MSP hears of Olympian ambition

Brian Whittle MSP with Kayleigh Haggo
Brian Whittle MSP with Kayleigh Haggo

Brian Whittle, MSP for the South Scotland and former Olympian, has lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament recognising the work of Ayrshire Sportsability following a recent visit to their Festival of Sport event at the Ayrshire Athletics Arena in Kilmarnock.

During his visit, Brian had a chance to chat with various members of the Ayrshire Sportsability team. He also met 13-time world record breaker and Cream of Ayrshire Award Nominee Kayleigh Haggo and discussed her ambition to compete in the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Chair of Ayrshire Sportsability, Waiyin Hatton, emphasised the importance of promoting and providing sporting opportunities for people with disabilities.

Brian Whittle MSP is pictured with Kayleigh Haggo at the Ayrshire Sportsability Festival.

Mrs Hatton said: “This is not just about inclusion, but especially for youngsters, sports is about ensuring they have the essential ingredient to health and well-being, which in turn leads to development of self-confidence, self-esteem, performance in learning and success in life.”

Brian Whittle said: “It’s hard to overstate the importance of the work Ayrshire Sportsability are doing. Not only are they giving young people with a disability the chance to gain the same physical and mental health benefits of sport as everyone else, they’re introducing these young people to a new world full of opportunities. I have no doubt there’ll be some Paralympians in the future who’ll be thanking Ayrshire Sportsability for giving them their first taste of competitive sport.”

“It was great to meet Kayleigh Haggo and hear about her plan to make it to the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. As a former Olympian, I know how hard the road to the Olympics can be, but Kayleigh’s got her route planned out and I’ve every confidence in her. She’s one of the most determined young athletes I’ve ever met. I wish her every success at the Cream of Ayrshire Awards and I’m already looking forward to cheering her on in 2020.”

“I’ve always believed that we should never see a person in terms of what they can’t do, but what they can. The whole ethos of Ayrshire Sportsability is that there’s a sport for everyone and the results of that are plain to see in just how successful they have become. I look forward to working with them as they build on that success. “