Eilidh Child collected KUKRI Athlete of the Year title in 2013
Five Scots who won medals at Hampden and Zurich last summer will contest this year’s title for KUKRI Scottish ‘Athlete of the Year’.
The short-list features Eilidh Child, Libby Clegg, Mark Dry, Chris O’Hare and Lynsey Sharp.
Child and Sharp won medals at both the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships; Clegg won gold at Hampden at Glasgow 2014 with hammer thrower Dry collecting bronze the same night and 1500 runner O’Hare took bronze in Zurich.
It arguably represents the highest quality contenders for the ‘Athlete of the Year’ accolade in recent years – with the winner to be announced at the scottishathletics Annual Dinner on Saturday 22 November.
We’ve deliberately chosen Hampden for that gala occasion with Glasgow 2014 fresh in the memory but the scottishathletics awards reflect the full spectrum of the sport from track and field to Para athlete to youngsters to road running and cross country as well as ultra and hill running.
And, as is usual in a Commonwealth Games Year, there is an additional award for 2014 for what is deemed the ‘best performance’ at the Games by a Scot at Glasgow 2014.
‘I think the short-lists fully reflect our sport and some really terrific performances by some of our top athletes,’ said scottishathletics chief executive Nigel Holl.
‘As it has transpired, it has taken winning a medal at either the Commonwealth Games or the European Championship, or both, to make the top five for the main award – the KUKRI ‘Athlete of the Year’ Award.
‘The candidates are chosen by a panel and I’m just relieved not to be personally involved in the process because it looks like tough choices to me!
‘Hampden was special for the Games and a lot of memories are going to be evoked at this time of year as people look back on the Commonwealths.
‘Winning four medals for track and field was a success for Team Scotland – the best medal haul in fact since 1994.
‘But the year is about so much more than that and there were medals in Swansea at the IPC Europeans and of course at the Euro Champs in Zurich where Team GB did very well as a whole.
‘The ‘Commonwealth Games Trophy’ returns this year, as it does when it is the year of the event, and that’s another avenue to remember some of the great drama of the summer.
‘We are delighted, looking at the short-lists, that across the various age categories there are people from different disciplines – two international hill runners in the U20 bracket, for example.
‘I think that shows athletics is about much more than simply track and field at the very top level and I think it is important that the scottishathletics short-lists do reflect that.’
Sharp and Child – who each won medals in Glasgow and Zurich – have had a tight grip on the ‘Athlete of the Year’ crown in recent years. Hurdler Eilidh won it in 2009 and 2010 as well as 2013 while 800m specialist Lynsey was the winner in both 2011 and 2012.
Libby Clegg, who took gold in the T12 100m at Hampden with guide runner Mikail Huggins, is listed for the main award, the Commonwealth Games tropy and the Para ‘Athlete of the Year’ title.
Team Scotland wheelchair racer, Sammi Kinghorn, is nominated in two categories as she features in the short-list for both U20 Athlete of the Year and the Para Athlete of the Year award.
Track and field dominates the U17 age group with all five athletes short-listed there in that discipline albeit that their events range from sprinting to throws to middle distance to jumps and Para.
KUKRI Athlete of the Year:
Eilidh Child, Libby Clegg, Mark Dry, Chris O’Hare, Lynsey Sharp
Commonwealth Games Athlete of the Year:
Eilidh Child, Libby Clegg, Mark Dry, Lynsey Sharp
U20 Athlete of the Year:
Catriona Graves, Sammi Kinghorn, Andrew Lawler, Kimberley Reed, Shaun Wyllie
U17 Athlete of the Year:
George Evans, Josh Kerr, Maria Lyle, Lewis McGuire, Alisha Rees
Masters Athlete of the Year:
Jo Butterfield, Hayley Haining, John Thomson, Joasia Zakrzewski
Para Athlete of the Year:
Libby Clegg, Meggan Dawson-Farrell, Sammi Kinghorn, Maria Lyle, Stef Reid.
*All at scottishathletics warmly congratulate all athletes short-listed for these awards and their families and coaches. It is special recognition, too, for the clubs involved either currently or indeed in the early development of all of these athletes. Short-lists for awards for clubs, coaches, volunteers and partnerships will be made public on the night of the Dinner.