East Lothian sprinter Maria Lyle and Scottish Borders wheelchair racer Sammi Kinghorn were each presented with an award to mark their considerable sporting achievements in 2016 at last week’s Scottish Woman in Sport (SWiS) Annual Award ceremony.
Dunbar athlete Lyle was awarded the sportscotland Young Sportswoman of the Year, recognising the 16 year olds significant achievements during the last 12 months. The T35 sprinter recorded personal best times at the IPC European Championships in Grosseto, Italy on the way to claiming two gold medals and setting two new European records. Furthermore, the Team East Lothian youngster had a summer to remember by claiming three medals at the Paralympic Games in Rio – bronze in the T35 100m and 200m and silver in the T35 – T38 relay alongside Kadeena Cox, Georgie Hermitage and Sophie Hahn. Lyle stated ‘I’ve come away with three medals from the Paralympics so I couldn’t have asked for more. Not everyone gets to come to the Paralympic Games, never mind medal so it has been an amazing experience.’
Borders athlete Sammi Kinghorn was awarded the Role Model of the Year Award for 2016. In addition to her undoubted talent on the track, Sammi has taken time to support and mentor young athletes in Scotland and other areas of the UK. She has been instrumental in launching the pilot project of the UK Disability Inclusion Training delivered by Scottish Disability Sport, which sees athletes play a prominent role in delivering the course. Other achievements and recognitions include the Rotary Young Citizen of the Year Award and ambassador and face of the Strathmore ‘Do More’ campaign.
The Red Star AC athlete participated in her first Paralympic Games over the summer and recorded a sixth place finish in the T53 800m final, after posting a four second PB and new European record in the heats. Sammi also competed in the 100m and 400m distances in Brazil.
The 20 year old is now looking ahead to Tokyo, ‘Rio has been incredible, and I’ve enjoyed everything about it. I’ve enjoyed every single race and learned so much. I never thought three and a half years ago I’d be competing in my first Paralympics in such a short time. Tokyo better be ready!’