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By Colin Smeeton
Yvonne Currie, who made history by becoming the first female competitor in the heavy events at Brodick Highland Games, has set her sights on another personal goal – winning a gold medal.
And the Lamlash strongwoman recently realised that her ambition is well within her capabilities when she took second place at the Ardrossan Highland Games in a strong field in her second competitive appearance.
But her introduction to the sport came about in a rather haphazard manner when only three hours before last year’s Brodick games, she was given an impromptu training session after saying: ‘I think I’ll give it a go.’
And ever since that day, having had a taste of the sport, she has been motivated to succeed. Competitive and feminine by nature, it may come as no surprise to many that she has decided to ‘make a go of it’ because she has always been uncowed in trying her hand at new activities, even those traditionally undertaken by men.
Although working in the medical industry Yvonne frequently joined her brothers in the house building trade and when heavy lifting was required, she ‘just got on with it’ and gained the admiration of her co-workers who realised that she could haul heavy loads up flights of stairs as effortlessly as they could.
In fact, her unusual strength has been recognised before, at the gym, when a male gym member in conversation described her as having ‘unnatural’ strength after watching her lifting weights.
To help her hone her skills and achieve her dreams, Yvonne has enlisted the help of Scott Clark, Arran’s now retired strongman who has won numerous international events and more gold medals at the Brodick games than he can remember.
Scott said: ‘Yvonne has the natural strength and ability to achieve her goal. Naturally co-ordinated, as most women are, she shows real promise and with another three of four phases of training she will be more than ready for the Brodick games in August.’
By phases, Scott means cycles of strength and skill building with periods of rest – all of which explains why the student and teacher can be seen either at the gym or on the field practising four days a week in all types of weather.
In addition to the Brodick games Yvonne intends on entering the Bute and Cumnock games in the heavy events section. Yvonne said: ‘It would be nice if there were more women in the sport to compete and train with. If there are any other women on Arran who are interested then do get it in touch. I would love it if there were more women to have a female category at the Brodick Highland Games but even if there is not, I am still happy to compete with the men.’
Yvonne’s biggest dream is to attend the Cowal Games, an invitation only event, that takes place in Dunoon, Argyll and which is attended by more than 23,000 people.
Heavy events champion Scott Clark goes through some techniques and tips with Yvonne Currie. 01_B25yvonne01
Yvonne Currie pictured competing at last year’s Brodick Highland Games. 01_B25yvonne02
Yvonne practices tossing the caber under the watchful eye of Scott Clark. 01_B25yvonne03
In full swing, Yvonne launches the hammer across the field. 01_B25yvonne04
Yvonne practises shot put with a weight far exceeding the standard weight for women’s competition. 01_B25yvonne05
Yvonne has her own group of supporters who joined her at the Ardrossan Games where she achieved second place. Photo: Mark Bunyan. No_B25