Unassuming Easton earns public backing at awards

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Sporting achievement in abundance was recognised at last Friday night’s Celebration of Sport Awards at the MacDonald Cardrona Hotel near Peebles.

And the Borders public once again got behind the occasion by voting in three main award categories over the past two months.

Sports Personality of the Year (public vote): Stuart Easton (motor bike racing) at the Celebration of Sport Awards at Cadrona Hotel.

Sports Personality of the Year (public vote): Stuart Easton (motor bike racing) at the Celebration of Sport Awards at Cadrona Hotel.

Coming out top in the Sports Personality of the Year category was Hawick’s British Superbike champion Stuart Easton, who admitted to being stunned and delighted to have beaten off the challenge from Grand National-winning jockey Ryan Mania and Paralympic silver medallist Libby Clegg. He told The Southern: “It’s quite amazing for me to win an award like this where I’m up against more mainstream sports like horse racing and athletics.

“I was just happy to be nominated and to be here on the night, so winning the award was an unexpected and much-appreciated bonus.”

Quietly unassuming he may be, but it was sheer grit and determination that won him his title on the very last race day of the season in 2013. “I’m naturally a bit modest anyway and I like to keep it that way and just go out there, enjoy it and get the job done,” he added. “There is absolutely no fear of me changing in that respect. My family and friends back home in Hawick make sure of that.”

Sponsored by GB Telecom and hosted by Radio Borders sports presenter Stuart McFarlane, Friday’s event was attended by more than 175 guests, including sports stars, local sports organisations, award nominees and members of the public.

The 2013 awards featured 13 categories covering a huge range of sporting success and among the honours was a Lifetime Service Award made to our very own Alastair Watson, photographer, who died in October last year.

Alastair’s son, Gareth, picked up the award on his father’s behalf and told us: “I can’t express how proud I was to accept the award for dad.

“He once said to me: ‘It’s not who we are underneath, it’s what we do that defines us’ – that’s probably one of the best pieces of advice he has ever given me and sums up him to a tee.”

Full colour spread and all the winners on pages 86 and 87, plus video online.