Meridian Salmon Group is to help a young Dunfermline sports star achieve her dream of becoming a big fish in the swimming world.
The company, which is building a state-of-the-art processing plant in Rosyth, has donated £200 to help with 15-year-old Rachael O’Donnell’s training costs.
The Inverkeithing High pupil, a Scottish Age Group champion and a multiple record holder, said: “I can’t express enough my gratitude for Meridian Salmon’s sponsorship.
“Each year year my family and I spend about £8000 on training and competition costs. Swimsuits cost approximately £350 each and then we have travel and accommodation costs.
“There’s no way I could concentrate on improving my abilities without some sort of financial assistance. I really appreciate the fact that such a large company took an interest in me, and am proud to be wearing their logo.”
The Dunfermline teen has been in scores of competitions and has set a number Scottish National Age group records from the age of 11. Two years ago she qualified to join Scottish Swimming’s Youth Gold Squad.
She won her first Senior Cap age 14, competing for Scotland at a Celtic Tri Nations Meet in 2011. As a member of Carnegie Swimming Club (Dunfermline) she competed in the Olympic trials in London in March 2012, whilst a bit disappointed with some of her swims, Rachael described this as a fantastic experience.
In April she travelled to another Olympic qualifying meet in Eindhoven, again as part of Scottish Squad.
Earlier this month, Rachael set a new Scottish record for 15 Year Old Girls in 100m breaststroke in the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh
Mark Warrington, Managing Director at Meridian Salmon, said: “Rachel shows real promise in the pool, and we at Meridian Salmon know a thing or two about the need for quality in the water,
“Meridian Salmon has always been dedicated to supporting the communities in which we’re located. We’re proud to be helping this worth community cause and we hope to see Rachael swimming in the Olympics some day.”
The company were made aware of Rachael through the Scottish Swimming’s ‘Back a Rising Star’ programme which enables individuals, community groups and companies to donate funds to support Scottish national programme athletes. For more information go to backarisingstar.com
Meridian Salmon Group is one of the top five salmon farming companies in Scotland, employing 350 people. It operates at 59 sea sites and eight freshwater sites across Scotland and Cumbria.
Its investment and planned expansion in production is particularly crucial in Shetland and Orkney, where hundreds of jobs and fragile rural, island economies are dependent on the salmon farming industry, which is now Scotland’s biggest food exporter and worth £220 million per year.