Local wheelchair athlete Gemma Scott will line up against Paralympic, British, European and even World champions this weekend thanks to the generosity of the Borders public.
The 20-year-old from Ancrum took possession of her new racing chair last Saturday following a summer of fund raising and competing in order to achieve her goal.
Gemma, who’s unexplained illness in 2011 left her paralysed from the waist down, collected almost £5,000 towards racing equipment and a new chair, and is keen to get going at her home event, the Jedburgh 10k Wheelchair Race, on Sunday.
“Having a custom-built chair will make a huge difference to my racing career,” she told The Southern.
“Having the correct support is essential and I can now concentrate on my speed.”
Having been inspired to take up racing after watching the pre-London 2012 Paralympic Flame Festival in Edinburgh, Gemma is now excited to be racing among some of the stars in her field.
“There are some big names coming to Jedburgh this weekend and I can’t wait to get on the starting line right beside them,” she added.
Among those competing will be Gordon’s triple European gold medallist Sammi Kinghorn, London 2012 gold medallist Mike Bushell and World Junior Champion Nathan Maguire.
Gemma wished to thank the many people/groups who supported her cause, in particular the Edinburgh Running Festival, local businesses and individuals from Jedburgh and surrounding area, Hendersyde Horse Trials, BSW Timber (Earlston), The Barmy Army and Jedburgh Grammar School.
The wheelchair and hand cycle races start at Bonjedward at 10.30am on Sunday and are part of what is fast becoming known as the Scottish Borders premier running event.
This year’s extravaganza will take place over two days, allowing for the smoother running of the races, while also giving some hardy athletes the opportunity to enter more than one event. The Three Peaks Ultra Marathon and the Cani-cross 6.5K events will take place on Saturday, while the half marathon and 10K set off from Jedburgh Abbey (11am) on Sunday.