CUMNOCK’S Lochlan Murdoch had the experience of a lifetime after he emerged victorious from a national competition celebrating lockdown champions.

Lochlan, 12, received a private diving session with Olympic diver Tom Daley.

The competition organised by Haven and Team GB encouraged members of the public to nominate someone they believed had demonstrated incredible mental strength or helped others improve theirs throughout the height of the lockdown during the pandemic. Amongst hundreds of entries, 12-year-old Lochlan emerged a winner.

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Living with Type 1 diabetes, Cumnock’s Young Citizen of the Year has overcome huge health issues which has considerably slowed down his football training, a sport he loves.

Battling with his own mental health during the lockdown, Lochlan remained positive and productive, launching his own charity, Lochlan’s Legacy, set up to raise awareness and an understanding of Type 1 diabetes in all aspects of life, especially in the sporting world.

The inspirational youngster said: “My dream is to educate all people about Type 1 diabetes.

“I think it is important for sports coaches and all people involved in sports to have an awareness and some basic training about the disease to breakdown the barriers and reduce the stigma that surrounds it.”

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Lochlan and his mum travelled down to the London Aquatic Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Thursday, June 24 to attend a private practice session with Tom Daley and was also given the opportunity to ask the Olympian some questions, along with getting a few pictures to add to the memory.

Lochlan added: “It was an absolutely amazing experience, I got to watch Tom and his partner train, as well as some of the Olympic diving squad.

“Tom took us on a tour of the Aquatic Centre and I even got the chance to go up to the highest diving board. It was scary looking over the edge, but it was really exciting. I got to ask Tom lots of questions and the chance to give him a present, a Lochlan’s Legacy top, which he put on – it was brilliant.

“Thank you Haven for choosing me as your Haven Lockdown Champion and giving me this amazing experience.”

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Three-time World Champion Tom added: “It was a pleasure to meet such an amazing young person. His strength and determination is outstanding.

“It is always a pleasure to meet young people who have a passion for something and the determination to go after it no matter the circumstances.

“Lochlan epitomises that spirit and his positivity during a challenging period in his life is really encouraging to see.”