Aus­tralia can­not weight for Fiona

Teen launches fund­ing bid to get to games

Paisley Daily Express - - Front Page - David Camp­bell

A teenage weightlifter’s dream of com­pet­ing at the Com­mon­wealth Cham­pi­onships were cru­elly dashed when her fund­ing was pulled – but she is still de­ter­mined to be on a flight down un­der.

Fiona Mackay’s joy at be­ing se­lected for the Gold Coast games in Septem­ber quickly turned to dis­ap­point­ment when she dis­cov­ered all fund­ing had been with­drawn.

But the 15- year- old says she won’t let that stop her from tak­ing part in the once- in- a- life­time com­pe­ti­tion and has launched an on­line fund­ing cam­paign to sup­port her ef­forts.

“I was so happy when my coach told me that the Scot­tish coach had in­vited me to take part.

“I’m re­ally pa­tri­otic, so to rep­re­sent my coun­try at the Com­mon­wealth Games is a huge deal, but then we were told that we would have to find the money our­selves,” she ex­plained.

The St An­drew’s High pupil has been weightlift­ing since she was 12, af­ter be­ing in­spired by weightlift­ing at the Com­mon­wealth Games in Glas­gow.

She added: “I had been box­ing be­fore, then I switched over to weightlift­ing. I heard some of the weightlifters at the games at Glas­gow talk­ing about how they started lift­ing when they were 12, and that made me think maybe I could do it.

“I started at a gym in Pais­ley and then moved to train with the Ka­vanagh Weight­ing Team in Glas­gow and I have just been get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter.”

So much so, that she has picked up sev­eral Scot­tish records for her age and weight, in­clud­ing a 77kg clean and jerk.

Now she has set her sights on the Gold Coast and a chance to mix with top in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

“I would love to go out there and com­pete with a chance to take on the best in the world,” she said.

“I haven’t been a part of the Scot­tish team be­fore so that’s another big thing for me.

“It is my dream that one day I will go to the Olympics and this is an im­por­tant step to­wards that.”

With the help of family and friends, Fiona says she is con­fi­dent she can get to the games.

She said: “I would re­ally like to thank my mum San­dra and es­pe­cially my dad An­thony who has given up so much of his time to get me to where I am. I’d also like to thank all my friends, my club and my family for sup­port­ing me through all of this. Ev­ery­one has been a great help.”

If you wish to sup­port Fiona’s dream then you can do­nate at : www. justgiv­ing. com/ crowd­fund­ing/fiona-mack­aygc17

Hope­ful Fiona will have to fund the trip to the Gold Coast games her­self

Strong Fiona MacKay hopes to get to Aus­tralia

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