Highlands & Islands

Jason Maclean: From pitch to Glasgow 2014 sprint track

Jason Maclean, a runner with Inverness Harriers Athletics Club from Nairn, is due to compete in the Commonwealth Games' Para T37 100m later.

At 18, he will be one of the youngest competitors on the track during Glasgow 2014.

Cerebral palsy affects the right side of his body and Maclean only has sight in one eye.

Here Elizabeth Macdonald, High Life Highland's Active Schools co-ordinator for Nairn Academy, tells of his move from playing football to sporting success in running.

Image copyright Elizabeth macdonald/active schools

Jason's selection in the Team Scotland squad capped a remarkable 18 months - he only started running for the club in April last year.

He will be one of four Inverness Harriers representatives at Glasgow, alongside relay specialist Jamie Bowie, high jumper Rachael Mackenzie and discus thrower Kirsty Law.

Maclean will be one of the youngest competitors on the track during the Commonwealth Games Para sports event, lining up in the T37 100m at just 18 years of age.

Before making his sprinting debut in spring 2013, Jason was a youth footballer with Highland League club Nairn County.

He gave up football boots for sprinting spikes when I recommended him to Harriers coach Charlie Forbes. Jason has not looked back since.

I watch the Paralympics and Jason was always at the back of mind.

Having seen Jason win at primary school sports and go on to become a talented footballer, I decided to bite the bullet.

Jason had never allowed his disability to hinder him and I was a bit nervous as to how he and his family would react to the suggestion of disability sports.

However, there was no need to be worried as Jason embraced the idea.

Guard of honour

The Commonwealth Games is biggest event of his short athletics career so far.

But to gain qualifying times he has had to travel to Dubai, England and Sweden, picking up a few gold medals along the way and getting his first Scotland cap last year.

In Glasgow, he will compete in a senior men's event.

He will be one of the youngest people do so and the youngest of the two Scottish athletes in the category.

Before heading off to Glasgow, Jason took time to meet the youngsters taking part in High Life Highland's Nairn summer activities.

Jason was greeted with a guard of honour before spending time with the young folk, and even racing some of them, maybe inspiring some to one day follow in his running shoes.

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