Samantha Kinghorn is one of the UK’s most successful young wheelchair racers.
Samantha Kinghorn broke her back when she was 14 years old in a tragic farming accident at her home in the Scottish Borders. Airlifted to hospital in Glasgow, she underwent six months of rehabilitation before returning to the farm with the knowledge that she would never walk again.
“The most important thing is acceptance,” says Samantha with a smile that appears older than her years. “The rest is easy once you have come to accept your situation”. At 19 years old Samantha has overcome tragedy and has gone on to achieve remarkable things. She’s met leading politicians, provided motivation to hundreds of school children across Scotland and is travelling the world doing the thing she loves most - racing.
“As part of my rehabilitation I got the chance to attend the Stoke Mandeville Spinal Injury Games and caught the bug. Three weeks after I got my first racing chair I competed in the London Mini-Marathon and came second – I didn’t realise you weren’t supposed to stop and spent the race thanking everyone who stopped to wish me well.”
“I’ve always been active, and spent my childhood outdoors on the farm. I used to horse ride, and enjoyed gymnastics at school. As soon as I tried wheelchair racing I knew it was what I wanted to do. I now compete in the T53 racing category”.
“Off the track, I have used a number of different wheelchairs – I have a farm chair for the mud and puddles and have now opted for a new Carbon Fibre active wheelchair from Ottobock. It’s lightweight, easily manoeuvrable and is really comfortable due to its custom design. Because it’s all modular, it also means that sections are replaceable – rather than having to get a whole new chair should I need it. I love that I’ve been able to tailor the wheelchair to suit my personal style, as well as my lifestyle – it’s a real expression of me”.
Key competitive achievemets:
Representing Scotland in a home Commonwealth games in 2014 and following that up with a Great Britain debut in the IPC European Championships winning gold over 100m, 400m and 800m.
Year of birth: 1996
Sport: Wheelchair Racing
100m - 17.64
200m - 30.52
400m - 57.24
800m - 1.56
1500m - 3.36
10k - 26.33
half marathon - 60.00
Coach: Ian Mirfin
Home team/club: Red Star AC
Career highlights: Representing Scotland in a home Commonwealth games in 2014 and following that up with a Great Britain debut in the IPC European Championships winning gold over 100m, 400m and 800m