Sports

Portadown volleyball player at National Finals.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Portadown volleyball player at National Finals. thumbnail Craig, left, and fellow teammate Ross McMorris.

THE School Games National Finals took place at Loughborough University between Thursday 31st August and Sunday 3rd September, with Portadown's Craig Taylor representing Northern Ireland in the Volleyball finals.

The Southern Region College pupil helped Northern Ireland to finish fifth in the Boys tournament, winning two sets against Wales.

Northern Ireland made a strong start in both sets, but struggled to finish the second set as Wales saved match point over six times. However, Northern Ireland managed to win with a final score of 25-22.

Of his School Games experience Taylor said: "The experience of getting to play in front of crowds as well as meeting loads of new friends has made the School Games really special for me." The School Games are an integrated multi-sport event for the UK's most talented school-age athletes, with around 1,600 athletes competing across 12 sports, seven of which included disability disciplines.

Previous competitors include Paralympic champions Hannah Cockroft, Ellie Simmonds and Jonnie Peacock, Olympic champion Adam Peaty, and GB sprinters Adam Gemili and Dina Asher-Smith.

The School Games are the springboard for future athletes with 56 of the 382 athletes representing Team GB at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio having competed at the School Games.

The four-day event is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust.

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