A GORDON girl who has been in a wheelchair for only two years has been named as the youngest athlete in the Scottish squad for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014.
Samantha Kinghorn just 16, joins five London 2012 Olympians, 14 other teenagers, and four para athletes in a youthful squad that also has its eyes on the Gold Coast Games to be held in 2018.
Samantha had already been invited onto a talent weekend held in November by UK Athletics, which formed part of the ‘Paralympic Pathway’, in recognition of her achieving the qualifying time in her chosen discipline, the 1500m.
The athletes in the squad receive support from scottishathletics throughout the year and the majority will receive medical back-up from the sportscotland Institute of Sport.
The support helps with competition opportunities and this year there is an emphasis on bringing coaches into the operation and even extends to handing athletes advice and guidelines on social media.
Samantha lost the use of her legs in December 2010, as she helped her parents clear snow on their farm at Middlethird.
While in recovery, her sporty nature was noted and she began training in wheelchair racing at Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire, a national centre for disability sports.
Her natural ability was evident at once as she finished second in her first attempt at the London Marathon.