A Crieff teenager is hoping to be sport’s next big thing as he celebrates being chosen to represent Scotland in next year’s international canoeing contests.
Findlay McLean, who attends Strathallan School in Perthshire, is one of a handful of young paddlers selected for Scotland’s K1 Men’s Slalom team.
The 14-year-old said he was shocked to be chosen for the Scottish Canoe Association’s performance squad but said he is looking forward to working hard for the opportunities which may stem from the call-up.
Current coronavirus restrictions means the teenager will not be able to compete until 2021 at the earliest.
He said: “It’s quite surreal and it was a huge surprise. I’ve been canoeing for almost eight years so to get onto the SCA Performance Squad is a huge moment.
“With current restrictions it looks like we will be competing next year so I hope to get lots of training in this year to allow me to go onto bigger and better things in the sport I love.”
Findlay trains with local canoeing clubs Breadalbane and Strathallan and has worked to get to the top of his game for almost a decade.
It’s a testament to his hard work that he has demonstrated a clear focus on canoeing despite the upheaval 2020 has brought with it.”
Jim Thompson, Strathallan director of sport.
He will be joined on the squad by former Strathallan pupils and canoeing scholars Fraser Glasgow, Natasha Pottinger and William Fotheringham.
Jim Thompson, Director of Sport at the Perthshire school, said: “We are immensely proud of Findlay on his selection to the full slalom squad.
“It’s a testament to his hard work that he has demonstrated a clear focus on canoeing despite the upheaval 2020 has brought with it.
“We wish him, our former pupils and all other Scottish paddlers the very best in their training and racing endeavours for 2021.”
Announcing the performance squads for 2021/21, Jon Schofield, head of performance and pathways at Scottish Canoe Association said: “It is to everyone’s credit for continuing to pursue and progress in the sport you love through these times and to the credit of those coaches and family members who have continued to support athletes despite such upheaval.”