Three cheers for the sporting life

This week we report on a fresh boost for the Borders Disability Sports Group, with the appointment of a new man at the helm.

Former Southern sports editor David Ferguson, now chief rugby writer on The Scotsman, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience of local sports issues to the role.

Linking up with previous chairman David Laing and Borders Special Olympics co-ordinator Jed Renilson, Ferguson’s appointment means we now have three of the most knowledgeable Borderers helping direct efforts to ensure that all those living with a physical or learning disability have the opportunity to reach their sporting potential.

Perhaps we should all take a leaf from Laing’s book, who says a sportsman or woman who has either a physical condition or learning difficulty should not be viewed as having a disability when it comes to sport, but rather just a different level of ability to those not hampered by such things.

There should be no distinction between whether a sportsman or woman is competing at the Special Olympics – like Lucy Porteous from Stichill and Anne Peacock of Innerleithen, who have done the Borders proud at this year’s event in Athens – or one who runs down a track in the 100m final at next year’s London Olympics.

The level of passion and commitment is the same. That desire to achieve sporting excellence, to be the best you can be, is a shared dream.

On too many occasions in recent years, sport seems more about winning than the taking part. But sport for those with a physical or learning disability is about being all you can be – if that sees you on the medal rostrum, fantastic. If not, does it matter when you have given it your all?

Sport has the power to transform lives in the Borders. And for the hard work that lies ahead of them in making that happen for many of our residents still struggling to access sporting facilities because of physical or learning issues, we give our wholehearted support and backing to the triumvirate of Ferguson, Laing and Renilson.