Travel Scheme funding for local athletes announced

Travel Scheme funding for local athletes announced
08 April 2019

Eight elite sportspeople from Orkney have been awarded a grant aimed at helping athletes meet travel costs associated with pursuing their sporting goals and ambitions.

Following an application process, the local sportspeople selected to receive the Islands Athlete Travel Scheme – supported by sportscotland and each of the three island councils in Scotland - are:

  • Tommy Ballantine, 15 - badminton.
  • Shannon Pasotti, 15 - rugby.
  • Ross Sinclair,16 - weight lifting.
  • Olga Hamilton, 40 - cycling.
  • Nairn Hall, 15 - football.
  • Glen Brough, 17 - rugby.
  • Andrew Torbet, 15 - squash.
  • Zara Flett, 15 – netball.

The Islands Athlete Travel Award Scheme offers support to athletes of up to £1,500 to help them meet travel costs associated with living in an island community.

This is the second year of a three-year pilot of the scheme aimed at supporting high-performing athletes from across Orkney, Shetland and Western Isles to attend a higher standard of training and competition. sportscotland provides each of the three local authorities with £10,000, with each council contributing £2,000 of their own funding plus management and administrative support to the scheme.

As part of the application process for 2019, athletes had to set out their personal ambitions, as well as demonstrate how the grant will be used to improve their performance, allow them to access training opportunities and take part in higher standard competitions. The aim is to provide islands-based athletes every opportunity to progress in their chosen sport.

Chair of Orkney Islands Council’s Education, Leisure and Housing Committee, Councillor Rob Crichton, said: “The aim of this scheme is to level the playing field for local athletes when it comes to the costs of participating in regional and national competitions and training opportunities from an island location.

“We’re grateful to sportscotland for their continued support of the scheme and on behalf of the Council, I wish this year’s athletes every success.”

Garry Reid, Lead Manager, sportscotland said: “We recognise that athletes from island communities have additional challenges when training, competing and progressing in their chosen sports. That’s why we continue to invest in the Island Athlete Travel Award Scheme, giving talented athletes from Orkney the support they need to reach their potential.

“We recognise the positive impact that sport can have on people and communities and the partnership with Orkney Islands Council and the Pickaquoy Trust ensures that we develop the pathways and resources that support people in Orkney on their sporting journey.”

The Island Athlete Travel Award scheme is just one of the programmes aimed at ensuring that Orcadian athletes have the opportunity to progress in sport.

sportscotland in partnership with the Pickaquoy Centre also provides a package of support through a performance development programme aimed at developing identified young athletes.

To find out more about the scheme contact Education, Leisure and Housing Services by calling 01856873535 or by email to

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535


Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS