As a swimmer, my role model within my own sport is Hannah Miley. As a young girl I was always inspired by watching a Scottish girl named Hannah competing in competitions like the Olympic Games. I was inspired by her outstanding work ethic and her desire to compete with the best in the world.
However, closer to home, my role model in sport is my older brother Lewis. He has been motivated to become successful in his sport from a young age. I have watched him over the years make sacrifices, commit to his training and maintain a healthy lifestyle. He is an athlete 365 days a year.
Living day to day with someone who shows 100% commitment to his sport is very inspiring.
I have watched my brother balance sport and education and this has had a positive impact on how I balance my training and school work. I have also watched his ability to focus on recovery from injury and how he never gives up. Having such a positive role model at home has helped me and encouraged me in my own sporting ambitions.
Everyone has a role model or someone they look up to or aspire to be, from Olympic athletes to teachers. I've always looked up to my coaches and wished I could do a job like them when I grew up. Getting to play my favourite sport for a couple of hours a week and getting paid was the dream. The role models I had when I was younger motivated me to take up sport as a job. As I got older, my role models changed and I started to have different role models for different areas of my life.
I have been lucky to be able to coach a sport I love and work with amazing people every day. But in my work there are three individuals I especially look up to. Susan, Janelle and Grace from Active Stirling have been a vital part of my life over the past three years and have motivated me and worked with me to get me where I am today. Over the years, I have learned about the challenges they have faced and how they overcame them. They are always up for a chat and have taken a genuine interest into my life and challenges that I have faced and have helped by providing solutions or strategies to overcome them.
They have given me the confidence to do anything in life and have pushed me to further my career path by going to university after the summer, something I never thought I would do. They are individuals I will always look up to and admire.
I hated school and could not wait for the day I was done with it. I was not very academic and didn't know what I was going to do after school. My PE teacher, Mr Ritchie, showed me that when I leave school, I don’t have to go to uni, there are different ways to get to where I want to be. He encouraged me to see what was out there that I could do and when I found a Modern Apprenticeship, he made sure I applied as he knew it was something I would enjoy and I would get a lot from. His encouragement and passion for me to succeed is something I admire and he is still someone I look up to.
This is a small number of people that I look up to and see as my role models, but they are the ones who have had the biggest impact on my life. Their passion and encouragement is something I am grateful for and I hope they are having the same impact on other people's lives as they've had on mine.
My sporting role model is William (Willie) Collum, FIFA elite and Scottish football referee. Willie has had some very high-profile and prestigious appointments such as refereeing three Scottish Cup finals, Old Firm derbies, League Cup finals, Champions League and Europa League matches, international qualifiers and even the Euro 2012 finals in France. Willie has reached some real highs in his career and I can only dream of doing similar in mine.
Willie is a role model off the field as well - after the Scottish Cup final this year he said he was going to watch the Scotland women’s team and support and cheer them. This just shows how human he is and how he wants the best for the national team.
During matches I always watch Willie to see how he referees, and I analyse his performance and try to adapt mine to improve.
Willie is a true professional on the field and is an excellent role model to me. When he started his journey into officiating he was only two years younger than I was when I started mine. If I can have a career like his I will be more than happy!
Other referees who inspired me are those I train with, who are in higher categories than myself. I am currently a Category 6 referee and I train with the likes of Craig Wilson, Andrew Craven, Colin Drummond and Craig McCrae. They work so hard during training and matches and are a great set of guys to look up to. When they don’t have an appointment on a Saturday morning they can always be found fitting in an extra training session. They're never late and always work extremely hard. They also support the younger officials and are great role models for anyone looking to progress in refereeing.
I had many role models who made me who I am today, but I think the most noteworthy is my Active Schools coordinator, Vikki Sadler. She has always pushed me outside my comfort zone and also brought me into the North Lanarkshire Sports Panel, which was a big step up from being part of the sports leader academy within my school.
Mrs Sadler showed me the importance of sport and leadership. She demonstrated so many great qualities as I watched her giving lessons or talks.
I have always looked up to her as she pushed me to go for the national panel and I now strive to gain all the great leadership qualities she had.
Hopefully through the national panel I can give as much back to my community as she has done. Her desire and dedication to promote sport in my school is phenomenal and is something that one day I want to work towards.