Local lad, Zane Longmuir, is 15 years old and a Young Carer for his mum Audrey, who has rheumatoid arthritis and chronic fatigue.
Zane has trained in karate 2 to 3 times a week since he was 9 years old, encouraged by his teachers at Douglas Academy. Zane said, “I loved it the very first time I tried it. I like all the Sensei (Karate Instructors) who instruct. They are kind but strict and have always encouraged me to do my best. It’s just my mum and I, but even when she isn’t feeling well she makes sure I don’t miss my training.”
Last year he realised his dream when he was picked to be part of the Scottish KUGB Karate team representing Scotland at various competitions throughout the UK. Zane was able to cover the entry fee to the competitions by saving his Christmas and birthday money and access funding via donations, legacies and a Short Breaks Time to Live Grant all through Carers Link to cover the cost of petrol, hotel accommodation and food during the trips.
Zane said, “Not only was the karate great it was really lovely for my mum and I to go away for a weekend. It felt like we had had a holiday together. Something we don’t always get a chance to do. I felt very lucky that I have found a sport that I love and have made good friends through.”
Although Carers Link can still contribute some funding, they worry that this is not enough to meet all Zane’s needs, nor is it sustainable. Carers Link and Zane’s mum, Audrey, are now seeking wider support for Zane. Audrey said, “We truly appreciate all the support given to us last year by Carers Link. They have always supported Zane as a Young Carer but went above and beyond last year with the additional funding. Since my health changed years ago I have found it at times frustrating that I can’t work and provide in a way I once could.
Through these competitions, I have seen Zane grow in confidence and both physical and mental strength. He is able to meet and enjoy time with his peers as well as enjoy normal childhood interactions.”
In May 2022, Zane competed in the Scottish Championships and pick up a gold medal in the Under 16 Team Kata, a bronze in the Under 16 Individual Kata and a bronze in the Under 16 Kumite.
Audrey said, “He was so delighted and happy, and, for me it was just great to see him realise his hard work is paying off. I definitely believe he competed with more confidence and won those medals because of his previous trips in England.”
Audrey and Carers Link would now like to reach out to any organisation, trust, local business or individual that would be able to sponsor or help Zane continue his childhood dream. Zane was recently selected to compete in the World Championships in September and next month in the European Championships in Switzerland, where he is part of a smaller select
Scottish squad. Costs associated with this are estimated to be around £2,000.