An INSPIRATIONAL Kirkcaldy schoolgirl was left stunned after winning tickets to the Paralympics – because she hadn’t even entered the competition.
But it turned out that Ashley Duffy (17) had been put into the prize draw by Liz Anderson, Fife Council active schools co-ordinator as a reward for her dedication to coaching and volunteering.
And with the dust finally settled on the amazing summer of sport in London, the sixth year Balwearie High School pupil wants to thank the organisation responsible for giving her the chance to enjoy a “trip of a lifetime”.
She said: “I have so much respect for sportsmen and women, particularly those competing in the Paralympic Games. To think that I was part of London 2012 is just unbelievable and my experience was all thanks to Sportscotland.
“Please continue all the fantastic work you’re doing – it really is making a difference to young people in Scotland, and thank you again for a wonderful and unforgettable trip.”
Sportscotland, the national agency for sport, was awarded hundreds of tickets from LOCOG through the Ticketshare scheme – an initiative to allow up to 125,000 young people to attend the London Games.
Ashley was nominated due to her involvement in volunteering, dance coaching, and netball coaching with Active Schools and Community Use Schools.
Ashley continued: “I have never considered what I do to be anything special. I simply enjoy trying to make a difference to sport in my local area by helping out as much as I can, and having loads of fun while I do it.”
Ashley set off for her first ever trip to London, along with best friend Emily Sheerins, on September 6 when they went straight to the Olympic Park to watch some wheelchair tennis, wheelchair rugby and goalball.
Later that evening, Johnnie Peacock stormed to victory in the T44 100 metre final – a moment which Ashley says she will never forget.
The next day was spent taking in the London tourist attractions, before returning home.