A PEEBLES athlete has issued a plea to help equip stars of the future facing tough conditions.

Lucy Colquhoun is appealing for good quality, used running shoes to send to sports teams in Malawi.

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Colquhoun – who represented Scotland and GB at ultra-distance running and is the record holder of the West Highland Way Race – got involved with the Zambia and Malawi Community Partnership after seeing the conditions athletes train in in the east African country.

She said: “Having good quality kit to train and play in makes a big difference to self-belief, team morale, improving performance and preventing injury.

Border Telegraph: Zambia and Malawi Community Partnership

“We need road, trail, fell shoes size four and upward, men’s and women’s, reasonable quality, clean-ish, tied together if possible.

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“Last year we collected over 400 pairs of trainers for our first shipment, and this year we're aiming to reach 1,000 pairs. Each pair of shoes costs us £2 to ship.

Border Telegraph: Zambia and Malawi Community Partnership

“We're partnering with the Borders cross country league, starting in Lauder on Sunday, November 4, followed by Peebles on November 26 and running until March 2024, with races at Spittal on December 3, Paxton House on January 7, Dunbar on January 21, Galashiels on February 4, Duns on February 18 and Denholm on March 10.

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“But I'm also hoping to get other venues and clubs involved including Live Borders, park runs, football clubs so this is a call to action for any sports clubs and races/events who want to get involved in a collection to email me at lucyacolquhoun@gmail.com."

The interim CEO of the Scotland Malawi Partnership, Stuart Brown, said: “Scotland and Malawi have an array of vibrant people-to-people links, founded in friendship.

“This brilliant sharing of used sports kit is supporting the amazing talent and potential that exists in Malawi, equipping teams and stars of the future, as well as having a positive impact on school results.”