Friday, September 21, 2018

Commonwealth and European Champion Duncan Scott named National Lottery Athlete of the Year

Commonwealth and European champion, Duncan Scott, added to his already impressive list of titles by being named Athlete of the Year at the National Lottery Awards in London tonight.  

The 21 year old swimmer, who earlier this year returned home from the Commonwealth Games as the most successful Scot ever at a single games, with six medals to his name, won the public vote to secure the title as the nation's Athlete of the Year.  

He was surprised with the news at the National Lottery Awards event which is the annual celebration of people and projects who do extraordinary things with National Lottery funding. 

The awards ceremony was attended by a host of celebrities including Michael Sheen, Louis Theroux and Katherine Jenkins, and will be broadcast on BBC One Scotland at 10.45pm on Wednesday 26 September. 

Duncan, who trains at the sportscotland Institute of Sport in Stirling, which is supported by National Lottery funding, said:

“It is a real honour to be crowned ‘Athlete of the Year’ at this year’s National Lottery Awards. Without the support of National Lottery funding, I would never have achieved this much in the pool so it is amazing to be recognised in this way.

“It was a dream to represent Team Scotland on the Gold Coast this year – I went there with no expectations other than to race as hard as I could. I never thought I’d walk away with six medals! Thank you to National Lottery players who helped to make this happen”

Since National Lottery funding for Olympic and Paralympic sport started in 1997, British athletes have won an incredible 860 medals.

The National Lottery Athlete of the Year Award celebrates the remarkable achievements of the UK’s world class National Lottery funded athletes, whilst demonstrating the impact National Lottery players have on elite sport.     

Olympic champion, Rebecca Addlington, presented the trophy to Duncan.  She said:

“I’m thrilled that Duncan has been recognised as National Lottery Athlete of the Year. He was my one to watch after Rio. We picked out who to keep your eye on and Duncan was mine.”

“There were quite a few stand-out performances at the Commonwealth Games but for me it was Duncan by an absolute mile. Even his interviews afterwards, you wanted to give him a hug and say ‘you’re amazing’. He is such a nice guy and the way he approached the race, you could tell his passion for the sport.”

“During my career I was incredibly grateful to receive National Lottery support which gave me access to world class coaches, physios, technical support, facilities, equipment and training. I’m so glad that the National Lottery continues to fund star athletes like Duncan! ”

Duncan beat off stiff competition to reach the public voting stage in this year’s National Lottery Awards. He went head to head with seven fellow athletes from around the UK who were selected by the judging panel for their sporting achievements, passion for their sport and ability to inspire others.

As well as Duncan’s record-breaking medal haul at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Duncan also took a gold and silver medal at the European Championships in Glasgow this summer.  This added to an already impressive medal collection which includes two Olympic medals from Rio 2016 and two World Championship medals in the last 12 months. In addition to competing, Duncan has helped people of all abilities learn to swim in Troon, South Ayrshire where he learned to swim as a young boy.

Duncan has chosen to donate his £5,000 cash prize to the Edinburgh Limb Loss Association (ELLA).  ELLA is a support group for lower limb amputees and meets on a regular basis to discuss and share experiences. The group arranges social events, including swimming sessions.

The National Lottery Awards will be broadcast on BBC One Scotland at 10.45pm on Wednesday 26 September and will be available on BBC iPlayer.  You can also follow the action on Twitter: hashtag #NLAwards or go to www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk for more information. 

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