Linlithgow Athletics Club coach runs away with honour from the Queen

Frank Clement pictured with his five daughters and wife Anne Marie.
Frank Clement pictured with his five daughters and wife Anne Marie.

A Linlithgow Athletics Club coach has spoken of his joy at receiving the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

Frank Clement (67) has been with the club since it began in 1979, and still organises the annual Linlithgow 10k race.

Speaking about his award for services to athletics, he said: “It’s absolutely wonderful, a great honour. I’m very pleased about it, delighted.

“Athletics is something I have enjoyed all my life. It has been a fun thing for me to do so I’m quite surprised to get this. It’s not like coaching and competing has been a chore.

“I started when I was 15 and I’m still involved half a century on. Athletics has been a big part of what we have done, not just me, but as a family and the club. I have lots of friends and memories through that sport.

“It’s been a huge part of my life, initially as an athlete then a coach, then work- as the sport and recreation manager at Glasgow City Council for 33/34 years, working on the Great Scottish Run and the women’s 10k.”

From 1500m champion at the World Student Games in 1973 to the chairman of Scottish Athletics, Frank appeared in the final of the 1500m at the 1976 Olympics, held British records for both 1500m and the mile in 1970s and finished fourth at the Commonwealth Games in 1978.

Speaking about his time in Linlithgow, Frank said:“Initially I was with Bellahouston but when I came to live in Linlithgow the club was being established. I got involved right at the start.

“I was there when the club was founded at a meeting in the Burgh Halls. I was there as a guest. I was a runner at the time. After a couple of months I joined and I’m still heavily involved, particularly with the 10k race in the town. Which is quite highly regarded in the athletics community.”

Frank has five daughters, four of whom are involved at Linlithgow Athletics Club, with his grandson Andrew McGill set to represent Scotland in athletics on January 11.