Josh and Samantha land our main Athlete of the Year titles for 2023

Saturday 28th October 2023

*We will cover Award winners in a number of club, coach, voluneer and Official categories in a separate story on the website on Sunday

Josh Kerr and Samantha Kinghorn are our 4J Athlete of the Year winners for 2023.

Guest of Honour Eilidh Doyle led the celebrations at our 4J Awards Annual Dinner in Glasgow on Saturday night as we recognised athletes, coaches, clubs, volunteers and Officials.

The Athlete of the Year short-lists were packed with star names who delivered superb performances on the global stage during 2023.

But Josh’s World Champs gold medal in Budapest and Samantha’s four medals – one gold and three silver – at the World Para Champs in Paris won them the ultimate accolades from our selection panels as 4J Athlete of the Year and 4J Para Athlete of the Year respectively.

Paris featured strongly in the Para list with two more World champions nominated but while Budapest was represented in the Athlete of the Year nominations there was recognition, too, for mountain runner Scout Adkin.

Indeed, Scout’s coach, Angela Mudge, was named as our Performance Coach of the Year after significant success across two versions of the World Mountain Running Champs within the timeframe for consideration.

Our athlete winners in other categories were as follows:

Masters Athlete of the Year – Paul Forbes

U20 Athlete of the Year – Natasha Phillips

U17 Athlete of the Year – Millie McClelland-Brooks

Dallas Trust Trophy: Jemma Reekie

Martin Hyman Junior Hill Running Award: Islsa Paterson

Photo by Bobby Gavin

‘This is a fantastic award and I am delighted to win it for the first time in my career,’ Josh told us from America.

‘It caps off a great year for me in many ways. It is nice to end it as Scottish Athlete of the Year because it was a title that was kind of on my radar as something I would like to win given the names of those in recent years.

‘I wanted to prove myself in that company. Scottish athletics are in such a good place at the moment so to win this one means a lot to me.

‘I am in the United States for training and could not attend the 4J Annual Awards Dinner but I am certain people will have savoured and enjoyed celebrating a very good year.

‘At the moment from my point of view it is all about preparing now for the Olympics and trying to keep pushing things forward.’

Samantha reflected on a remarkable year which featured four medals at the World Para Champs in Paris.

‘It is always a nice feeling to realise via an Award like this that people have been pleased to see you do well,’ she said.

‘You don’t always appreciate that at a championship. I had worked really hard prior to Paris but I had no idea I had four medals in me!

‘The 100m gold was a shock to me in many ways even though I felt calm going into it and was looking simply to do what I do every day.

‘But when I watch the race back I see that every section was executed exactly as we would hope and plan – and you don’t get that too often.’

Tags: 4J Annual Awards, 4J Annual Awards Dinner, Josh Kerr, Samantha Kinghorn

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