Skip to content

Thirteen Orkney athletes awarded grants towards travel costs

Date: 02 April 2024

athlete travel award scheme

Thirteen athletes in Orkney have been selected for funding to enable them to keep on track with their chosen sports. 

The Athlete Travel Award Scheme - a sportscotland special grant – helps sportspeople in regional and rural Scotland access competitive and training opportunities. For the third time, Stagecoach has kindly agreed to invest further in this year’s scheme, helping to support even more Orkney athletes.  

The Athlete Travel Award Scheme, now in its seventh year, is a partnership between sportscotland and the participating local authorities in Scotland - Orkney Islands, Western Isles, Shetland Islands and Highland Councils. 

The scheme helps ‘elite pathway’ athletes – athletes with potential to reach elite levels of competition and performance - from Scotland’s regional areas, gain better access to competitive and training opportunities without having to relocate from their communities. 

First-time beneficiaries this year are Gemma Foulis (badminton) and Lucy Kenyon (athletics). 

Gemma said: “I am delighted to have been chosen to receive the Athlete Travel Award Scheme, it will help me with costs to travel to competitions and Scotland U18 National Squad Training where I continue to gain valuable knowledge from my coaches south. 

Lucy added: Receiving ATAS funding will be such a big help this year, especially with the Picky track being out of bounds until July. It will enable me to compete in more competitions south in the build up to the Island Games next year. 

Lucy’s mother, Nicola, said: It's great for Lucy to get the funding this year as it will really help with the considerable costs of travelling to attend high level competitions. 

The full list of athletes from Orkney, who will each receive up to £1500 towards costs of travel between now and March 2025, are: 

  • Andrew Reid – Badminton 
  • Angus Robertson – Olympic Weightlifting 
  • Eve Wood – Swimming 
  • Finlay Scott – Squash 
  • Gemma Foulis – Badminton 
  • Hope Henderson – Climbing 
  • Lucy Kenyon – Athletics 
  • Max Linklater – Athletics 
  • Ross Sinclair – Olympic Weightlifting 
  • Shannon Leslie – Badminton 
  • Tamsin Blowfield – Swimming 
  • Taylah Paterson – Athletics 
  • Zara Flett – Netball 


Sportscotland has allocated each of the participating local authorities £10,000 for their schemes, with the Councils then required to top this up with £2,000 of their own funding. 

Councillor Gwenda Shearer is Chair of Orkney Islands Council's Education, Leisure and Housing Committee. She said: "Never has it been a more exciting time to be part of Orkney’s sporting elite with the Island Games coming to Orkney in 2025! 

“This practical support is invaluable to assist them on their sporting journey and help put them on a level playing field with athletes around Scotland – vital so they have every chance to develop to their full potential.” 

Forbes Dunlop, Chief Executive, sportscotland, said: “Congratulations to all the athletes who have been selected for this latest round of ATAS funding. 

“At sportscotland we recognise the difficulties faced by island athletes in accessing the best possible training and competitionATAS is a key programme in helping to support athletes with those specific challenges. 

“We look forward to working with Orkney Islands Council to support more athletes.” 

David Beaton, Managing Director for Stagecoach North Scotland said: "Stagecoach Bus recognises the importance of supporting grassroots sports and nurturing talent within our local communitiesWe are delighted to partner with the Athlete Travel Award Scheme in OrkneySupporting local talent aligns with our values of community engagement, and it’s a privilege to be able to give back to the community and support these athletes on their journey." 

Amounts received by athletes are based on a number of criteria, including their forecasted competition and training schedule, understanding of the Sports Performance Pathway and National Rankings. 

The application process also requires athletes to evidence how the grant will improve their performance, provide them access to quality training opportunities and improve their sports or club environment. 

Information on ATAS can be found here: 

  • Summary:

    Thirteen athletes in Orkney have been selected for funding to enable them to keep on track with their chosen sports. 

  • Category:
    • Community
    • Leisure and Culture
Go Back

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY |  01856 873535 | Translate | Accessibility | Copyright | Privacy | Investors In People Logo