A wheelchair-bound Ayrshire athlete is fundraising for her judo club - with an epic triathlon.

Nicola Russell, from Saltcoats, will use adaptive bikes for the running and cycling parts of the challenge.

But her biggest problem will be the swimming race - because Nicola has a fear of water.

The 36-year-old is a member of Tam's Brig Judo Club in Ayr and hopes to raise cash so the club can train senior members as coaches to allow the club to continue.

She explained: "Just last year I couldn't even enter a swimming pool.

"I have been trying to face this fear and learning to swim. I still can't swim but I am getting closer.

"My judo coach has been helping me try to face this fear so that I can complete the swim section in New Cumnock Outdoor Pool."

She has until August 27 to get ready for the New Cumnock Super Sprint Triathlon.

Nicola is a full-time wheelchair user and cannot stand or walk unaided. She also lives with dystonia, a neurological movement disorder.

Despite that, she is a keen para-athlete, taking part in wheelchair racing and taekwondo, as well as judo.

Nicola hailed the Tam's Brig Judo Club for their support and encouragement and wanted to give something back to help the members.

She said: "It's a small club, but a true family. I started training with them last year. I am now a yellow belt. 

"Because of judo, I have built up strength and movement in my legs, meaning I can attempt to try to swim with BOTH my legs.

"The club makes judo accessible to all regardless of age, income or disability.

"They have helped me accept my limitations due to my disabilities, but encouraged me to always keep trying."

She continued: "I want to help raise funds so they can continue to reach many more kids and adults and share the sport with them. Funds would be used to help the club pay fees and gradings for those struggling to afford them and towards coaching courses for senior members.

"To help, I have taken on the challenge of the triathlon."

Recently, Nicola completed the three mile Wee Wander Kiltwalk in her wheelchair with her dog.

As well as competing in sports events, she also coaches young people in the locality who participate in wheelchair racing through Inspire Athletics.

Nicola has set up a Justgiving page for the triathlon fundraiser.

To donate, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/nicola-russell-989?utm_medium=email&utm_source=ExactTarget&utm_campaign=20230314_