Injured or not, you just can’t keep a good athlete Downie

James McLean Sports Awards. Southern Reporter Sports Personalit of the Year Stacey Downie (right) receives the trophy from Fiona Scott.
James McLean Sports Awards. Southern Reporter Sports Personalit of the Year Stacey Downie (right) receives the trophy from Fiona Scott.

WINNING is being better today than you were yesterday.

Just a few of the motivational words spoken by Frank Dick OBE when he addressed a packed room at the James McLean Trust Celebration of Sport at the Cross Keys Hotel, Kelso, on Saturday night.

Currently chair of Scottish Athletics, Mr Dick held his audience spellbound with an inspiring talk aimed at encouraging all present to “be the best you can be” – something all the nominees and prizewinners certainly have been throughout their careers and beyond.

The Southern Reporter Sports Personality of the Year award was given to West Linton athlete Stacey Downie.

After winning the Scottish Senior 100m and 200m titles both indoors and outdoors, the 22-year-old care worker decided to add the 400m to her repertoire. In 2010 she was selected to run for Scotland at all three distances in the British Senior International at Loughborough and another potentially successful season, where she was almost certain to be selected for the 4 x 400m relay team at the Delhi Commonwealth Games, loomed. Sadly, that season was cut short when a hip displacement ruled her out for most of the summer.

Stacey switched her focus towards the 2014 Games. And with the help of the Borders Athlete Support Programme (ASP), of which she is a great ambassador, got herself back on track.

She told TheSouthern: “Last season was very frustrating. I did find it hard to cope but I realised being patient was the best way to ensure complete recovery.

“It was very disappointing not to be able to contend for a place in Delhi as I had been working towards it for four years.”

Last month Stacey won the National Open 60m in 7.80 seconds, just 0.08 off her best, and this year is aiming to break personal bests at 60m, 100m, 200m and 400m.

She added: “I was absolutely delighted to win the award on Saturday night. Being recognised by the Southern Reporter has given me an extra incentive to really push forward with my training and get back to competing at my best; with the ultimate aim of competing at Glasgow 2014.

“My coach Bill Walker has been a great support along with the ASP, family and friends.”

Saturday’s celebration was brilliantly compered by the Scotsman’s chief rugby writer David Ferguson and not only saw the local sports council awards being presented, but a multitude of other honours bestowed also.

Award winners: Sports Personality, Chris Paterson (rugby); Junior Sports Personality, Grant Ferguson (mountain and road biking); Coach, Iain Grant (cycling and judo); Junior Coach, Ross Patterson (cricket); Team, Selkirk Youth Club (rugby); Service to Local Sport, Allan Laidlaw (athletics); Health Promotion, Cath Young; Performance, Scott Brash (show jumping); Club Development, Gala Harriers (athletics); Unsung Hero, Tommy and Effie Munro (football); Border Telegraph & Peebleshire News, Bruce Scott and Charlie Cochrane (athletics); James McLean Sports Scholarship, Abbi Blackie (judo), Alice Haining (canoeing), Lewis Buchanan (mountain biking); James McLean Sports Ambassador, Susie Elliot (riding for the disabled).

z See page 23 for Hall of Fame inductees.