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Medal winning para-canoeist Hope Gordon returns to Rogart Primary School and tells pupils 'anything is possible'


By Caroline McMorran

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Para-athlete Hope Gordon, a Rogart native, spared some time during a visit home to tell her inspirational story to Sutherland pupils.

The 26-year-old was taking a short break following her success in the World Canoe Championships in Denmark, where she won two silver medals in the KL3 200m Kayak and Va’a races.

Hope Gordon told Rogart Primary School pupils how she had battled adversity to become one of the UK’s top para-canoeists and said that for them too, anything was possible.
Hope Gordon told Rogart Primary School pupils how she had battled adversity to become one of the UK’s top para-canoeists and said that for them too, anything was possible.

Hope, a full-time athlete based at the British canoeing centre in Nottingham, visited Rogart Primary School and Golspie High School.

She told how the poorly understood condition Complex Pain Regional Syndrome eventually led to the amputation of her left leg.

“When my leg got bad I could not do a lot of the sports I did before but I could still swim so I focussed on that,” she said. “So in some ways it was my leg that got me into sports seriously.”

She swam for the Scottish team for some years before switching to canoeing.

Hope spent lockdown with her parents John and Rona Gordon at their home in Langwell, and did her best to keep up her fitness levels.

“I was out of the boat for 14 weeks but managed to get some weights from a friend and kept on training,” she said.

The selections for the Tokyo Olympics were held in April and Hope just lost out by seconds to her team mate Laura Sugar, taking reserve place.

She now has her sights set on the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, but is still savouring her success in Denmark where members of her team competed in nine events.

During the next few months she will be travelling and training extensively in Germany, Norway and Sweden.

She said that her aim in visiting her old school was to show that “anything is possible for Rogart primary school pupils”, and added: “I always felt very well supported by my community and am happy to give back in any way I can.”

Hope Gordon with the silver medals she won in Denmark.
Hope Gordon with the silver medals she won in Denmark.

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