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Challenger Programme

My Countdown to the Commonwealth Games

We caught up with double world champion, Scottish Sportsperson of the Year 2017 and Christopher Ward Challenger, Sammi Kinghorn, in the lead-up to her latest challenge – the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

You’re heading the commonwealth games this year – what’s been your journey leading up to this?
As I’m normally a sprinter, to prepare for the longer distances in Australia, I had to do the Chicago marathon in October to set a qualifying mark. After the World Championships, I also had some minor niggles, so marathon training wasn’t exactly as planned. Everything has gone really well, and I was happy with my time and placing – it ranks me 4th in the Commonwealth. My other event is the 1500m, which I raced for a couple of times in May, which I’m currently ranked 5th for in the Commonwealth.

How intensive has your training schedule been?
For most of the year I’m a full-time athlete like any other – I train twice a day, 6 days per week, mixing up gym work, track and rollers, and pushing on the road near Glasgow where I live. For this particular event, I’ve been focusing more on endurance and speed endurance, which has been a great learning curve and a real challenge.

What’s your goal in Australia?
I hope to make the 1500m final and just see what happens. As long as I do my best that’s all I can ask for. Fingers crossed!

Looking past the Commonwealth, what’s next for you?
I’d just like to achieve as many medals and world records as I can. Afterwards I want to be happy and be able to take any new opportunities as they arise. I really look up to people like Tatyana McFadden, who I’ve raced and trained with. She’s one of the best there has ever been, and is a genuine person who supports and helps others.

What do you feel generally the attitude towards disability in sports is?
It’s getting better and becoming more widely accepted as sport. I still struggle though when I am called “inspirational”, it is sport at the end of the day and I am chasing the same goals and dreams as those on the Olympic side!

How did you get started in wheelchair racing and what advice would you give to others?
I tried lots of sports at the Spinal Unit Games at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, whilst in the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow. I discovered wheelchair racing and that was me hooked. The biggest obstacle I found was raising the money for a racing chair. I’d recommend for everyone to give all sports a try and find one that you love.

We’ll be closely following Sammi’s progress all the way up to the Commonwealth Games in April. To find out more about Sammi, and the rest of Christopher Ward’s Challengers, visit the CW Challenger programme.

See you on the other side
As the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games draw near, Sammi provides one final update from Down Under, where she covers her preparations, training music – and koalas!

How to overcome challengers to achieve your goals
In the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games in Australia, we spoke to Sammi about her tips on how to overcome obstacles and achieve your goals. .

My countdown to the Commonweath Games
We caught up with double world champion, Scottish Sportsperson of the Year 2017 and Christopher Ward Challenger, Sammi Kinghorn, in the lead-up to her latest challenge – the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

From Sprints to Marathon in just over 2 months!
Working hard to transition from short sprints to full marathon distances, Sammi has been pushing through the pain barrier to confirm her spot on the plane to the Gold Coast Commonwealh Games. Here, she describes the trials and competition involved.

Countdown to a Marathon debut
Having won gold medals in both the 100m and 200m at the 2017 World Para-athletics Championships, it’s safe to assume Sammi’s preference is for sprint events. But with her favourite events unavailable at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Sammi is preparing to go long distance…

Golden Girl – CW Challenger and New World Record Holder, Sammi Kinghorn
Our Challenger Programme was devised to help talented individuals realise their potential, and we are always delighted when our Challengers do just that; even more so, when individuals like Sammi break world records in the process. Discover more about Sammi’s monumental efforts at London’s Olympic Stadium.

Life After Rio
Returning from the Paralympics creates its own set of challenges for Sammi. Not only is there the reality of re-acclimatisation (Scotland is a little chillier than Brazil, surprisingly!), but for somebody brought up on a Berwickshire farm, there’s another big event to contend with: lambing season!