AROUND 140 people packed into the Volunteer Hall in Galashiels for an evening of sporting-themed entertainment last weekend.

Gala Cricket Club and charity Rowan Boland Memorial Trust’s Sports Dinner saw Paralympian Samantha Kinghorn, Grand National winning jockey Ryan Mania and top rugby and American football coach Richie Gray reflect on the highs and lows of their careers.

During a series of question and answer sessions with MC for the night Bruce Aitchison, of the Happiness is Egg Shaped brand, all three spoke with honesty and humour to give an insight into their achievements.

Kinghorn, of Gordon, discussed her career which has seen her become a double Paralympic medallist and latterly presenter on BBC Countryfile.

Clovenfords’ Mania reflected on his Grand National win in 2013, but also the lows of a serious injury the very next day, and then retiring from the sport, before returning to horse racing in 2019.

And Galashiels' Gray was in top form, discussing how he went from being made redundant to founding his own business and the demands of being a coach with the South Africa rugby team, as well as working with the superstar athletes of the National Football League.

The night also heard music from the talented Singing Souters – father and son duo Tommy and Darren Knox – as well as a raffle and auction which raised money for both the trust and cricket club.

A spokesperson for the organising committee said: “We must thank Samantha, Ryan and Richie and Tommy and Darren Knox for giving up their time to take part in the dinner, as well as Bruce Aitchison who was a superb MC during the whole night.

“Thanks also to Stuart Wilson for his work on the sound during the night, John Robertson and the team for the meals, GalaPate’s bar staff and waiters and waitresses, A&A Doyle for sponsoring the dinner programmes, everyone who provided auction and raffle prizes and everyone who donated.”