Harper Macleod, Legal Adviser to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, has announced Scottish Para-athlete Sammi Kinghorn as the firm’s Athlete Ambassador ahead of next year’s sporting spectacular.
Sammi, 17, is one of Europe’s leading wheelchair racers and will compete in the T54 1500m event at next year’s Games. In September, she was the youngest of the first 27 athletes to book their place on Team Scotland for the biggest multi-sport event the country has ever hosted.
Harper Macleod Chief Executive Martin Darroch said: “As one of Scotland’s leading law firms, we are delighted to join forces with one of the country’s leading young athletes for what is going to be the most exciting year so far for both of us. We take our association with the Games very seriously and want to ensure it leaves a positive and lasting legacy, both for the firm, our clients and the wider community.
“Sammi encapsulates the values we believe in as a firm – she is dynamic and driven to achieve her goals regardless of any obstacles put in her way. In legal terms, like Sammi, we’re a relative newcomer but that has never held us back and when we were looking for an Ambassador to sum up our association with the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games it didn’t take us long to see that Sammi and Harper Macleod were a perfect fit.
“We believe she’ll go on to become one of Scotland’s greatest Para-athletes and can’t wait to cheer her on at Hampden Park next July and for many years to come.”
Sammi said: “I’m delighted that Harper Macleod has chosen me as its Athlete Ambassador and look forward to our association over the coming year. Since being chosen for Team Scotland I’ve been amazed by the support I’ve received, and I’m really grateful that people want to help me do well. I’m really excited about the prospect of competing in front of a home crowd next year, and I’m determined to do all my supporters proud.”
Sammi was injured in an accident in December 2010 and spent five months in the Spinal Injuries Unit of Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital.
Since trying wheelchair racing at the national centre for disability sports at Stoke Mandeville almost two years ago, she has gone from novice to elite competitor with unprecedented speed. She is Scotland’s leading T53 wheelchair racer, holding every national record, and is ranked No.2 in Europe. At Glasgow 2014 she will be competing up a classification in the T54 1500m.
Coached by Ian Mirfin, founder of The Red Star Athletics Club in Glasgow, the country’s premier club for athletes with disabilities, Sammi already has her eyes set on the British & European records held by Tanni Grey-Thompson, a bona-fide legend of para-athletics
Sammi won the women’s race at the recent Great Scottish Run in Glasgow on 6 October, and on 14 October was selected to be supported by UK Athletics as part of its Podium Potential World Class Performance Programme for 2013-2014. This selection is based on her potential to win medals at upcoming Paralympics and World Championships.
Ian Mirfin said: “Competing at this level of wheelchair racing requires a substantial amount of financial support, and backing such as this from Harper Macleod, along with that from the sports authorities, is vital so that athletes such as Sammi can gain the competitive experience they need to become champions.”
As well as being Legal Advisers to and an Official Supporter of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Harper Macleod is also an Official Supporter of Team Scotland.
Jon Doig, Chief Executive, Commonwealth Games Scotland and Team Scotland Chef de Mission, said: “We are delighted that Harper Macleod is extending its support to Team Scotland through an athlete ambassador initiative. Sammi has shown true talent and ambition in her achievements so far, as well as remarkable mental and physical resilience in overcoming her injuries. She is one of our top Para-Sport athletes and is a true inspiration and she will be excellent ambassador for both Team Scotland and Harper Macleod.”