Vote for your top inspirational sporting performance of 2013

AURORAS ENCORE Ridden By Ryan Mania Wins The John Smith's Grand National at Aintree 6th April 2013
Photograph by GROSSICK RACING 07710461723

AURORAS ENCORE Ridden By Ryan Mania Wins The John Smith's Grand National at Aintree 6th April 2013 Photograph by GROSSICK RACING 07710461723

Voting has opened for the Border Sport and Leisure Celebration of Sport awards and over the next three weeks Fiona Scott will be taking a look at the nominees for each of the categories, starting this week with Inspirational Performances.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary (aka the sub-editors’ bible) to inspire means to fill with the urge or ability to do something.

Our three nominees for the 2013 Celebration of Sport Inspirational Performance category have certainly done that.

All three are from different sports and different backgrounds, but all three have one thing in common.

Last year, they represented the Borders and Scotland in some of the biggest sporting events in the country. And all three have inspired sporting and non-sporting people of all ages, both in the Borders and beyond.

Having been privileged enough to be asked onto the judging panel to decide the nominations for some of the categories of the Celebration of Sport Awards, I can tell you that this one was one of the hardest to whittle down.

To do this we not only had to look at their sporting ability, but had to look at what they were doing outside of their chosen sport also. I hope you agree with our choices and I am relieved to say we can now hand the final decision over to you.

The winners of all of the categories of the Borders Sport and Leisure Celebration of Sport Awards will be revealed at a special evening ceremony at the MacDonald Cardrona Hotel on Friday, February 28.

Tickets cost £35 and includes canapés, drinks on arrival, three-course dinner with wine and after-dinner coffee.

Book by calling 01896 661 166 or emailing

Ryan Mania – text A

Former Braw Lad Ryan Mania had his first ride at the prestigious Grand National in 2013 and was the unexpected winner, riding 66/1 outsider Auroras Encore, and winning by nine lengths.

That day he became the toast of not just his home town of Galashiels but throughout the Borders and beyond.

As a 23-year-old, he was one of the youngest people to ever win the world-famous race at Aintree, and was also the first Scottish jockey to win the race for 117 years.

He had previously been beaten by a head on the horse in the 2012 Scottish Grand National.

He made further headlines through a fall on a different horse for Sue Smith the following day, which saw him airlifted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary hospital with suspected neck and back injuries.

It was later discovered he had fractured a vertebra at the base of his neck.

He returned to race riding on the first day of the Scottish Grand National meeting at Ayr on April 19, 2013.

As well as enjoying many winners since, Ryan has gone out of his way to perform numerous public duties around the Borders.

Chris O’Hare – text B

Chris O’ Hare, from West Linton and educated at Peebles High School, went to Tulsa University in 2009 after a very successful spell in Scotland with his coach David Campbell.

Chris made significant progress, and was rewarded in 2013, setting two new Scottish indoor records in the 1,500m and one mile with respective times of 3.37.85 seconds and 3 minutes 52.9 seconds, which was also the second fastest indoor mile in GB history, just behind legendary athlete Peter Elliot. Chris also ran the fastest 15,00m outdoors by a Scottish athlete for 30 years in July in a race in Oordegem in Belgium recording a time of 3.35.37 seconds.

Chris then went on to win the 1,500m at the UK and world trials which won him a spot on the Great Britain team for the world outdoor championships in Moscow, where he had a great run and finished 12th in his first major championship final for Great Britain.

Greig Laidlaw – text C

Last year was a landmark year for Greig David Laidlaw, a nephew of Scotland’s legendary scrum half, Roy Laidlaw.

Now seventh on Scotland’s all-time points list, he toppled the 200 mark with a 15 points contribution to Scotland’s 42-17 win against Japan in the opening Autumn Test.

He also captained Scotland on three occasions during the year, including their memorable tussle with South Africa in November.

Now at 28, he has established himself as Edinburgh’s captain and has constantly performed well for his club in both the RaboDirect PRO12 league and Heineken Cup.

During season 2012-13 Laidlaw produced a serious of outstanding individual displays culminating in a last-gasp conversion against Italy in a 30-29 win during last summer’s tour in South Africa.

With a new management team arriving late in the summer and a raft of injuries, Laidlaw has himself recovered from a period of time on the sidelines to spearhead Edinburgh’s recovery after a disappointing opening to the new season.

Laidlaw remains a keen supporter of Borders rugby and enjoys visits to Riverside Park to watch his home team.

Text the letter of your choice below to 01896 242008

l Text A to vote for Ryan Mania in the Inspirational Performance category

l Text B to vote for Chris O’Hare in the Inspirational Performance category

l Text C to vote for Greig Laidlaw in the Inspirational Performance category

l Text D to vote for Libby Clegg in the Sports Personality of the Year category

l Text E to vote for Ryan Mania in the Sports Personality of the Year category

l Text F to vote for Stuart Easton in the Sports Personality of the Year category

l Text G to vote for Borders Elite Swim Team in the Team of the Year category

l Text H to vote for Team Borders in the Team of the Year category

l Text I to vote for Melrose Bowling Club in the Team of the Year category

l Or register your vote by phone by calling 01896 242008 and follow the instructions.

l Calls will be charged at local rate and texts at the standard network rate.




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