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Young people

Para-canoeist and Rotarian Hope is going for gold

Para-canoeist and Rotarian Hope is going for gold

Rotarian Hope Gordon has just been announced as one of the top young people under 30 in Scotland because of her example to others, especially to the disabled.

She has strong Rotary connections, having been a member of the Golspie Interact Club in Sutherland in the Highlands. The youngster was also a regular participant in the Rotary-organised Polio Swim.

Hope was a swimmer of international standard, but unfortunately had her leg removed because of illness when she was at the height of her swim career.

Even so, she still swims today, teaching swimming with her mother Rona.

Hope was a swimmer of international standard, but unfortunately had her leg removed because of illness when she was at the height of her swim career.

However, three years ago, Hope changed her focus to para-canoeing and has finished fourth at the World Championships.

The East Sutherland Rotary Club was so blown away when she spoke to them recently about her journey that they have decided to sponsor the special paddles needed to compete at the highest level.

The club was delighted when both Hope and Rona applied to be Associate Members which they hope will bring a fresh, new image to Rotary going forward.

“She is also an excellent speaker and we look forward to hearing more about her competitive exploits,” said Sutherland Rotarian, Alistair Risk.Hope graduated at Napier University in Sports Science. It was while training at the Holme Pierrepont National Watersports Centre in Nottingham with the British Paracanoe squad that she was offered a full-time place on the UK team.

Three years ago, Hope changed her focus to para-canoeing and has finished fourth at the World Championships.

She then moved down south to the Midlands to focus on her kayaking.

Since then, Hope has got involved with ‘Finding Your Feet’, a Scottish charity for amputees and limb deficiencies. The youngster has raised money by completing a 62-mile tandem cycle, and a bungee jump off the Clydeside crane.

And she has supported many of the charity’s sessions, working to help amputees get back into sport, organising cycling, football and swimming sessions.

In 2019, Hope qualified for the European and World Cup para-canoeing events in Poland and made finals for both.

The club was delighted when both Hope and Rona applied to be Associate Members which they hope will bring a fresh, new image to Rotary going forward.”

She then went out to Tokyo for the test event for the 2020 Paralympics, which has since been postponed to hopefully later this year.

Alistair added: “Hope still continues to volunteer with Women in Sport and is an ambassador for Finding your Feet.

“She is on the Scottish Sport panel and often writes blogs for sporting groups.

“Having been home for lockdown, she is now back down south and back in her boat looking forward to whatever the next 18 months will bring.

“What a great Rotarian. East Sutherland is glad to have her and her mum as Associate Members.”