Young surfer set to compete at championships in Rio de Janeiro

SCOTLAND’S young surfing star Olivia McKay will compete at championships in Rio de Janeiro this month with support from two local businesses.

Olivia, 16, is currently the girls under 18 Scottish National Champion, winning her title at Brim Ness earlier this year despite only starting surfing in 2020.

Directors of GMG Energy and Melvich Bay Caravan Park have contributed to the travel costs as her team heads to the ISA World Junior surfing championships in Brazil.

Living and training in Portskerra in the north of Scotland, Olivia is a member of the North Shore Surf Club.

Olivia McKay surfing
Olivia McKay surfing

She said: “It is a privilege and an amazing opportunity to be competing at such a high level of competition for Scotland.

“I am super excited to surf in a different climate, especially with my teammates.

“I am very grateful to Angus Forbes at Melvich Bay Caravan Park and Malcolm Morrison at GMG Energy for their kind donations and support for our team’s trip.” 

Mr Forbes’s company only recently opened the doors of its 24-pitch site for camper vans, motorhomes, and other visitors on the hugely popular North Coast 500 route.

He said: “Olivia is a talented young athlete who has honed her surfing skills here in the north of Scotland.

“I believe we in the business community should always be prepared to back local talent and ambition.”

Malcolm Morrison, Director of GMG Energy said: “We have world-class surfing conditions locally in Thurso and this is an important regional asset which already attracts suffers from all over the world, so it’s important that our youngsters get the support they deserve.

“We wish Olivia and her team mates great sport and a life-changing opportunity to compete against the best in the world.”

The competition runs from 24 November to 3 December 2023, with nine competitors from different regions of Scotland between the ages of 12 and 18 taking part.

The crowdfunder has successfully reached its target of £5,000 thanks to the support from friends, family and businesses including GMG Energy and Melvich Bay Caravan Park.

GMG Energy, a timber products specialist, is committed to planting 10,000 new trees a year, which grow to maturity in 35 years.