1st year Computer science student Ramsay Meiklem competed at the British Disabilities championships at the end of March, in a field of national talent he finished 3rd place on pommel and rings and earned an extremely commendable 5th place overall. Taking place in Liverpool’s Echo Arena the event drew a crowd of around 5000 and saw the disabilities competition hosted alongside the mainstream event.
18 year old Ramsay has been a member of the British Gymnastics Disabilities performance squad for the last 3 years and has been selected to represent team GB at the Special Olympics European Games in Antwerp in September as well as the Special Olympic World Games in Los Angeles in July 2015. Having trained at the City of Glasgow Gymnastics Club for the past decade his elevation to the national level is a reflection of his work and commitment throughout these years.
Though he has Autism and associated learning difficulties Ramsay manages to balance training intensely 4 times a week with his studies as an undergraduate. Further, he has recently qualified as a gymnastics coach and has begun to work with some younger squad members this year in order to pass on his expertise.
His coach is Angela Turner who trains Team GB’s disabilities gymnastics and is also a researcher at the history department at Strathclyde. She expressed her delight at the opportunities that have been afforded to Ramsay and wishes to see him compete internationally at the highest level; something she feels he has every chance to succeed in. If he can build on the strong showing at Liverpool then certainly he could challenge at these competitions.
He faces the task of raising around £3,000 over the next year in order to reach these competitions as he receives little financial support outside of a small grant from his club. However, if his fundraising activities are successful Ramsay will be able to realise his potential at both the European and World level over the next year.