Scotland, despite being the world’s leading innovator in the field of deep-frying things, has a fantastic record for sporting achievement. Young Scottish athletes have excelled in just about every sport imaginable, winning medals, cups and trophies in football, athletics, and even at the Olympic Games. We’ve put together a small selection of successful young Scots making us proud.
- Ieuan James, 18
Football, rugby, tennis and athletics are all represented on this list. Edinburgh-born Ieuan is the only kayaker on here, however. He’s doing his own thing, and he’s doing it very well: Ieuan competed in his first international championship at age 17, and became European Junior Champion in the 200m K1 Canoe Sprint. Then, earlier this year at the World Championships in Romania, he was crowned Junior World Champion in the Canoe Sprint. This makes him Great Britain’s first Junior World Champion at the event for 22 years.
- Andy Murray, 30
Andy scrapes into our definition of “young Scots”, having only turned thirty this year. This means that he won the men’s singles at Wimbledon (twice), won the men’s singles at the US Open, was ranked No.1 in British tennis, was ranked No.1 in the world, was knighted, was awarded an OBE, and won two Olympic gold medals, all while he was still in his twenties. Scotland will be talking about Andy Murray for a very long time.
- Aminah Din, 19
Unlike others on this list, Aminah did not receive unconditional support from her community. In fact, she had to deal with considerable opposition when she took up football. Being a girl and being Asian meant that she was very different from her teammates, and was ostracised for these differences. Aminah decided to deal with this by being very, very good. She’s played in football tournaments all over the UK, received offers to train with Rangers’ Girls Team, and was nominated for a Young Scot Award earlier this year. Her inspirational story has also garnered awards, as she was Scottish Women in Sport’s Role Model of the Year in 2015 and the Scottish Asian Sportswoman of the Year in 2014.
- Stuart Hogg, 25
Stuart, born in Melrose near the Scottish border, plays rugby. He doesn’t mind who he plays rugby with either. So far, he’s been a part of the Scotland U17, U18, and U20 teams, as well having over 50 caps with the Scotland’s international squad. While playing at the Six Nations with that squad, he was named player of the tournament two years running. At 24, he became the youngest player to have made 100 appearances for the Glasgow Warriors. He’s also been a part of the British and Irish Lions (composed of the best rugby talent from those five nations) on two separate occasions, the first when he was only 21.
- Eilidh Doyle, 30
Eilidh’s from Perth, and has been achieving and excelling in British athletics for over a decade. She’s been Scottish Athletics’ Athlete of the Year in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014, and has taken home a total of 29 gold medals from 12 different British athletics championships during her career. She’s also won six golds in her preferred distance , the 400m, at the European Championships. Taking into account her two silver medals from the Commonwealth Games and an Olympic bronze as well, Eilidh is the most decorated Scottish track and field athlete alive today.
- Kieran Tierney, 20
Given Scotland’s long history with football, there is a lot, and I really do mean a lot, of young, talented football players in the country. We’ve picked Kieran for a few reasons: he’s been the Professional Football Association’s Young Scottish Football of the year two years in a row (a feat which hasn’t been achieved for more than 30 years), he’s the youngest player to captain Celtic in 40 years, and he’s already won eight caps with the Scotland squad despite turning 20 only months ago.
- Laura Muir, 24
Laura entered the spotlight recently for her double gold at the European Indoor Championships. The Inverness native was first place in both the 1500m and 3000m races, which is impressive in itself given the demands of cross-country running. However, the achievement is especially impressive as she broke the European record for the 3000m and the British record for the 1500m while doing so. This makes for a total of four records overall, as Laura is also Europe’s fastest for the 1000m and Britain’s fastest for the indoor 5000m.
- Libby Clegg, 27
Libby competes in the 100 and 200 meters, and has been doing so since she was 11. Her foremost achievement is most likely her two golds from the Rio Paralympics, but her entire running career is exemplary. Libby has a deteriorating eye condition which means she only has slight peripheral vision, and is registered blind. Despite this, she’s gone on to win four Paralympic medals, two golds at the Paralympic World Cup, two MORE golds at the International Paralympic European Championships, and a gold at the most recent Commonwealth games. She was awarded an MBE in the 2017 New Years Honours, and we think it was well deserved.