New Edinburgh-based sprint champion dedicates victory to his grandfather who died recently aged 92
Top Edinburgh sprinter Allan Hamilton has dedicated his victory in the Scottish senior men’s 100-metre championship to his grandfather George Sinclair, a much-loved athletic coach, who died at the age of 92 just over a week ago.
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Allan, a member of Edinburgh Athletics Club, took the title in 10.59 seconds at Grangemouth on Saturday.
And afterwards he spoke fondly of his grandfather, who was a coach with the same club.
Allan said: "He is one of the reasons that I do the sport, that I took up the sport so it is great. I feel it’s a bit of a tribute to come on and be able to compete – he would want me to come out compete – and obviously do well. So I suppose this is kind of for him, which is quite good.”
Mr Sinclair coached several sprinters and middle-distance runners who enjoyed success at Olympic and Commonwealth games. He was coach at Edinburgh Southern Harriers during a golden period in Scottish athletics in the 1970s and 80s, and only retired from the sport when he was 82.
Born in Pathhead, he went to George Heriot’s School, served in the parachute regiment during National Service and ran the Post Office at Goldenacre which was passed down from his parents.
And he made athletics a family affair – his wife Pat an athlete, coach and official, son Robert a pole vaulter and daughters Lorna and Fiona both sprinters and hurdlers.
Mr Sinclair died peacefully at home on August 5.
After his win on Saturday, Allan also told how he had kept up his training in his grandparents’ garage with weights from the old Meadowbank sports centre.
"It’s been a really tough year for myself, for everyone, just with the whole situation with Covid. I’m one of the fortunate ones – my grandparents allowed me to use the garage and we had some weights from the old Meadowbank. It’s juts doing what you can with what you’ve got – and we managed to keep going. Obviously it wasn’t ideal – we’d prefer to have more facilities and more prep, but do what you can and it’s come up pretty well.”