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  • Writer's pictureLouise Kochalski

If you can see it you can be it.

(Written 8 February 2022)

You may have noticed from the Movement Evolution Scotland (MES) socials that we believe in celebrating local success. Highlighted at the moment with the Winter Olympics in Beijing. While some of these individuals are people that the MES coaching team know well, this isn't about claiming to have any part in their success but instead celebrating them as individuals and using their success to inspire local children and young people to understand what they to can achieve. We want to highlight that competing on the World Stage at one of the greatest sporting events in the world is possible if you are growing up in Inverurie, Banchory, Aberdeen or Huntly (or indeed anywhere in between). And that if that is possible then quite frankly a whole heap of other things are possible to. This blog aims to give a little insight into our beliefs and ethos and why we do what we do.

As an organisation we aim to promote freespirit sports to help individuals find new sports and activities they might not have tried before, perhaps finding something they fall in love with and want to do more of. These sports are often non traditional sports that children might not get to try in a school PE class (although we do want to change that too).

We also strongly believe in self determination, self confidence, a growth mindset, hard work and grit being key factors which contribute to success in anything. Indeed we give those factors far more weight than the "talent" label the mass media often use when describing sports people. I could write for hours on these factors but I will try and keep it concise and describe the connection between the factors above.

I believe by finding the one or more things that you love and having the understanding that if you work hard to master that thing or things, with both deliberate practice and deliberate play, then competence, and some success will come. But only if you have the self confidence and grit to overcome the obstacles along the way will you actually achieve mastery and world class success. Indeed possibly the hardest thing is finding the thing that you love so much that you are willing to work harder for it than anything else, despite the obstacles you will have to overcome along the way.

Kirsty pictured with some of our Miss Fits

On the topic of the Winter Olympics and hard work, I can't not mention the phenomenal exploits of Bucksburn Academy pupil, Kirsty Muir finishing 5th in the Olympic Freeski Big Air in the early hours of this morning. We have known Kirsty for a long time and whether she is on the slopes, in the gym or indeed with her school books she is incredibly hard working and always, always hungry for more. Kirsty we are absolutely buzzing for you - good luck in the Slopestyle qualifiers on the 13th!

The next competition featuring North East stars is the Women's Slalom in the early hours of Wednesday 9th February, with both Alex Tilley and Charlie Guest competing. While Britain's Number 1 slalom skier, Charlie is from Perth she is actually studying at the University of Aberdeen so she qualifies for a North East shout out!!

Alex pictured with some of our Sports Performers

Unlike Charlie, Alex is not a slalom specialist nor was she born into a skiing family however growing up in Torphins meant she wasn't far from Alford dry ski slope or the ski centres of The Lecht or Glenshee. The youngest of three, Alex has always shown determination whether that was trying to bounce a basketball age three or swinging a golf club at a similar age or generally trying to keep up with her older siblings and neighbours. A little later she could often be found playing with a skateboard in the driveway or keepy uppies with a football in the garden. The girl has always had grit! Fortunately, thanks to family friends (shout out to the Morrison's) they were invited on a ski holiday and with some lessons at Alford when Alex was 7 or 8 years old (she actually can't remember) she found her love.

By now some of you are probably wondering how I know all this. Well I was one of her next door neighbours, so I saw all this first hand. Alex eventually joined local ski club Gordon Skiers, the same club me and my brother were members of. The love of the sport grew from there as did the ski miles under her feet and her self confidence. This was just the beginning of her journey and I'm not sure she knew exactly where she was going, however I would say that within 7 miles of her home in Torphins, and all from the same club, she had three older ski racers that had made skiing in the Scottish Team seem like an achievable target, and two more that made skiing in the British Team seem plausible, one of which, Roger Cruickshank, competed at the Turin Olympics in 2006. I strongly believe that, "if you can see it you can be it", and those athletes made it feel possible to achieve selection to the British Team at least.

Fast forward to now and Alex had a fantastic start to the season finishing 13th in Giant Slalom in the opening World Cup race of the year unfortunately within a few weeks that was all undone by a training crash which saw her break her Fibula and require surgery. She has battled so hard and the grit she has always had is still there and against the odds she has made it back in time for the Olympics. Already finishing a credible 22nd in her favoured Giant Slalom on Monday, we're wishing both Alex and Charlie good luck in the Slalom in the early hours of the Wednesday the 9th.

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