A PROMISING downhill mountain biker is now competing in national championships with the help of funding from Quality Meat Scotland’s ‘Go for it Scotland!’ bursary.
Rona Strivens (14) was awarded a QMS ‘Go for it Scotland!’ bursary which enabled her to purchase essential safety equipment including a neck brace, full face helmet and padded trousers, all needed for her to avoid injury and compete at a higher level.
As one of the few girls competing in this extreme sport, Rona won the Scottish Junior Downhill competition in 2011 and has recently competed in her first major competition, the Scottish Championships held at Fort William. There she came eighth, competing against adults as well as juniors.
She is also hoping to compete in the Scottish and British series in 2013 with her recently-purchased new competition bike, and is a keen member of ‘Diva Descent’ which is holding an all-girls event later in the year.
“Now with the correct safety gear, I can compete in national competitions with challenging and rocky descents,” said Rona. “Without the help of the QMS bursary, I would be in danger of severe injury and would not be able to ride at speed.”
The ‘Go for It Scotland!’ bursary was launched earlier this year by QMS, working with sportscotland, the national agency for sport. Individuals, groups and clubs were invited to apply for the twenty £500 bursaries which will now be awarded annually in the run up to Glasgow 2014.
Jennifer Robertson, QMS health and education co-ordinator, explained that anyone could apply for the QMS ‘Go for it Scotland!’ bursary, provided they live and train in Scotland and their sport or healthy activity increases their heart rate.
“The bursary can be used to fund equipment, specialist clothing, travel, training, nutrition, coaching or to set up or develop a new or existing group or club.
“We could see from Rona’s application that she has huge potential to excel at downhill mountain biking and she made a great case for funding in her application form.”
When asked about her ambitions for the future, Rona said: “It would be great to encourage more girls into the sport and I would love to follow in my heroines’ footsteps, Rachel Atherton and Tracey Mosley.”
Further information on the Go for it Scotland! bursary and application forms will be available to view on www.qmscotland.co.uk from the end of October 2012.