Athletics stars being unearthed by Peebles coach Linda Nicholson

With this summer featuring track and field championships at World, Commonwealth and European levels, a local athletics group continues to produce the goods at the earlier stages of the pathway to international stardom.

By Craig Goldthorp
Friday, 29th July 2022, 9:55 am
Updated Friday, 29th July 2022, 9:55 am
Kate Harvie shows her prowess at the triple jump
Kate Harvie shows her prowess at the triple jump

Under the guidance of Peebles Jumps and Sprints coach Linda Nicholson, young athletes from the local area and from wider afield, meet regularly to train.

Notable amongst Nicholson’s charges is 16-year-old triple jumper Kate Harvie, recently back from Belfast, having represented Scottish Schools in a home international, and selected for the Schools’ Games (formerly the UK School Games) in September.

Following her silver in the UK U17 indoor championships in February, Harvie hopes to continue her sparkling form over the next few months.

Molly Reville with New Year Sprint trophy

Another Nicholson student is Molly Reville, who produced the race of her life to land the New Year Sprint at 16 years old last year.

The result saw highly respected Nicholson gain further kudos by becoming the first female in history to coach the winner of this race.

Reville, a Scottish under-20 internationalist, is already an outstanding athlete as she currently tops the Scottish under-20 rankings for both long jump and triple jump.

Meanwhile, Peebles Rugby Club 15-year-old winger Louis Whyte started sprint training with Nicholson’s group this spring, and has already demonstrated that his field skills translate onto the athletics track in fine fashion by recording a series of excellent results.

Louis White has made big impact at several events

Sprinting into 100m and 200m finals at both the Scottish Schools and East District championships, he turned his attention to jumps, and in his first competition hopped, stepped and jumped straight to the top of the Scotland U17 triple jump rankings.

Another promising athlete is 11-year-old Robert Horton from Innerleithen.

Despite his young age and inexperience, Robert showed great maturity to achieve podium places in both the 60m and the long jump in the indoor Scottish Championships in February, and became a double champion in 100m and long jump in the East of Scotland Championships earlier in the outdoor season.

Nicholson largely does her coaching within Peebles High School, although her well attended sessions also take place at Tweedbank, Edinburgh and even on the local hills.

Robert Horton has been showing great maturity

Due to the success of the group and the expertise she has in sprints and jumps coaching, athletes attend from as far afield as Lockerbie, Glasgow, Jedburgh and Langholm.

Nicholson said: “We may be in a rural location, but using a blended approach of face-to-face and remote coaching, we’ve managed to include a wider body of athletes in the group, and punch well above out weight in terms of results.

"The athletes work hard and although at times it is a bit manic for me trying to manage their various training programmes and schedules, the results speak for themselves and make the effort so worthwhile.

"We have had amazing success for many years, with international athletes such as Faye Nicholson, Ellie O’Hara and Henry Clarkson coming through our ranks.”

Linda Nicholson is pictured offering coaching advice

Nicholson revealed that she is always on the look-out for those special youngsters who are prepared to invest time and effort into training, and show promise in sprinting and jumping.

Anyone who reckons that they fit the bill is welcome to contact her for an initial discussion by emailing [email protected]