AN INSPIRATIONAL young sportsman has been handed an Olympic boost – meeting gold medallist Alastair Brownlee and starred on an end-of-year roll of honour alongside tennis champ Andy Murray.
Triathlete Gavin Alexander, a pupil at Lenzie Academy, was named Young Sports Person of the Year at the recent Stirling Sports Awards.
He accepted his trophy at a ceremony held at Stirling Castle, where US Open winner Andy Murray landed the overall Sportsperson of the Year Award.
It caps a phenomenal year for Gavin, which saw him swim, run and cycle to both the Scottish Schools and Scottish Youth Championships – titles he had already won in three previous years.
He also won the Scottish Open Water Triathlon Youth Championships, Bishopbriggs Triathlon and the youth category of the Loch Lomond Triathlon, where he was third overall.
A third at the British Elite Triathlon, a fourth in the British Elite Duathlon and a sixth in the British Super Series were amongst his other achievements in 2012.
His record is all the more remarkable given that he is a Type 1 diabetic – needing regular insulin shots to combat the debilitating condition.
He said: “I was actually diagnosed with diabetes about a month before my first triathlon at the age of 10.
“I’d been running before and my dad took me along to an event. Somebody dropped out and I decided to give it a shot.
“Now I’ve been running triathlons for six years it’s got a lot easier to handle the diabetes.
“I’ve now been sponsored by a professional athletics team in America called Team Type One, who are made up of 95 per cent diabetics.”
He was due to head to Alicante recently for a week of training with the team.
There was another bonus for Gavin at the Stirling ceremony, when he got to meet Olympic triathlon gold medallist Alastair Brownlee.
The Stirling Triathlon Club member said: “Obviously both Alastair and his brother Jonny are heroes of mine.
“After the ceremony I got to sit down and have a chat with him for about 20 minutes, which was incredible.”
Gavin is pictured (on the right) with Alastair Brownlee at the ceremony in Stirling Castle.
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