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Sport / Thirteen athletes secure travel funding

PARASPORT competitors have received funding through the local athlete travel award scheme for the first time.

A total of 13 Shetland athletes have secured funding from the scheme for 2021/22.

It is designed to support performance or development athletes from Shetland with their travel and accommodation costs for an agreed training and competition schedule.

The list of athletes supported this year includes a runner, one footballer, a triathlete and seven swimmers.

For the first time three parasport athletes are also included, from badminton, swimming and marathon running.

Parasport badminton player Ewan Bisset is now on the pathway with Badminton Scotland and will soon attend national squad training.

Meanwhile Sonia Poniecka attended the national swimming championships last month and is now working towards her parasport classification.

Runner Garry Munro achieved his T46 Para Marathon classification in 2020 and is now looking forward to the Seville Marathon in February.

The full list of successful athletes who have been awarded funds from the Shetland Athlete Travel Award Scheme is:

Ewan Bisset (para badminton), Garry Munro (para marathon), Sonia Poniecka (para swimming), Michelle Sandison (athletics), George Robesten (football), Finlay Geddes (swimming), Freya Masson (swimming), Joe Carter (swimming), Orla Henderson (swimming), Rhona Anderson (swimming), Tom Nicolson (swimming), Magnus Bullough (swimming) and Layla Todd (triathlon).

Shetland Islands Council’s sports development officer Jack Clubb said: “We are delighted to be able to support 13 high performing athletes with their travel for off-island training and competition.

“It is great to see para athletes being supported for the first time, showing that people with disabilities in Shetland have a pathway to participate in sport on and off island.”

Parasports are played by people with a disability, including physical and intellectual disabilities.

Some parasports are variations on existing able-bodied sports, while others have been specifically created for persons with a disability and do not have an able-bodied equivalent.

Meanwhile the travel award scheme will soon reopen for applications to the 2022/23 programme.

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