Laura Muir and Andy Young with their Athlete and Performance Coach trophies (photo by Jeff Holmes)
Laura Muir has revealed watching Jessica Ennis-Hill at London 2012 helped motivate her drive to the top of global athletics.
And now our newly-crowned Athlete of the Year firmly hopes she may herself act as an inspiration for younger athletes – in Scotland or beyond – to try the sport or be retained if they are already keen and involved.
In fact, Muir revealed that she was spoken to by a female athlete at the Awards Dinner at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow who advised that her performances this summer had convinced the woman in question to carry on in the sport!
When scottishathletics staged an Athlete of the Year media conference with Laura earlier this month, we conducted two video interviews at Scotstoun about her memorable 2016 (part one) and her growing role model status (part two).
We also spoke to Andy Young, who was named Performance Coach of the Year, about his work with Laura and the forthcoming plans.
‘I had Jess Ennis to look up to in my late teens and making my way as an athlete,’ said Laura, now 23.
‘I was actually on a vet placement during the Olympics in London in 2012 and I remember watching her compete and seeing how well she did with the home crowd behind her.
‘Hopefully come Tokyo 2020 there might be somebody who saw me competing in Rio and decided to continue with their athletics.
‘At the Awards Dinner I had a girl coming up to me and telling me she was still in the sport because of watching me, which was lovely to hear.’
scottishathletics Director of Coaching Rodger Harkins for his part believes Laura is a role model not just for teenage girls but many in the sport, both male and female, at any age – such are the examples she sets.
‘She’s a terrific role model for the sport and not just for girls,’ said Rodger. ‘I think athletes of all ages can look at the way she goes about her training, her racing and her lifestyle and pick-up pointers.’