Cairngorm Adventure Triathlon - the CAT
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Supporting Talented Young Athletes

Following the 2017 CAT we were pleased to be able to offer funding to four young local sports fanatics – windsurfer Islay Watson, biker Jamie Edmondson, orienteer Katrina McGougan and netballer Wizzy Mills. Read their latest training and competition news and see the action photos below.

Once again this year we would be delighted to receive applications from young aspiring athletes from within the Cairngorms National Park.

Applications for grant awards from the 2018 CAT will open at the same time as entries, Wed 2nd May 2018, and must be submitted before this year’s event, ie by 5pm on Friday 14th September 2018.

Jake Bell

Jake Bell

Due to the lack of snow for XC Skiing on, I’ve spent much of the last 5 months training in the gym, running, cycling and roller skiing for my place at the IBU Future Stars Seminar in Sweden. 

The Future Stars Seminar is an event which gathers the best upcoming biathletes from each competing nation in the world. Training sessions, seminars focusing on nutrition, the wider aspects of preparing for competitions and talks from previous world champions were all involved during the week. Including a 6.3K competition on the local World Championship venue. 

Without the grant from the CAT, I wouldn’t have been able to attend this event, which has been one of the highlights of my life, and shown me how to become a Future Star. 

Since, the British team had arrived a day early, we had time for a ski in the local forests, on what was the best snow I’ve ever skied on before. That alone was proof of why people make skiing their life in Scandinavia.

The following day, after everyone had introduced themselves to each other, we had workshops on correct rifle maintenance, the importance of ski waxing and other crucial parts of biathlon. These workshops included a chance to set up a rifle for our competition later that evening. At 17:15 on the second full day of the event, I was greeted with temperatures well below freezing (-15°C) and snow unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in Scotland. The race was an experience unlike any other; TV cameras everywhere, trying to look into the depths your soul and steep hills that didn’t appear to end. My shooting was let down by fogging of my sunglasses, however, it was a learning experience for more competitions to come, and taught me that no matter how hard you train, someone trains harder. 

The rest of the trip included visiting Moose, learning about sport psychology and nutrition, and making new friends from around the world. On the last night, I was pleasantly surprised to be told that I was one of three, out of everyone who came to the Future Stars Seminar, to have dinner with the Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven. That will be one of the most memorable dinners I’ve ever had!

Without the grant awarded to me by the CAT, I would never have been able to attend this event, which has fueled my desire to train harder and smarter, in order to be a Future Star.

Islay Watson

Isla WatsonIn my application for the grant I said what my hopes were for this year and I very happy to be able to tell you that I have achieved my goals so far.

I went to the Techno plus European championships and was 3rd European girl (my best international result so far) also top GBR girl which means I have been selected for the youth Olympics in Buenos Aires in October. I then came home and was straight into youth national championships, I was second girl, (my sister Erin was 1st) but I was first under 19 girl which means I was selected for the Youth sailing worlds in Corpus Christie Texas in July. In both these events I will be the only female windsurfer from GB.  I am so happy to have been able to secure these two places. I could not have achieved this without funding so I would like to thank everyone involved for the CAT grant.

I now have a busy summer ahead of me which I am really looking forward to.

Islay Watson

Jamie Edmondson

This winter off season I have been training with my coach Chris Kilmurray in the gym and on my bike, I have also taken part in two training camps in Wales since September making the most of the lack of snow down south.

So far in the 2018 season I have competed in one pre-season race in February in Portugal, finishing 3rd in a large field of top European junior riders. I am hoping to continue this momentum through into my coming races, firstly racing a national race in south wales before starting the world cup series in Croatia in April. This year I am going to be racing the full World Cup Downhill Series as well as select national and European races.

Jamie Edmondson

Katrina McGougan

Katrina McGouganThe money which I got from the CAT grant came in very useful for a number of things, including a training camp at Hawkshead in the Lake District, Scottish Junior Orienteering Squad fees and kit, a SI Air Timing Dibber and a pair of Inov8’s with metal dobs.

Recent Activities:
  • Participating in the Northern Night Cup (NNC) series, and also co-planning with another Junior in the club.
  • As well as being Junior Rep, I’m now in charge of Publicity and Communications for BASOC.
  • I was invited to a weekend in the Lake District, known as the JROS Hawkshead Weekend, which is a training weekend for 15/16 year olds from around Britain, where we stayed and trained together.
  • I’ve been to 2 SEDS training weekends (Scottish Elite Development Squad) at Moray and Speyside as well as 2 ScotJOS weekends in Oban and Stirling. I’ve also recently done 2 local events in February at Loch Vaa and Darnaway.
  • The main selection races for the 2019 squad and national races in April/May time.

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

Aviemore Paralympian David Andrew Smith MBE
Windsurfer Erin Watson, Rugby Player Jake Mills, and Mountain Biker Donald Rogers
supported by CAT 2015
Downhill Biker Rona Striven, Windsurfer Dean Hargreaves, Biathlete Mairi Blair, Cyclist Edward Fletcher, Freestyle Skier Lewis McWilliam, Footballers Josh Race and Sam Morrison and Biathlete Sam Cairns
supported by CAT 2014
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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