represented Scotland.”
Team captain, Jack Young said: “If it wasn’t for the whole team, we wouldn’t have won - everyone played their roles. The feeling of hearing the final whistle and my team mates shouting and screaming was unlike any other feeling I’ve ever had. It was just unreal.
“I would like to thank the fans for being there - you made us fight ‘til the end, so thank you.”
Convener of the Stirling Council’s Children and Young People Committee, Cllr Susan McGill said: “Huge congratulations to the children and young people at Strathblane Primary on this superb sporting success and doing Stirling and Scotland proud on the big stage.
“We want Stirling to be the best place to be active, including in our schools with physical activity placed at the heart of the curriculum, and national achievements like this can only inspire other young people to get involved in sport.”
Vice Convener of the Committee, Cllr Margaret Brisley said: “To come out on top against the best teams from across the UK is a fantastic feat for the school, the players and the staff who coached the team. We are all proud of them for their tremendous triumph.”