Newbattle pupils Ellie Russell and Angus Menmuir are future sports stars

Two Newbattle Community High School pupils are on track for sporting stardom following their recent achievements on the international stage.

Angus Menmuir
Angus Menmuir

Ellie Russell, 15, and 14-year-old Angus Menmuir, both from Newtongrange, have enjoyed success in their respective sports over the last few months.

Gymnast Ellie was part of a senior team which recently picked up bronze at the Northern European Championships in the Faroe Islands, while synchronised diver Angus recently won gold at a junior event in Sweden.

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S4 pupil Ellie, who defended her junior all-around title at the Scottish Gymnastics Championships earlier this year, is also the youngest gymnast currently taking part in the selection process for Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Australia next year.

Ellie Russell

Although it would be a fantastic achievement to make the team at such a young age, Ellie is still taking things one step at a time after her success in Torshavn.

Ellie said: “It was the first time in a while the team managed to win a medal at the Northern European Championships, so that was really good, especially being my first time in the senior team at an international competition too.

“I’ve just been trying to do my best at competitions, enjoy the experience and then just see what happens next. I would love to make a Commonwealth Games one year, even if it’s not the one coming up. Hopefully there will be more chances. The school have been really good with me too, allowing me time off to get some extra training or if I need to get away for competitions.”

S3 pupil Angus also has dreams of competing at the highest level after being inspired by the diving events at the Olympic Games in London in 2012. Angus now trains six times a week at the Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh with synchronised diving partner Danny Mabbit, 13, from Liberton High School.

Ellie Russell

After his success in Sweden, where he and Danny competed against seven other countries, Angus now has his eyes on set next year’s British Elite Junior Championships in Plymouth.

Angus said: “I’ve been diving for about seven years. I started after the Edinburgh Diving Club were using the pool at Newtongrange while the Commonwealth Pool was being refurbished and got asked to try out with them.

“To win a medal at the Elites would be really good as there is a lot of competition. It would also mean I would get support from Scottish Swimming who would put me into a number of programmes to help me develop more.”

Angus has been receiving support for his diving from the Midlothian Council Talent Awards and the Dean Tavern Community fund.

Newbattle head teacher Gib McMillan said: “We are extremely proud of Ellie and Angus’ achievements.

“Modest and hard-working pupils, they are both a credit to the school – we are sure they can go on to achieve even more great things in their respective sports.”