For the past 40 years Rotary International has played a major role in supporting Disability Sport Fife (DSF) to develop sports opportunities for children, athletes and players with a physical, sensory or learning disability. Rotary clubs throughout Fife have financially supported Fife teams, funded individual sportsmen and women, enabled the purchase of adapted equipment or provided the necessary resources to host local events. DSF considers Rotary International a key partner and thanks to the efforts of Rotarians past and present, the organisation is as strong as it is today.
DSF and the Association of Fife Rotary clubs have signed up to a five year bursary programme. The bursary programme is designed to offer support to emerging performance sportsmen and women at a key stage of their development. Each year four Rotary bursaries of up to £250 are awarded to individuals or groups who have financial challenges. Since the programme was established twelve bursaries have been awarded to DSF members to assist them with their considerable expenses as committed sportsmen and women.
Representing the Association of Fife Rotary Clubs, Jim Slater (Dunfermline Carnegie), Derek Thomson (Burntisland) and Alan Farquarson (West Fife) met with the President of DSF at Pitreavie Athletics Centre to present the 2017 bursaries to the following:
Brad Stewart from Ladybank who was selected for Team GB for the first time for the Para archery world ranking tournament and European Cup in the Czech Republic. Brad was 6th in the individual event and won silver in team.
Michael Drever from Leven who is the only Scot in the Team GB Para trap team that will travel to Lonato in Italy in September for the a World Cup competition in September. This is the first time Mike has been selected for Team GB.
Skye and Finlay Davidson from Inverkething who were part of the British team that travelled to Canada for the 2017 World Dwarf Games and achieved considerable success across a range of sports.
Owen Miller from Dunfermline and Fife AC who is the leading Scottish athlete with a learning disability and who excels in international sport specifically over 1500m and 800m. Owen is the Scottish record holder and a medallist at successive INAS International Championships.
The four Rotary bursaries made a considerable difference to the five recipients this year in their efforts to address a shortfall in funding for their events programme. Only when athletes achieve at the highest level will UK funding come their way. DSF considers the Rotary bursary programme critical for emerging performers with talent.
Richard Brickley MBE – President Disability Sport Fife