Shining examples of ambition, success, drive and commitment

Libby Clegg with her guide runner. Chris Clarke  (picture by Bobby Gavin)
Libby Clegg with her guide runner. Chris Clarke (picture by Bobby Gavin)

Sporting achievers in the Scottish Borders wll be recognised at the Live Borders Celebration of Sport evening at Springwood Hall in Kelso next month.

And, since voting opened last week, the Borders public have been busy selecting which Team and Individual they think most deserves to take top honours for their endeavours in 2016.

This week, the focus is on the Sports Personality of the Year category, which features three sporting giants who flew the flag for the Scottish Borders at the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Rugby 7s silver medallist Mark Robertson (Melrose), Libby Clegg (Newcastleton), who achieved double gold on the track, and mountain bike supremo Grant Ferguson (Peebles) are all in the running.

Mark Moncrieff, managing director of Galashiels-based GB Technologies, which is sponsoring the award, said: “There are many parallels between sport and business and, as a company committed to growing and prospering in the Borders, we are honoured to be able to continue to play a part in showing our appreciation of our region’s sporting heroes.

“From a personal perspective, involvement in sport has played an ongoing part in my life. I believe participating in sport not only keeps you fit and healthy, but also helps to engender a positive attitude which can assist you through all of life’s challenges and help lead towards success.”

To vote, just fill out the form on this page and hand it in to any Live Borders Leisure Centre, or go to the Live Borders Facebook page to vote online. The winners of all the categories of the Celebration of Sport Awards will be revealed at a special ceremony at Springwood Hall, Kelso, on Friday, March 3.

Tickets for the Celebration of Sport 2017 are still available. To book, contact the booking line on 01896 661150.

MARK ROBERTSON

Mark Robertson first became a professional rugby player in 2006 and has since had stints with the Border Reivers and Edinburgh Rugby.

A mainstay in the abbreviated national team, he is now in his sixth professional year with Scotland 7s. He was part of the squad which made history in winning London 7s, Scotland’s first Cup victory on the World Series since its inauguration. 

Robertson (31) was rewarded for his fine displays in 2015-16 when he received a call-up to GB 7s squad for the 2016 Rio Olympics , and made a great impact. Seeded fourth in the 12-team draw, Team GB battled their way through the pool stages to see off Japan (21-19), New Zealand (21-19) and Kenya (31-7) and finish top in their group.

It took until extra time in their quarter-final to make an impact on Argentina, winning 5-0, before an equally gruelling encounter saw them victorious over second seeds South Africa (7-5). Top seeds Fiji proved too big a challenge in the final, however, and the Scots were beaten into the Silver medal position 43-7.

Son of 44-times capped Scotland centre/wing, Keith Robertson, Mark has representative honours with Scotland Club International and Scotland A.

LIBBY CLEGG

Libby (26) has represented both Scotland and Great Britain at international events for well over a decade and the highlight so far came last year when, alongside guide Chris Clarke, she won double Gold in Rio at the 2016 Paralympic Games.

Competing in the T11 100m final, Libby ran the distance under 12 seconds for the first time in her career, clocking 11.91 seconds and breaking the world record in the process.

In the T11 200m, Libby beat the previous Paralympic record when picking up her second gold medal in a time of 24.51sec – 0.07sec outside her own world record set at the IPC Grand Prix Final in London in July.

Libby has a deteriorating eye condition known as Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy disease, giving her only slight peripheral vision in her left eye. She is registered blind and, in 2016, she was reclassified as a T11 athlete, which requires her to wear a blindfold when racing.

Earlier in the year, Libby lost her funding from British Athletics, mainly through her withdrawal from the 2015 IPC World Championships after just one race because of an ankle injury.

She was awarded an MBE in January after being named on the 2017 New Year’s Hounours list.

GRANT FERGUSON

Now aged 23, Grant fell in love with cycling at the age of seven while joining children’s sessions at Peebles Cycling Club. But it was mountain biking that eventually became his specialty.

In recent years, Grant has emerged as one of the country’s best hopes of medals on the elite international stage after coming fifth, and first British finisher, at his home Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 and finishing on the podium six times in 2014 and 2015 at the under-23 level of UCI Mountain Bike World Cups, UCI Mountain Bike World Championships and UEC Mountain Bike European Championships.

Riding in the men’s elite category in 2016, Grant won the first round of the British Cross-Country Series in Llanellie in April and finished in 17th in the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Cairns.

Grant placed second in round three of the British Cross-Country Series in Pickering, 15 th place in the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Germany in May and, in July became the Great Britain National Mountain Bike XCO Champion.

In August Grant represented GB at the Rio Olympics where he finished 17th in the men’s mountain bike event. He started in the fifth row on the start line and workedhard to move through the pack as the race got under way.