A WEST FIFE athletics coach has said that there's a sport for everyone to enjoy after embarking on an epic fundraising challenge.

Nicola Moriarty, who is a Jog Scotland leader and coach at Pitreavie AAC, took part in a total of 19 sports throughout the first part of the year to help purchase adaptive ski equipment for Firpark Ski Centre in Tillicoultry.

Having set an initial target of £1,000, her efforts, which included competing in an open-graded athletics run, jump and throw meet alongside her daughter and youngsters she coaches; experience wheelchair basketball and walking netball; take part in rugby and wrestling sessions; and cycle a distance of 100 miles, Nicola, who works as Clackmannanshire Council's Active Schools inclusion officer, has raised around £1,500.

Through Forth Valley Disability Sport, Nicola, who lives in Rosyth, hopes to raise a total of £12,000, utilising funding applications, to help purchase two bi-skis and inserts.

Speaking about her #19sports4birmingham challenge, which started in late January and ended on the first day of competition at the Commonwealth Games in July, and saw her link up with clubs in Fife, Clackmannanshire and even further afield, Nicola explained: "In my previous job, I always did annual fundraising but it was always something like a sponsored cycle or a mini triathlon, just your sort of typical stuff.

"I started with Clackmannanshire Council and did a complete career change, having been in engineering for 30 years. I ended up with Active Schools as the officer for inclusion.

"Through my role there, we were looking to get funding for adaptive ski equipment. I know, through doing funding applications, it boosts your chances if you've got some money in the bank. I always do an annual challenge or some sort of sponsorship for usually a small, local charity, so this just seemed really fitting to tie it in with my work.

"Work were looking at how they could do something, and someone had mentioned 19 sports, but not obviously to the level I was planning it. Then, just myself, I decided I would target all 19 sports and, along the way, because it was my 50th birthday the month before the Commonwealth Games, that I would push myself with some of them."

Among the other sports Nicola tried were a first sprint triathlon, boxing, beach volleyball, lawn bowls, hockey, judo, table tennis, weightlifting and gymnastics, in which she also gained a level one coaching qualification, which involved practical work, online modules, and the completion of a large logbook.

Her cycle took place between two roundabouts, around 0.8 miles apart, close to Rosyth Dockyard, and she continued: "I wanted to do that (cycle 100 miles) the year of COVID but I wasn't well so that's been on the back burner for me. I've never done 100 miles before.

"When I said I was going to do that (complete the distance between the two roundabouts), I think friends and family thought she's totally lost it now, why would you want to do that?!

"You know what, I quite like going back and forward, I don't have to worry about carrying fuel and how I'm going to fuel. I can leave stuff in the car, we're only up the road if I need a break, and also friends and family can come and join me for a little bit.

"I thought that way people could come and join for an hour or a couple of hours. I'm involved with a lot of runners so doing it down there meant lots of people came down and ran and shouted support for an hour or two.

"I had people who did 10 miles down there, I had people come from parkrun and then come down and went for a walk with their family, and I had one friend who the did the whole 100 miles.

"One of my sons came, my partner came – it was one of the best things I've ever done."

Nicola added: "I managed to take something away from every one (of the sports) that I did. I think it was just seeing that there really is something out there for everyone; that's what I've taken out of it. It doesn't matter your age, gender, ability, disability or fitness level.

"When people say, 'I'm not sporty', or 'I don't like sport', you've just not found the right one.

"I went to walking netball where I was the youngest there by about 10-15 years. There was women in their 80s, and seeing them when they were doing drills – it was the cognitive as well as the physical aspect. Then, after, they've got a room booked where they have soup, a cuppa and a blether. It was really inspiring.

"It's been really good. I don't think I can top this challenge quite as easily – I'm not sure if I would want to!

"It was something different but it's quite cool to be able to say you've done something I think so unique. I don't know anyone else who's done anything like this.

"My target was £1,000 but I think, with gift aid, it's about £1,500. I was really really chuffed because obviously everyone's feeling the pinch a wee bit just now, so everyone was really generous."

You can add to Nicola's total by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nicmoriarty.