The delighted dad of Carluke swimming ace Mark Ford has spoken of the pride he and his wife felt at seeing the youngster scoop a top award.
Mark (14) landed Junior Male Performer honours at last week’s 21st annual South Lanarkshire Council Sports Awards in Hamilton.
“My wife Ann-Marie and I are really proud and delighted that Mark has won this award,” dad Neil said.
“It is recognition for the hard work he has put in.
“I didn’t expect it at all because there was a really high calibre of other people on the shortlist including someone who had won at the Taekwon-Do World Championships.”
Mark’s sensational 2016 which impressed the judging panel included gaining an incredible 21 podium spots throughout the year.
This included 19 first place finishes in a busy season of school and district swim meets in 2016 across butterfly, backstroke and freestyle at 50, 100, 200 and 400m.
Mark, who is currently seeded Scotland’s number one in his age class for 50m backstroke, developed superbly for over five years at Lanark Amateur Swimming Club under his long time coach Karen Kelly.
So it was undoubtedly a wrench for the teenager to leave Lanark ASC recently and join City of Glasgow Swimming Club. He is also now a Glasgow School of Sport pupil.
Neil added: “Karen has been very good with Mark.
“It was a difficult decision for him to leave but Karen has been very supportive.”