Who epitomised sporting inspiration for you in 2012?

Celebration of Sport Logo
Celebration of Sport Logo

Now that voting has opened for the Border Sport and Leisure Celebration of Sport awards, over the next three weeks Fiona Scott will be taking a look at the nominees for each of the categories, starting this week with Inspirational Performances

ACCORDING to the Oxford English Dictionary (aka the sub-editors’ bible) to inspire means to fill with the urge or ability to do something.

The Olympic Flame passes through Gordon on route to London. Callum Airlie from Gordon brings the torch into his hometown.

The Olympic Flame passes through Gordon on route to London. Callum Airlie from Gordon brings the torch into his hometown.

Our three nominees for the 2012 Celebration of Sport Inspirational Performance category have certainly done that.

All three are from different sports and different backgrounds, but all three have one thing in common.

Last year, they represented the Borders and their country in one of the biggest sporting events the world has ever seen. And all three have inspired sporting and non-sporting people of all ages, both in the Borders and beyond.

Having been privileged enough to be asked onto the judging panel to decide the nominations for some of the categories of the Celebration of Sport Awards, I can tell you that this one was one of the hardest to whittle down.

E+L Sports Awards . Libby Clegg

E+L Sports Awards . Libby Clegg

To do this we not only had to look at their sporting ability, but had to look at what they were doing outside of their chosen sport also. I hope you agree with our choices and I am relieved to say we can now hand the final decision over to you.

The winners of all of the categories of the Borders Sport and Leisure Celebration of Sport Awards will be revealed at a special evening ceremony at the MacDonald Cardrona Hotel on Friday, March 1.

The event will be hosted by renowned BBC TV presenter and sports journalist Alison Walker. Tickets to attend cost £30 each and can be purchased by contacting Borders Sport & Leisure on 01896 756274.

The ticket includes drinks on arrival, sumptuous dinner followed by the awards ceremony.

08/08/2012,  TSPL, Scotsman Publications, London Olympic Games 2012. Equestrian Individual Jumping, Greenwich park., Scott Brash, GBR comes over the last jump on Hello Sanctos.  Pic Ian Rutherford

08/08/2012, TSPL, Scotsman Publications, London Olympic Games 2012. Equestrian Individual Jumping, Greenwich park., Scott Brash, GBR comes over the last jump on Hello Sanctos. Pic Ian Rutherford

Callum Airlie – text A

Not only did young Callum Airlie help light up the impressive cauldron in the Olympic stadium on opening night back in July of last year but he also lit a spark of pride back home in the Borders which fanned out into a united flame by the time the Paralympics ended in September.

The 17-year-old sailor from Westruther, near Gordon, had already inspired many locals when he carried the Olympic flame through Greenlaw as the Torch Relay spiralled its way down the country. And, after keeping it a major secret for a fortnight before hand, he went on to play a central part in the opening ceremony by being given the honour of lighting the Olympic cauldron along with seven other future British Olympic hopefuls. Airlie was nominated for the task by gold medal-winning sailor Shirley Robertson. The Earlston High School pupil is a two-time Optimist UK national champion who is aiming for the 2013 International Sailing Association & Federation Open.

Libby Clegg – text B

Newcastleton sprinter Libby is a Paralympic silver medalist and current World Champion in the T12 100m and 200m sprints.

She suffers from a deteriorating eye condition known as Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy disease, giving her only slight peripheral vision in her left eye and is registered blind. Despite this, she has achieved an amazing amount for such a young athlete and was one of the major success stories from the recent IPC World Championships in New Zealand and IBSA World Championships in Turkey.

On the run-up to the London Games, Libby was a great ambassador here in the Borders and further afield. She gave up much of her free time both before and after the Games to go round local schools and attend events, where she encouraged people to ask questions and freely answered anything that was thrown at her. In doing this, she has gained many fans of all ages who will all be shouting her on as she prepares for Rio 2016.

Scott Brash – text C

From the small village of Manor, near Peebles, Scott Brash has shown us this year just where hard work and determination can get you.

Now 27, Scott started riding at the age of seven and went to his first show when he was nine.

Since early 2012, Scott has been riding Hello Sanctos and the youngest member of the gold medal-winning British showjumping team at the London Olympics. His most major individual victory to date came in March 2012 when he won the World Cup Grand Prix in Florida.

When he is not competing around the world at some of the major equestrian events, Scott returns home and immerses himself in the local community, where he breeds and trains his horses, supported by his dad Stanley, and sister Lea.

Scott was awarded an MBE in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to equestrianism and can claim to be one of nation’s hottest prospects in showjumping at this exciting time for the sport in Britain.

How to vote

To vote, you can either text or phone. Text the letter of your choice below to 01750 432002.

z Text A to vote for Callum Airlie in the Inspirational Performance category

z Text B to vote for Libby Clegg in the Inspirational Performance category

z Text C to vote for Scott Brash in the Inspirational Performance category

z Text D to vote for Scott Brash in the Sports Personality of the Year category

z Text E to vote for Ryan Mania in the Sports Personality of the Year category

z Text F to vote for Chris Paterson in the Sports Personality of the Year category

z Text G to vote for Borders Elite Swim Team in the Team of the Year category

z Text H to vote for Gala Rugby Football Club in the Team of the Year category

z Text I to vote for Peebles Netball Club in the Team of the Year category

z Alternaively, register your vote by phone by calling 01750 432002 and follow the instructions.

Calls will be charged at local rate and texts at the standard network rate.