HM Insights

Behind the scenes – catching up with Sammi Kinghorn (well, almost)

Already one of Europe's top wheelchair racers at the age of 18, our Athlete Ambassador Samantha Kinghorn has a remarkable story to share.

So we took a film crew to her home in the Scottish Borders to get a glimpse of what makes Sammi so special

Sammi Story Of The Film

The result was a stunning short film which captured the essence of the support and hard work which goes into making Sammi such an incredible athlete.

But the three minutes of footage doesn't tell the whole story ...

The story of the film

By 7am on the morning on November 28, 2013, Elaine Kinghorn's kitchen was full to bursting with film production crew – not the usual start to a day on the farm where she and husband Neill live with Sammi.

Tea done, and it was time to hit the road – literally. Incredibly, we lucked out with a beautiful day of low sun and stunning skies, making for some sensational footage.

Sammi has a number of wheelchairs, including one with chunky tyres for round the farm. The atmospheric shot which starts the film shows Sammi taking in the early morning on the farm, with Neill driving the tractor you see.

The rig she uses to train on in her specially converted garage was built by her Dad. He rescued the rollers from a burning combine harvester. They're much heavier and roll with much more resistance than other training rollers.

Sammi's farm has a history for speed. Horses were once bred on it and one famous inhabitant, Freddie, won 13 races. A BBC documentary has been made and a book - A Horse Called Freddie - has been written about him.

Using a camera truck that had seen action on the Tom Cruise film "Edge Of Tomorrow", and recent adverts for the Jaguar XF, award winning film director Dom Bridges followed Sammi round her usual training routes along the hilly country roads of Gordon, Berwickshire.

Sammi loves speed, and Dom could scarcely believe his eyes as she clocked a new personal best of 66kph in one of the downhill runs you see in the film.

The road she trains on is very hilly. Most other wheelchair athletes train on the flat. A lot of wheelchair athletes don't train on roads at all.

Through the course of filming, she racked up more than 20km in the chair.

The man chopping logs and woman hanging out the washing are Sammi's aunt and uncle – Gordon and Lenna Middlemiss. She often passes their house while out training, but they're not the only one to wave as she goes.

Throughout the day it was clear that Sammi is a firm favourite among the local community, with everyone we encountered full behind her and clearly proud of her achievements.

Sammi's coach Ian Mirfin has a greyhound, and we filmed some greyhounds, too, to illustrate speed. They can run at up to 80kph - the one we filmed with kept catching the fake rabbit.

Ian's own greyhound Anu was determined to catch some chickens at Sammi's aunty and uncle's house, which interrupted filming somewhat as the whole crew had to chase and catch her, thankfully, no chickens were hurt in the making of the film.

Road work done and a stunning sunset bringing on a dark November evening, it was time to head for the track. Tweedbank in Galashiels, where Sammi does most of her on-track training, was recently renovated ahead of Glasgow 2014.

Despite having a prior engagement that evening, Sammi kept going, take after take, in the cold and dark as Dom ensured he got the perfect shots for the film.

It was 8pm, and 13 hours after she'd started filming that day, when the final 'Cut' was called and a weary but still smiling Kinghorn family made it back to their home – this time without a film crew in tow.

Dom missed his scheduled flight back to London, but he didn't care – the end result was worth it.

The film explores the dynamics of the relationship between Sammi and Ian.

We think we've created a captivating and beautiful short film that helps communicate our belief that whether in business or in sport greatness begins behind the scenes.

It's a story about dedication and partnerships and hard, hard work. Something we're no strangers to at Harper Macleod. And something worth sharing with as many people as you can.