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21539-Kayleigh Haggo photo

Kayleigh Haggo

Athletics | Swimming

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Cerebral Palsy
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
RR2, F32

Further personal information

Family
Partner Kevin
Residence
Ayr, SCO
Occupation
Athlete, Coordinator, Public Speaker
Languages
English
Higher education
Coaching, Sport Studies - University of the West of Scotland: Scotland

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began RaceRunning at age 12.
Why this sport?
"There was a 'come and try' event to encourage us to look at new skills we could learn. I got on the race runner and I didn't want to get back off! I just love the freedom of it. It gives me so much confidence and independence. It is just great to have something I can do myself."
Club / Team
Red Star Athletics Club: Glasgow, SCO
Name of coach
John Owens [personal]
Training Regime
She has six training sessions a week.

General interest

Sporting philosophy / motto
"The best things in life happen unexpectedly." (Instagram profile, 05 Jan 2021)
Awards and honours
In 2020 she won the Inspiration in Sport award at the Scottish Women in Sport Awards. (scottishathletics.org.uk, 26 Nov 2020)

In 2017 she was named one of the 30 Under Age 30 Most Inspiring Women by YMCA Scotland. (Scottish Swimming YouTube channel, 16 Feb 2018; ywcascotland.org, 01 Nov 2017)

In 2017 she received the Rising Star Diversity Award from Scottish newspaper The Herald. (ywcascotland.org, 01 Nov 2017)

In 2016 she was named Young Citizen of the Year by Ayr Rotary Club, and Up and Coming Youngster by West FM in Scotland. (ywcascotland.org, 01 Nov 2017)

She was named the Ayrshire Sportsability Young Athlete of the Year for 2012, 2015 and 2016 in Scotland. (ywcascotland.org, 01 Nov 2017; ayrshire.ac.uk, 01 Jan 2016)

She took part in the Queen's Baton Relay ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. (onescotland.org, 14 Jun 2014)
Other sports
She has competed in Para swimming at national level and won four gold medals at the 2017 British Championships in Manchester, England. (scottishswimming.com, 29 Jan 2015, 31 Jan 2018)
Impairment
She was born with cerebral palsy. (onescotland.org, 14 Jun 2014)
Other information
COVID-19 IMPACT
During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the company she had placed an order with for specialist training equipment stopped making deliveries. However, local residents in Maybole, Scotland, came to her aid. "I had asked on Facebook if anyone could help me find some equipment and soon after I had a full home gym with everything I was looking for and more. It was amazing. It meant I can carry on with my gym work from my house. I was totally overwhelmed by the community, which came together for me, so when I next win a medal, I will dedicate it to them." (paralympic.org, 28 Jul 2020)

OCCUPATION
She works as a project coordinator at Inspire South Ayrshire, a sport inclusion project for people with impairments, in Girvan, Scotland. She also makes regular visits to schools to give talks and support teachers in how to involve impaired children in physical education lessons. "The kids seem to enjoy it. They always ask lots of interesting questions. And I work with PE teachers to help them include someone who has got a disability so they can feel a part of the session. A big part of it is just to raise awareness of what it's like with a disability and how to make people's lives a little bit easier. I'm really busy with my own training and racing but most of my time is spent developing sport programmes for others. After school I also run community clubs for children with disabilities. People always ask how I fit it all in but it's definitely worth it. I don't receive any funding from sporting bodies so I need to work to allow me to compete. But it helps when you do a job that you love." (Facebook profile, 05 Jan 2021; heraldscotland.com, 12 Sep 2020)

CHOOSING RACERUNNING
She began RaceRunning at age 12, but took four years away from the sport soon afterwards to focus on swimming. She returned to RaceRunning to compete at the 2018 European Championships in Berlin, Germany, where she won a silver medal. "It's great being back. I'm proud to have the opportunity to represent my country in this sport, it really is a dream come true." (ayradvertiser.com, 29 Aug 2018; agcc.co.uk, 21 Aug 2018)