Gordon ace Sammi awarded MBE in Queen's Birthday Honours

Borders wheelchair racer Sammi Kinghorn told The Berwickshire this week she was excited, but completely surprised, to be receiving the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to disability sport.

By Kevin Janiak
Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 9:27 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 9:36 am
Sammi Kinghorn has been awarded the MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
Sammi Kinghorn has been awarded the MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

The world changed completely for the 26-year-old para athlete from Gordon in December 2010, when she was involved in a life-changing accident on the family farm.

She spent five months in hospital with an injury that left her paralysed from the waist down.

However, while she was in the Spinal Injuries Unit at Southern General Hospital, her physiotherapist took her to Stoke Mandeville Stadium to take part in the WheelPower Inter Spinal Games, where she was able to try out a variety of wheelchair sports.

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And that was the beginning of a remarkable journey, in which she has won World and European medals, as well as a silver and bronze last year in Tokyo, which she says is her crowning achievement.

We caught up with Sammi as she spent a couple of days in France this week on the way home from another competition in Switzerland.

She said: “It’s really exciting, while being a bit strange at the same time.

"I never even thought about receiving an MBE before, I’ve just been concentrating on my performance on the track.

"However, it will be fantastic for other disabled kids to see that they can achieve anything, despite their disabilities.”

Sammi, who is now part of the Glasgow-based disability sports club Red Star, where she is coached by Rodger Harkins, takes time out of her busy training schedule to support new wheelchair athletes, and has visited training sessions, supported at competitions, and shared valuable advice.

She also donates her time towards delivering motivational speeches to schools, businesses, and ex-service people, and is active in the Youth Sport Trust and Sky Sports education programmes.

Now, she’s looking forward to competing for Scotland in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in August.

She said: "I’m not sure when I’ll actually receive the MBE, but I’m really excited about it – it’ll be a day I’ll never forget. I may even have to buy a new hat.”