Four of Scotland’s brightest sporting prospects have been named as finalists for the Sir Peter Heatly Trophy and the title of Young Athlete of the Year at the 2018 Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards on 13 September.
With international success in both athletics and triathlon, Erin Wallace is shortlisted alongside middle distance runner Kane Elliott, diver Lucas Thomson, and windsurfer Islay Watson. The quartet are in the running to take the prestigious award sponsored by the Scottish Commonwealth Games Youth Trust.
The future looks good for Scottish sport with a huge number of outstanding nominations received by our judges who had the difficult task of narrowing it down to a shortlist of just four. Each of our finalists has stepped up this year to perform in style on the international stage, following in the footsteps of past winners, swimmer Duncan Scott and cyclist Katie Archibald, two of the stars of Team Scotland at Gold Coast 2018.
In fact two of this year’s finalists joined Duncan and Katie in Gold Coast, with Erin Wallace selected at 17 as part of the Triathlon Mixed Relay and Lucas Thomson finishing 5th in both Men’s 10m Platform and Men’s 10m Synchro at the age of just 16.
Representing Team Scotland in Gold Coast was just the start for Lucas as he won silver and two bronze at the European Junior Championships, won four medals on the senior FINA Diving Grand Prix Series and took gold at the World Junior Diving Championships in the Team event, to end a phenomenal 12 months.
Since Gold Coast, Erin has split her time between athletics and triathlon with international success in both. In a whirlwind period in the summer she was 5th at the European Junior Triathlon Championships just a week after being a finalist in the 1500m at the World Junior Athletics Championships. All this on the back of a string of strong results, including finishing 2017 as overall bronze medallist in the Junior Triathlon Super Series.
Kane Elliot has had a real breakthrough year, lowering his personal best in the 1500m to set a new Scottish under 17 record and win gold at the European Youth Championships in a new Championship best. He is the first Scottish athlete ever to win gold at this event and did so as an under 17 athlete competing at an under 18 Championships.
Islay Watson won three races en route to winning the World Youth Championship title, taking the gold medal with one race to spare. In a fantastic summer she also claimed European bronze in the Techno class and was gold medallist at the Tiree Wave Classic in the Youth division. She has also today been announced as part of Team GB heading to the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in October.
Paul Bush, Chairman, Commonwealth Games Scotland said: “The breadth and depth of nominations received for this award, and the wide range of sports represented, shows that the future of Scottish sport is in good hands. We have an incredibly strong line up in our four finalists and it’s fantastic to see young athletes already making the step up to senior level for Team Scotland. I congratulate them on their tremendous achievements over the past year and look forward to following their future successes.”
Sponsor of the Young Athlete of the Year Award is the Scottish Commonwealth Games Youth Trust, a registered charity which, since 1989, has supported talented young athletes through scholarships and awards. Past beneficiaries of Youth Trust support have gone on to compete with distinction for Team Scotland at Commonwealth Games and for Team GB at Olympic Games, including Kirsty Gilmour (Badminton), Jennifer McIntosh (Shooting), Robbie Renwick (Swimming) and Eilidh Doyle (Athletics).
Winners across all award categories will be crowned at the Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards in a star-studded celebration of Scottish sport on 13 September at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.