Bathgate girl, 11, aims to represent UK at Olympic Games in climbing
A NIMBLE schoolgirl has told of her lofty ambitions – to represent Great Britain in the Olympics at climbing.
Kasha Ogilvie, from Bathgate, has already ascended to a UK-wide title at the tender age of 11.
And the agile youngster wants to grab hold of greater glory still while encouraging others to take up the sport she loves.
“I like it when I get up the wall because it gives me a sense of achievement and makes me want to carry on,” said Kasha.
“You’ve got to figure it out first, how to get up, so there’s a mental side to it, then there’s the physical bit of climbing.”
With climbing making its debut at next summer’s Olympics in Tokyo, Kasha hopes the sky’s the limit for her and the sport.
“To make the Olympics would be amazing,” said Kasha. “I’ll be aiming for France in 2024 because it’s pretty close and my family can come to watch.”
Having taken up the sport four years ago at just seven years-old, Kasha has already tasted success.
She came out on top at a competition in Sheffield last month which attracted young climbers from all over the UK – with the autumn national championships next up.
“I won a trophy and took it into school and all my friends thought it was so cool,” said St Mary’s pupil, Kasha.
And she gets plenty of encouragement at home too from twin four-year-old sisters Aliyah and Jayda as well as big brother Tyler, 15.
“They support me all the time,” beamed Kasha. “Whenever I get home they ask me how I did.”
When not scaling the walls at Eden Rock in Straiton three days a week in sessions of up to four hours, Kasha can be found on her pull-up bar at home or doing grueling core exercises.
“I’m just astounded by her work ethic,” said proud dad Ian, 47. “It’s made me try and motivate myself – she’s got a better six-pack than me!”
Kasha flirted with gymnastics and athletics before finally settling on climbing – much to her dad’s amazement.
“She certainly doesn’t get it from me – I’m scared of heights.,” said Ian. “She keeps trying to get me on the wall so maybe I need to conquer my fears.”
Both Ian and Kasha’s coaches at Eden Rock hope coverage of next year’s Olympics will help inspire others to chalk-up and head for the wall.
“With climbing, you’ll get five or six people who have absolutely no connection to each other all sat around chatting about ways up the wall,” said Ian.
“For me, it’s a much more social activity – it’s a nice environment and hopefully people will be curious about it with a bit more publicity.”