• Full Name : Nikki Manson

With both my parents being Physical Education teachers, sport has been an integral part of my life from the word go. Throughout my early years, I competed in a host of different sports, from swimming to hockey, tennis to netball, if you can name it, I tried it! At the age of 8, I had my first exposure to Athletics “The East Renfrewshire Primary School Cross Country” run by a local club Giffnock North AAC. It was here I tasted my first athletics success, winning the Primary 5 race and was invited to join the club (the club I still compete for today). With a fantastic reputation for distance, I enjoyed much success as a mid distance runner competing in both cross country and track events. However as I grew older so did my curiosity and by the secondary school I had tried most track and field events and evolved into a combined events athlete.
Thriving with the variety I won my first major medal winning a silver medal at Under 15 British Indoor Pentathlon championship. With School commitments ever growing and a lack of coaching expertise at the time I made the decision to focus on my strongest individual event The High Jump. Despite competing well on a national and international level (Winning Multiple BUCS and English Under 23 Championships) it wasn’t until I had completed my education that I was able to full commit to training and truly raise the bar to a senior international level.

I think one of the pivotal moments in my athletics career was the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, after having an excellent 2013 the stage was set to qualify, yet despite blood, sweat and tears, I had perhaps the worst season of my life. Watching on from the Hampden stand I made a promise to myself that come hell or high water I would be on the Gold Coast team. Completing my Engineering degree from the University of Glasgow, I made the tough decision to move to the United States on a sports scholarship to Akron, Ohio and chase the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games standard. Training, traveling and competing across America and despite serious injury, I grew as an athlete and increased my personal best to 1.85m (1cm shy of the 1.86m standard required by Team Scotland) and placed 5th at the NCAA Championships. Returning mid summer the chase was truly on and at the Inter-counties championship in Bedford I finally cleared the 1.86cm the first of the two required standards. However despite my best efforts after a long season my body began to fail me, with on going injuries and a lingering illness sadly I was unable to secure a second standard and thus not selected for the Team Scotland 2018.

In the weeks after that season I often couldn’t see a way back, I’d given it my everything physically and emotionally only to fall short for a second time. Yet some how, after my training break, I made it to the track once more. Free of the weight of qualification it felt different this time, running my own program I was able to rekindle my love for the sport, and by the time the indoor season came around I was truly firing on all cylinders. Choosing to forgo the Scottish Indoor Championships I instead attended an international high jump grand prix in the Czech Republic and finally began to jump like I knew I could, clearing 1.87m. It was this performance that caught Team Scotland’s attention and earned me a very unlikely, unprecedented late selection for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth games (where I finished 7th). In response to this I continued this form and managed to jump higher again, breaking the long standing Scottish Indoor Record with a leap of 1.90m (the 2018 European Championships qualification height). Performing well at the British Outdoor Championships I was selected to represent great Britain and Northern Ireland at the European Championships in Berlin, August 2018.