Cairngorm Adventure Triathlon - the CAT
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Supporting Talented Young Athletes

In 2014, not only did we have another sunny, exciting and fun triathlon, we also managed to reduce our costs and raise a record amount to support promising young local athletes. Happily we also received plenty of top quality applications for the awards, an indication that our area has a lot more than its fair share of sporting talent and active, committed youngsters. The total awarded was £2800, split between the deserving athletes listed below. You will have seen some of these names in the media already - watch this page for photos and reports of how our supported athletes are getting on soon.

Applications for grant awards from the 2015 CAT will open at the same time as entries, Tues 5th May 2015, and must be submitted before the event on 12th September.

Rona Strivens – downhill biking
Dean Hargreaves – windsurfing
Mairi Blair – biathlon
Edward Fletcher – cycling
Lewis McWilliam – freestyle skiing
Josh Race – football
Sam Morrison – football
Sam Cairns – biathlon

 
DEAN HARGREAVES

The photo above shows Dean at the RYA Scotland Winter Championships, Sat 13 Dec, using his CAT-funded new sail for the first time. He is wearing the Yellow Jersey as the fastest elapsed time in all the races.


LEWIS MCWILLIAM

Lewis used his grant award to help fund his trip to a training camp in Les Arcs at the beginning of December 2014. Prior to that he took part in a National Park and Pipe Academy Team week long training camp at Hintertux at the end of October. This winter Lewis is earning money to fund his future training trips by working at the Cairngorm ski area as a "Liftie" and also as a member of the Park Team, with the added bonus of being given time to train on the Park during his working day.

Recently he took part in an invitational competition, The Dividing Line, at Drumochter where he was a member of the winning East of Scotland Team and was voted the joint Best Rider of the Day. Thanks to a chance meeting with Finlay Mickel, also a member of the East Team, he has been able to secure sponsorship from Atomic Skis. At the end of this month he and a fellow Park and Pipe Academy Team member are heading off to Mayrhofen for a six-week intensive training bloc.


SAM MORRISON (in the white top)

During the autumn I was promoted to the Ross County development squad and enjoyed game time against Hamilton, Dundee, Partick Thistle and Kilmarnock.

I unfortunately  received a foot injury playing for our under 17s squad in November, so now the pressure is on for the rest of the season to secure a contract for next year.

I am sincerely grateful for your award off £150 and have used the money to purchase football boots and to pay for physiotherapy sessions.


JOSH RACE (playing in France)

I was surprised to be successful after applying for funding from the CAT. Truly grateful to have received a cheque whereby I was able to purchase training clothing and equipment for the season ahead which takes the team all over Scotland.  For all young athletes/sportsmen I would recommend applying.  You’ve got to be in it to win it!!!


SAM CAIRNS

Well, what a season it has been - it is almost over! 6 months of training, racing and achievements have been a brilliant experience, my level in the sport is going up quickly and I will keep working hard to get to the next level as soon as possible.

I have been at Biathlon races in Hochfilzen, Austria where I was 4th overall in the senior category, still at the age of 19 and also trained here in Scotland and mainly Aviemore on some brilliant cross country tracks, something I was not expecting to be able to do!

I have also completed my other goals of competing for Great Britain at the Junior World Championships for Biathlon and Cross Country Skiing, the first time a British athlete as ever done this.

First up, it was Almaty, Kazakhstan where I had one of the best weeks of my life, the tracks were perfect and the races went OK, having been ill during the past months it has been hard to find good form in these championships which has halted my progress somewhat.

The next competition was the Junior World Championships for Biathlon which were held in Minsk, Belarus. These boasted by far the best facilities I have ever seen at the stadium, although they were very strict with our rifles which meant we could not do dry firing shooting drills, which effected my shooting during the races. I skied very fast however, in fact the organisers were confused when the GBR athlete who had missed (too many) targets had actually skied fast so decided to carry out an anti-doping test on me, which I found quite funny but was happy to do!

Both championships had lots of positives but also the results were negatives, my form has not picked up enough from being ill, but it was still a great experience and like I said these were my targets to compete at both competitions at the start of the season.

I am going to be training here in Aviemore for the next month before I complete my final set of races in Finland, these are big races for me and I am sure I will do well.

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me this season, and especially thanks to everyone who has sponsored me this season without whom I would not have been able to compete at this level.

You will never realise how much I appreciate it, my dream of the 2018 Winter Olympics is still alive and kicking!


To read about previous talented young athletes supported by CAT click on the names below:

 
Downhill Mountain Bike Racer, Elena Melton and Cyclist, Megan Riach
supported by CAT 2013
 
Downhill Bike Racer John Aisthorpe, Biathlete Robert Sircus
and Climber Scott Grosdanoff
supported by CAT 2012
 
Snowboarders Jamie Trinder and Andrew Forwood
supported by CAT 2011
 
Biathletes Calum Irvine and Scott Dixon and mountain biker Finlay Strivens supported by CAT 2010
 
Cyclist Charles Fletcher
supported by CAT 2009
 
Triathlete John Rutledge and sailor Chloe Robinson
supported by CAT 2008
 
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