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The NRS Scottish Sporting Awards: Our nominees for outstanding stars

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SCOTLAND has produced some of the greatest athletes of all time.

From Graeme Obree to Sir Andy Murray and our own columnist, Kenny Dalglish, this small land has produced some of the world’s best in a variety of fields.

The Sunday Post has teamed up with charity Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland to launch the first Sporting Awards at Prestonfield House on March 10.

The evening will raise funds for Nordoff Robbins Scotland, the country’s only music therapy charity.

Over the past few weeks we’ve revealed some nominees from our action sports and breakthrough categories.

Now we want to celebrate the the heroes whose efforts have brought glory to the nation in our outstanding achievement category.

Our awards committee will select one of four fantastic names.

The shortlist comprises curling star Eve Muirhead, Rugby World Cup hero Mark Bennett, rowing’s Dame Katherine Grainger and Scotland’s greatest Olympian, the cyclist Sir Chris Hoy.

Mark Bennett

Mark Bennett (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Mark Bennett (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

IN 2015 Scotland was desperately close to an historic semi-final appearance at the Rugby World Cup.

A narrow defeat to Australia saw us eliminated – but left a nation inspired by heroic performances. That included Mark Bennett’s showings.

The young centre’s consistently exciting performances for Glasgow Warriors and Scotland 7s saw him called up for his first cap in 2014.

In his maiden year he started every RBS 6 Nations Championship match.

At the 2015 Rugby World Cup he ran in three tries in four appearances.His remarkable performances secured him a World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year nominee in 2015.

And he marked capped a great 2016 thanks to a silver medal in the Rugby 7s at Rio.

Eve Muirhead

Eve Muirhead (Andrew Cawley)
Eve Muirhead (Andrew Cawley)

SHE’s called “The Ice Queen” thanks to her stunning successes on the rink.

Eve Muirhead is regarded as Scotland’s top curling talent.

She cemented her place in sporting history in 2013 by becoming the youngest female skip to claim gold in a World Championships.

And at Sochi 2014, Perth star Eve, 26, landed a bronze medal for Great Britain – the youngest skip to win an Olympic medal.

She told The Sunday Post she was delighted to receive a nomination.

“When you hear the other nominees you realise it’s some of the greatest names of all time,” said Eve.

“Of course you welcome things like this, it’s easy to forget when we’re doing our everyday jobs that we’re out there representing Scotland and trying to put a show on for the fans.”

Katherine Grainger

Olympic gold medal winning rower Katherine Grainger (Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
Olympic gold medal winning rower Katherine Grainger (Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

She’s Britain’s finest-ever rower and our most decorated female Olympian.

Glasgow-born Dame Katherine Grainger took up rowing in 1996 and only four years later was making her mark on the biggest stage there is.

Katherine landed silver in the quadruple sculls at her first Olympic Games in Sydney alongside fellow Scot Gillian Lindsay and sisters Miriam and Guin Batten.

She followed that up in 2004 with another silver, this time in the coxless pairs. She went on to land her third medal, again a silver in the quad sculls, at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

At London 2012, she became one of Team GB’s Golden Girls, racing in the double sculls with Anna Watkins

Following a two-year break she returned to compete in Rio with partner Vicky Thornley – where she secured a fifth Olympic medal.

Sir Chris Hoy

Sir Chris Hoy (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Sir Chris Hoy (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Sir Chris Hoy MBE is one of the greatest Olympic cyclists ever.

In a magnificent career, Sir Chris won six gold medals and one silver for Great Britain on the track before his retirement in 2013.

Inspired by the cycling sequences in the movie ET, young Chris became a champion BMX rider before taking up track cycling.

Chris won his first Olympic gold in Athens 2004 in the Kilo.

He then switched his focus to three other track sprint events – the Keirin, Sprint and Team Sprint and landed gold in all three at Beijing 2008.

It earned Chris the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award and he was knighted in the 2009 New Year Honours list. Since hanging up his cycling helmet Chris has gone on to write children’s books and compete in the gruelling Le Mans motor race.