‘Scottish Para athletes all support each other’ – Maria

Saturday 20th June 2020

Maria with Jo Butterfield and Sammi Kinghorn in Rio in 2016

‘PE beep test sparked my love of athletics’ – Maria

Maria Lyle says team-mates boosted her mental health while competing on the international stage.

Lyle, a double world champion, was only 14 when she first raced at the IPC Europeans in Swansea six years ago.

She has been open about her battle with anxiety, and was back to her best at the World Championships in Dubai last year, winning T35 gold in both the 100m and 200m.

‘I would not say I was obsessive about it (being number one),’ Lyle said. ‘But it can be tough to deal with at times. Especially when I was so 0oung.

‘In Para athletics, with the re-classification system, you can be number one in the world one day and then all of a sudden you are number two or number three when another athlete is suddenly in your event.’

Lyle, who has cerebral palsy, is grateful for the support of her fellow Scottish Para athletes, including Libby Clegg, Sammi Kinghorn, Stef Reid and Jo Butterfield, who were all present when she made her racing debut as well as joining her in Dubai for the championships last year.

Also on the scene now are Derek Rae, Owen Miller, Gavin Drysdale, Kayleigh Haggo and Hannah Dines to give Scotland at least 10 world class Para athletes.

‘Fortunately there is a really good support system of Scots in the GB Para teams,’ added Maria.

‘We’ve been together a few years now and it is nice when someone can understand what you are saying. Some of them have known me since I was 14.’


Tags: Derek Rae, Gavin Drysdale, Hannah Dines, Jo Butterfield, Kayleigh Haggo, Libby Clegg, Maria Lyle, Owen Miller, Sammi Kinghorn, Stef Reid

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