Sand "gift” to aid young lifesaver's recovery

A fundraiser will be held for Nikyah
A fundraiser will be held for Nikyah "Kitty” O'Connor. Contributed

A RUNNING track the shape of the spine of a young girl afflicted with severe scoliosis will be the course used next month to determine the Sunshine Coast's fastest runners on sand.

Sporting bodies across the region have been asked to nominated their finest in the S Gift for Kitty to be run on August 14 on the beach in front of Mudjimba Surf Life Saving Club.

The event is a fund raiser for one of the club's star junior athletes Nikyah "Kitty” O'Connor of Pacific Paradise who has been a member of its Queensland titles silver medal Under 11 and 12 relay teams for the past two years.

Race organiser Todd McSwan, the Mudjimba club's junior coach and himself a top beach sprinter, said the event would be styled on the Stawell Gift professional sprint in Victoria with electronic starting gates.

Each competitor will run three times before handicaps are set for the final in men's and women's divisions for juniors, open (over 14), masters (40+) and veterans (60+).

There are 200 places available with 25% of the $20 a head entry money to be distributed as prizes.

Notification of the event has been sent out this week to all sporting clubs to determine the Coast's fastest on sand over a sand course that features three directional changes and will require power, speed, agility and mobility on the soft Mudjimba sand.

The day which starts at 10am just ahead of the low tide will also feature one and two kilometre races.

Todd is hopeful clubs across all sporting disciplines will rise to the challenge to create an exciting event that also helps the struggling family of six children as it battles with the cost of Nikyah's recovery.

The regular top-ten finisher in the beach flags at state level faces a difficult future wearing a fixed brace 23 hours a day for at least the next three years as doctors attempt to re-align her 45 degrees right and 48 degrees left spinal deviation.

The brace, which cost the family $4000, is already causing blisters.

There will also be regular chiropractic and physio sessions involved in her recovery.

Todd said if the treatment is not successful Nikyah would then face surgery to have steel rods implanted along her spinal column.

The Mudjimba club has previously rallied around another of its star young competitors Bella Harry who faces an ongoing battle with cancer.

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Topics:  charity prizemoney stawell gift

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