HE may never have been the fastest on the rugby pitch but former Scotland star Doddie Weir appreciates the importance of speed.

Last week he was the principal guest of the Tweed, Leader, Jed Track club for their annual awards evening.

As well as presenting the trophies in St Boswells Village Hall, the 49-year-old, who is currently battling motor neurone disease, entertained the youthful audiences with a few anecdotes from his time at the height of his sport.

And the 61-times-capped lock also used his great friend Gary Armstrong as an example of how to approach sport and become the very best.

They were words that will resonate with the talented young athletes for many years to come.

TLJT chair Leagh Douglas was quick to pay tribute to the evening's special guest.

And she reminded the 120-strong audience of Doddie's remarkable fund-raising achievements of over £4million for MND research and support for sufferers and their families, since the formation of his foundation.

Prior to the presentation of trophies, a video was shown highlighting the achievements of the TLJT club's 74 member athletes during 2019.

Gavin Tait, the club's middle distance coach, also highlighted some of the impressive achievements his group had accumulated over the season, which included a silver medal at the National Relay Championships in the U17 4x300m category.

The club’s head coach Bruce Scott outlined the structure of the TLJT club as well as focussing on many of the other achievements by his runners from local competition to the international stage.

The 2019 awards went to; Most improved Junior Female – Georgie Wood, Most improved Junior Male – Tommy Beck, Most improved Senior Female – Danielle Lockie, Most improved Senior Male – Kevin Wood.

Top Junior Female – Grace McWhinnie

Top Junior Male – Jason White

Top Senior Female – Emma Brus

Top Senior Male – Finn Douglas.

Athlete’s Athlete of the Year - shared between Emma Brus and Grace McWhinnie.

The President's Award - Finn Douglas.

To conclude a memorable evening, a Lifetime Achievement award was made to legendary sprinter John Steede.

John, affectionately known as Jock, is the TLJT club's President as well as a prominent coach.

In an athletics career which spans seven decades, he has won numerous Masters titles on the Scottish, British, European and World stage, including Gold in the Masters World Championships in South Africa over 400m.

He is also a double Jed Sprint winner, in 1963 and again in 1972.

Head coach Bruce concluded that it was only right that the club recognised the longevity of his commitment.

He added: "Jock's thousands of hours of preparation behind the scenes should be recognised as well as the versatility of him as an athlete who could win over an extensive range of distances, and the fact that he has for the last 45 years trained both children and adults to success at all levels including the British competitive stage."