AFTER going through the Borders rugby school of hard knocks, Kelso’s Colin Stevenson was forced to hang up his boots at a relatively young age.
A spanner in the works perhaps, but, despite the odds, the 27-year-old is still motoring on and revving up for the challenge of his life after qualifying to represent Great Britain in the World Triathlon Championships which takes place in Beijing on September 10.
A great achievement, indeed, considering he only took up the sport following advice from his doctor just over two years ago.
Colin, who played rugby from an early age and came up through the ranks at Kelso RFC, where he eventually played scrum half for the 1st XV, suffered a knee injury which required an operation and put him out of action for two years.
On returning to action at Poynder Park, however, he suffered a second injury and was advised by his consultant to take up swimming and cycling to strengthen the knee and hopefully prevent the need for a second operation.
Throwing himself into these two disciplines, Colin decided to add running to his portfolio and took up triathlon. He joined the Border Triathlon Club and quickly became a name to note on the local circuit, coming third in the Border Series and fifth in the Scottish Championships in his first year.
In his second year of triathlon he has been first in each Border Series Triathlon that he has taken part in and went to Newbiggin Bay in Northumberland to compete in the triathlon there, which was the qualifying stage for the World Championships.
Coming first in his age group, 25-30 year olds, the mechanic from Kelso had to wait until the other regional qualifiers had taken place to find out if he had won a place in the British team. Having been the fastest age-group qualifier, he learned he had done just that and would be flying to Beijing.
Colin can be seen training at Kelso Swimming Pool where he has set up a static bike in the steam room to help him acclimatise to the humidity he will experience in Beijing.
He is also a member of Kelso Wheelers and trains with them, as well as regularly cycling distances of 100 miles on a Sunday morning throughout the Borders and north Northumberland.
He is a member of the Kelso Running Club, training with them on a Thursday evening.
He told TheSouthern: “I am looking forward to representing Great Britain in Beijing in September, it is a great honour and I will do my very best.
“I am very grateful to Kelso Wheelers and to the other businesses and friends who have given me some financial help, but most of all I would like to thank Brian Nichol, Jim Currie, Keith Lyall and Mark Rutherford, who have been a great help and constantly pushed and encouraged me during the last two years.”
When asked who inspired him most, Colin’s reply was: “I am inspired by ordinary people who do amazing things.”
It’s only right that he now adds himself on to that list.
As a member of Team GB, Colin has to pay for all his costs including flights, accommodation and his kit himself, and he is grateful to the Wheelers and to other local businesses and individuals who have given him some financial support.
It is his ambition to take up triathlon as a professional sport, but to do this he would need to secure a sponsor.
If any reader knows of anyone who could help, please get in touch through the contacts page at www.kelsowheelers.com