TWO Clydebank students have secured their places at this year’s Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.

Jamie Cairns and Shannon McGhee, both students at West College Scotland’s Clydebank campus, initially joined Sailability Scotland, a registered charity who aim to improve and develop the sport of sailing for people with disabilities, for the social aspect.

Five years on both Jamie and Shannon, who impressed at last year’s qualifiers in Sheffield, now sail on a competitive level, competing in a range of competitions across the country.

Cairns, 20, said: “I couldn’t believe it when I got the call – I was speechless. It’s going to be the biggest thing that I’ve ever done so I’m feeling really proud.

“There’s going to be a lot of training involved, not just on the boat but in the gym too, to get our strength and fitness up so we can be in the best possible shape to do well.

“I had never sailed before I joined the club and it was really something I decided to do to get out of the house, but the more I done it, the more I liked the sport.”

The pair offer each other some healthy rivalry, as the sailing enthusiasts often compete against each other.

And 21-year-old McGhee added: “It can get a bit competitive when we are competing but when we’re not up against each other we are always rooting for one another.

“I didn’t know what to say when I found out. I’m so excited and so are all my friends and family.

“It will be a whole new experience for us, but very exciting.”

The Special Olympics World Games will take place between March 14-21 next year, with venues still to be confirmed.