A Lanarkshire Highland Games competitor is preparing to head to the World Championships next month.
Paul Dearie will participate in the World Masters Championships, which will be held this year in New Brunswick, Canada.
Last year Paul, originally from Shotts but now living in Carluke, was heartbroken when he was unable to attend the event in Austin, Texas due to a travel ban for arrivals in the UK, but is expected to board a plane for Canada next month. .
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He said: “It’s a bit of a relief, I keep thinking another variant is going to come along and destroy my chances, but so far so good.
“The preparations have gone well. I had my first Games last weekend so I feel good.
“It will be tough because there will be Americans and Canadians who don’t normally compete here, so it will be interesting to see how I compete at the world level.
“I’m lucky to have a gym in my garage, which allows me to lift without any problem, especially since it can be difficult to balance work and family time.
“I also have a few guys in the area who are throwing so if you’re arranging a time to hang out you don’t want to let them down.”
Paul’s trip to Canada was facilitated by a generous donation from the Shotts Highland Games Committee.
Games chairman Robert Williams was on hand to present Paul with an undisclosed sum.
Paul added: “It was a very classy gesture on the part of the committee and I was honored to accept it.”
Robert Williams said: “The members of the Highland Games Committee are delighted to sponsor Paul on this prestigious trip.
“It was a difficult decision to cancel the annual Games due to issues finding a suitable venue and recruiting more assistants.
“It was decided to use our funds to support events that embraced traditional Scottish events, keeping Shotts history and heritage alive.
“We have supported a number of events over the past three years including the Strathclyde Highland Dance Championships held at Calderhead Secondary School and funding a heavyweight event day at Hannah Park.
“The Association has also helped young people to take bagpipe lessons.
“We are delighted to provide financial support for Paul to help him travel and enable him to attend the Masters Worlds Highland Games in Canada where he will represent Shotts and Scotland.
“I know he will make us proud at this competition with his sporting achievements and as an ambassador for the Highland Games.
“We wish him good luck.”
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