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D&G athletes head to Belgium for Olympics

A swimmer has travelled all the way from the Border region to Antwerp in Belgium, to take part in the Special Olympics European Games.

Emma Birley from Dumfries and Galloway is part of Team GB - which is one of more than fifty nations taking part in this major sporting event for those with learning disabilities.

It all starts this weekend, giving our athletes time for training and even a bit of sightseeing. Our reporter Lauren Hall has joined them.

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'They want to make sure they do it properly'

Carlisle United's search for a new manager is unlikely to be complete before Saturday's League Two match at home to Bury.

Joint caretaker managers Tony Caig and Paul Thirlwell have been in charge after the sacking of Graham Kavanagh. West Ham United assistant manager Neil MacDonald remains the bookies favourite to take over.

Jim Fowler is new QOS player-coach

Former Kilmarnock midfielder has agreed to take charge of Queen of the South to temporarily replace manager Jim McIntyre Credit: PA

With coach Billy Dodds opting to follow Jim McIntyre to Ross County, Queen of the South have announced that player/coach James Fowler has agreed to take charge of first team affairs at Palmerston Park while a full time replacement to McIntrye is sought.

He looks set to pick the side for the Doonhamers trip to Falkirk on Saturday.

CUFC manager hunt taking longer than expected

Carlisle United's chairman, Andrew Jenkins, has said the hunt for a new manager is taking longer than expected Credit: PA

The hunt to find a new manager for Carlisle United is taking longer than expected. On the club's website, Andrew Jenkins said that he doesn't want to rush into a decision:

“We’re comfortable with that because we want to be as thorough as we possibly can be as we consider every aspect of what is an extremely important decision. We now have 75 applications, with some extremely strong candidates, and I think it’s only fair for all concerned that we look at each and every one of them in as much detail as possible.

We have to bear in mind that we have the Bury [Saturday] and Shrewsbury [Tuesday] games coming up, so we now anticipate this process, including interviews, will lap over into next week.

As I say, the quality of the applicants is very strong and we don’t feel this is a situation where we need to rush to a final conclusion. We have Tony Caig and Paul Thirlwell running team affairs at the moment and we have been delighted with the way they have handled that side of things for us. They are happy to continue overseeing the first team training and match day requirements as we seek to finalise the appointment of our new first team manager.”

– Statement from the Carlisle United website

Neil McDonald is still said to be the bookies favourite for the job, along with Ronnie Moore, Willie McStay and ex-united midfielder Paul Murray.

Wood sacked from Haven

Dave Woods joined the team in 2013 Credit: ITV Border

Whitehaven have told their coach Dave Woods that his contract will not be renewed.

His sacking comes at the end of a poor season for Haven who narrowly avoided relegation from the Championship on the last day of the season, when results went in their favour to see them beat the drop in the final minutes.

The hunt for Woods replacement is now on.

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Man U star Mata loves the Lake District

Spanish born Juan Mata plays for Manchester United and the Spanish national team Credit: PA

The Lake District has a new fan - Manchester United player Juan Mata.

The footballer, who was part of Spain's World Cup winning squad in 2010, took the time to relax in the region after he wasn't named in the national team for the recent European Championship qualifiers.

Man United's number 8, who was signed for around £37m from Chelsea last season, praised the Lakes in his latest blog post:

"I'm writing to you at the end of a quiet Sunday; rarely do we have a day like this in a football season.

During the week I had the opportunity to spend a couple of days in the Lake District. For those of you who don't know this spectacular area, it's a National Park near Manchester which is ideal to get lost and relax in for a few days...

I really like going to this kind of peaceful and quiet place whenever I can. They allow you to switch off from the daily routine and to enjoy nature."

– Juan Mata

Rugby championship status is 'unbelievably important'

It was a huge weekend for rugby league in West Cumbria.

Championship sides Whitehaven and Workington Town escaped relegation on the last day of the regular season and Workington booked a place in the play-offs which could see them promoted to the Super League.

Helen Ford spoke to Workington's vice-chairman Mark Fryer and asked him how important it was that both local sides secured Championship status for next season:

Downing Street meets D&G Olympic competitors

The countdown to a major sporting event is nearly over.

This weekend sees the start of the Special Olympics European Games, an event for people with learning disabilities. Among the athletes taking part are a few from the Border region, representing Dumfries & Galloway.

Team GB departed for Antwerp in Belgium yesterday after being treated to a reception at Downing Street. Our reporter Lauren Hall went along too.

Who's next for the QOS hot seat?

Former St.Mirren manager, Danny Lennon, is joint favourite with Billy Dodds to be the next Queen of the South manager Credit: PA

With the shock departure of fan favourite Jim McIntyre, Doonhamers fans are eager to find out who his replacement will be.

Early speculation has put forward a number of potential candidates.

Scottish betting site McBookies.com has published odds on the next appointment. The joint favourites at 5/2 are former managers Billy Dodds and Danny Lennon. In third at 6/1 is Jimmy Calderwood and at 8/1 is former England captain Terry Butcher.

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