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Friday, February 23, 2024

Loganair Flies to The Rescue of Young Orkney Athletes

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Two young Orkney athletes are representing Scotland in an international schools tournament after Loganair flew to the rescue with travel support.

Max Linklater, 16, and Lucy Kenyon, 15, will be among the first young athletes from the island to compete in the Schools International Athletic Board (SIAB) Track and Field International Championships since 2012.

They will compete alongside another local teenager, Jamie Sutherland.

The teenagers, who are members of the Orkney and Athletic Running Club and have been training since they were just nine years old, were advised in February that the Scottish schools selection team was following their progress with a view to taking part in the competition.

The pair attended a training camp for the 2023 SIAB event in March but didn’t qualify until after they had taken part in the Scottish Schools Outdoor Championship – by which time they had been selected for the 2023 International Islands Games taking place in Guernsey 8-14 July.

Max and Lucy were due to travel back to Orkney on Saturday 15 July at the end of the games, but after qualifying for the SIAB meet were required to be in Edinburgh on Friday 14 July.

The SIAB Track and Field International Championships are being held in Grangemouth today (Saturday 15 July).

When Loganair heard about their travel quandary, the airline stepped in to secure and fund earlier flights.

Max, who will be competing in the under-17 high jump, said:

“It’s always been my aim to get a Scottish vest.

“This was my main target for this year, and I was so pleased when I got the selection letter.

“It didn’t really sink in at first, but now I am excited to get there – it makes all the training and competitions up until now worth it.

“It is the highest standard that I will have competed at in my own age group.

“I will have competed against senior men at the Island Games the week before, so that will be good preparation. 

“I am used to competing against the same group of boys that I have jumped against for years, so this will be very different.”

Lucy, who competes in javelin, added: 

“I’m nervous but excited, and hoping to be in the mix for a medal as there are a few of us throwing the same sort of distances.

“I’d like to get a personal best too.”

Inga Linklater, Max’s mum, added:

“It really is an honour for Orkney athletes to be called up for Scotland, and we are grateful to Loganair for helping to make it happen.”

Sam Talbot head of marketing and brand, Loganair, said:

“It is an absolute pleasure to help Max and Lucy compete at the top level and represent their country.

“They have trained for many years for this, and it is highly rewarding for us to support their ambitions.

“We wish them the very best of luck in both the Island games and schools competition and we are confident that everyone in Orkney, including all of our staff, will be rooting for them.”

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