Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Message from Sir Andy Murray and trip to Abbey Road Studios among Katie’s Pride of Scotland Award highlights

Back in December we were delighted to hear that Katie Pake (Carnegie Swimming Club) had received the STV CHILDREN’S APPEAL CHILD OF COURAGE accolade, which was presented to her at the inaugural Daily Record Pride of Scotland Awards. Katie lost most of her leg to bone cancer and now campaigns and fundraises to help fellow child cancer patients. With all awards ceremonies being held in the virtual world, we caught up with Katie to find out how she received her special award.

How did you learn that you had won the award? 

I learned I won the award when I was in Abbey Road Studios in London.  I had absolutely no clue.  My parents said to me that I was in London to meet with another child who has a disability and does lots of fundraising too.  I had just met Lorraine Kelly at the hotel and she said that I was visiting Abbey Road which was one of my dreams. 

How did you feel?

I was totally shocked when Sharleen Spiteri of the band Texas asked me to open the guitar case and I saw the award.  I couldn't speak and felt so emotional and humbled. Thinking back on it, I was totally blindsided.  To be in London, to go to Abbey Road Studios was enough.  To receive an award was amazing.  I am just Katie, a 12 year old that loves sports, especially swimming, and who raises awareness of childhood cancer to help other children and their families in any way I can.

What was it like being part of a virtual awards? 

I really liked being part of the virtual awards.  I met other award winners before we were called for recording our session so that was nice and the STV film crew were lovely, making me and other award winners feel special.  I met Kirsty Gallagher, Elaine C Smith and Tom Walker before filming.  I also met Sean Batty, my favourite weather man!  The amount of work that goes behind the scenes was eye opening.  It was good to see it all come together when I watched the show on Hogmanay.

How did it all happen? 

I now know it started with a phone call to my parents in October who were told I had been nominated for and won the STV Children's Appeal Child of Courage Award.  I had appeared in the STV Children's Appeal show in 2019 showing how the money donated through the appeal goes to great work. Disability Sport Fife and Carnegie Swimming Club featured, both of which have a massive impact on my sporting choices and achievements.

My parents told me that STV were doing a follow up programme from 2019 and I was happy to participate.  The appeal makes such a difference to the lives of children in many ways.  I have been fortunate to have received two bursaries from the appeal which I have put to very good use.

When my parents told me I was going to London in November, I only found out about it the night before.  But I didn't think twice about it as the STV Children's Appeal means so much to me.

What were your highlights?

There are so many highlights!  

Meeting Lorraine Kelly again was such a surprise and she is a lovely person.  She put me at ease and we even got chatting about Strictly Come Dancing.  

Katie Pake-Lorraine Kelly

Katie and Lorraine Kelly

Going to Abbey Road.  I am a big Beatles fan and I got one of my lifelong dreams to walk over the same Zebra Crossing the Beatles walked over.  I also got to touch one of the pianos they used to record some of their songs.  I saw where Adele recorded Skyfall James Bond movie.  I didn't realise that they recorded a lot of music for films such as Indiana Jones and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Being so surprised and really happy to see Sharleen Spiteri came on the video screen in one of the recording studios.  I am a big fan of Sharleen and Texas.  I met Sharleen before in the Clic Sergeant Villa in Edinburgh three years before and she is one of my idols.  She is totally down to earth and a very funny person.

Meeting the presenters, Elaine C Smith, Kirsty Gallagher and Sean Batty were amazing. Elaine C Smith made me laugh so much and really did want to sing me a song!

The biggest highlight was to get a video message from Sir Andy Murray.  I didn't expect it at all.  His message was so kind.  I didn't really take much in of what he said as I was so shocked.  He is an amazing inspiration to Scottish people but to take time out to record a message to me was absolutely the best.

How have you coped during lockdown – any advice or top tips?

Take up a hobby.  For me it was learning the guitar, listening to more music.  Keep active but don't go overboard.  I very much enjoyed keeping my physical activity varied.  Continue to eat well and stick to a routine.  Write down your thoughts, wishes and aspirations - my bedroom wall has loads of post it notes over it!

What are you looking forward to in the future?

Short-term - I am looking forward to getting back in the pool and into the gym. I am focussing on improving my technique and my swim times (and eating healthy).  Yes, SASA East District I did listen! 

Medium-term - As above but also continuing to cross train to strengthen my core.  Competing at events, getting PBs and getting qualification times to big swim events.

Long-term - I try not to put any pressure on myself but the Commonwealth Games and Olympics are my future.  I am looking at my third year choices just now and planning my university choices with swimming. 

The Daily Record Pride of Scotland Awards are still available to view on the STV Player until 31st January 2021.

Congratulations again Katie, a worthy recipient and a great inspiration to us all.