SCOTLAND loves our sporting heroes.
And we love those who overcome adversity on their way to greatness even more.
The Sunday Post has once again teamed up with music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins Scotland to celebrate the Scottish Sporting Awards.
This week, it’s time to find Scottish sport’s respective male and female Parasport Personality of the Year.
These are the men and women whose achievements should be shouted from the rooftops, and whose commitment should inspire us all.
Our nominees are athletes who have proved that disability is no impairment to success.
The winner will be announced on Friday, March 23, at a star-studded bash at the glitzy Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh.
Next Sunday, we will reveal who will be joining them as we focus on the nominees for our reader-picked Coach of the Year and Sporting Breakthrough of the Year awards.
The term “staying power” is often thrown around in sport.
But Katie Ford has it in spades.
The Scots cyclist, who was diagnosed with right temporal lobe epilepsy aged 9, became the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association indoor track world record holder across the 100km, 200km, 300km and six-hour disciplines respectively in 2017.
Her record-breaking ride raised over £20,000 for Epilepsy Action and the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity.
For that, her legacy will endure, just as she did on the track.
It has already been a year of accolades for Sammi Kinghorn.
But the Scots wheelchair racer isn’t one to rest on her laurels.
Having bagged two sprint golds and a 400m bronze at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships, the 21-year-old has set her sights on long-distance glory at this year’s Commonwealth Games.
Sammi will race for Scotland in the 1500m and the marathon in Australia.
After a stellar year, Super Sammi looks like being one to watch for many more to come.
One week before she bagged two medals at the World Para Athletics Championships, Maria Lyle couldn’t walk.
A leg injury had curtailed the 18-year-old sprinter’s preparations, leaving her dream hanging in the balance.
A miraculous recovery saw her claim bronze in the T35 100m and 200m races at the London Stadium.
The modest star keeps her medals hidden away in a box at home in Dunbar.
If she bags our gong, she’s going to need to get a bigger one!
A spectacular year saw Amy Carr land a seat on Team Scotland’s flight to the Commonwealth Games.
The Teesside-based 18-year-old claimed a stunning hat-trick of medals at the World Junior Championships – in two different disciplines.
Carr, who has cerebral palsy, took home the gold in the long jump and the 200m, then won a bronze in the 100m to cap a spectacular tournament.
Born in Stockton-on-Tees, she qualifies to represent Scotland through her father.
There is no doubt Scots fans will be behind her as she looks to make 2018 another stellar year.
Constant improvement is something every athlete strives for.
Derek Rae ought to be the poster boy for the concept.
The Fife runner, who lost use of his right arm following a motorbike crash, posted new personal bests over 3km, 5km, 10km, 5 miles, 10 miles, the half-marathon AND the marathon in an astonishing year.
His marathon performance in London saw him claim the World Para Athletics bronze for Great Britain.
This year he will attempt to better it.
With his track record, who would bet against him?
His main goal is still two years away.
But Paisley-born table tennis hopeful Martin Perry is definitely heading in the right direction.
Having rocketed up the rankings, Martin was part of the Great Britain team that claimed team gold at the European Para Table Tennis Championships in 2017.
Being born with just one fully-formed limb has not stopped Perry from pursuing his athletic ambitions.
Now he is on course to achieve the biggest one yet – qualifying for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.
He’s the single-minded ex-soldier set on bringing home Commonwealth gold for Scotland.
So much so, it’s doubtful powerlifter Micky Yule even allowed himself to celebrate becoming British Champion last year.
After losing both legs on duty in Afghanistan, the former Royal Engineer from Musselburgh, took up powerlifting as part of his rehabilitation.
Within months, he was representing Scotland at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, then won gold for Britain at the Invictus Games in 2016.
The ex-staff sergeant lifted a personal best of 195kg to take the British crown in July – and mark himself as a serious medal contender come April.
Wheelchair tennis star Gordon Reid claimed six titles in 2017.
Yet only five were in his chosen sport.
The Helensburgh-born competitor won the Wheelchair Tennis Masters as a singles player, then claimed doubles victories at the Australian Open, Wimbledon, the US Open and the Masters.
Yet his biggest accolade arguably came off the court.
After years at the top of his game, Reid was awarded an MBE for services to wheelchair tennis – an honour he described as “amazing”.
Fitting recognition for a truly amazing athlete.
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