A RENFREW club’s karate champion has been selected to receive a large donation from Persimmon Homes.

Heather McIlraith,a member of Shitokai Scotland based at Renfrew Leisure Centre, was awarded the £750 from the West of Scotland housebuilders as part of their Healthy Communities campaign which supports young sports teams and individuals.

The 20-year-old has been competing since she was just four and was the youngest member of the Scottish Junior team to receive a first Dan Black belt at the age of just eleven.

She has won several National and British titles as well as a bronze medal at the 2012 USA National Championships.

McIlraith says that the funding will go a long way to covering costs of her busy schedule. She said: “I can’t thank them enough for their support, it means the world to me.

“Juggling my life as a third year student at Strathclyde University with training sessions five times a week and part-time coaching sessions with Primary School children is tough, but karate is my passion and my dream is to become a member of Team GB at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

“It isn’t easy to cover the cost of travelling around the country to compete which is why support like this is so important.”

The Healthy Communities scheme will see Persimmon give away more than £600,000 across the UK, with an overall top national prize of £200,000 in addition to numerous regional donations.

Since May 2017 Persimmon Homes West Scotland has handed out £750 to either a sports team, or individual aged 21 years and under in the area, with the money to be spent on kit, equipment, coaching or facilities.

Doug Law, managing director for Persimmon Homes West Scotland, said: “Heather’s application stood out as an individual who is truly passionate about karate, and we are thrilled to be supporting her efforts at the European Championships.

“Heather is clearly dedicated to her sport and we are delighted to be able to recognise and reward her efforts.

“I wish her every success for the future.”