World record cyclist Christina Mackenzie has said competing for the Western Isles at the Island Games in Guernsey has given her a target for recovery, after a catastrophic road accident late last year.
Christina, from Stornoway and now living in Stirling, holds both the women's solo Land’s End to John O’ Groats cycling world record and the record for completing the North Coast 500, which she set in May last year.
But in September her world was turned upside down when she was seriously injured in a hit-and-run road incident, while out training on her bike near Stirling.
The accident left her with injuries including fractures to her pelvis, unable to walk let alone to contemplate getting back on a bike.
Thousands have offered support as they followed Christina’s rehabilitation process, through physiotherapy exercises and indoor training, to a new high point on Saturday (28 January) when she tweeted ‘the return of the Mack’ after her first time on a bike outside her home.
Christina told BBC Radio Scotland yesterday that setting her sights on July’s NatWest Island Games in Guernsey, both as a team manager and as a competitor, had formed part of her rehab.
She plans to compete in the cycling time trials and road races at St Pierre du Bois, and in the road criterium races, set to cover a seafront route in the Guernsey capital of St Peter Port.
Meanwhile in the Guernsey 2023 football competition, both the men’s and women’s Western Isles team found out yesterday (Monday 30 January) who they will be playing in their qualifying rounds.
Both teams have been drawn in a group which includes the host team, Guernsey, who are seeded in the tournament.
In group one of the qualifying round, Western Isles men are also to play against Finnish island team Åland and the Isle of Wight, both former hosts to the games. Western Isles women face both Guernsey and the north Wales side Ynys Mon.
The NatWest Island Games XIX take place in Guernsey over one week between 8 and 14 July, with Western Isles athletes set to compete in football, shooting, archery, swimming, athletics, cycling, triathlon, golf, badminton and indoor bowling.
- WIIGA athletics squad are holding a fundraising soup and pudding lunch this Saturday, 4 February, between 12 and 2pm at the M A Macleod Memorial Hall in Stornoway.
Pictures show Christina Mackenzie back on her bike (Christina Mackenzie) and the qualifying round draw for the men’s and women’s island games football teams (WIIGA).