LEAP Sports Scotland patrons
Martin is from Dunblane in Scotland, learned to swim whilst at Wallace High School in Stirling and is a member of Stirling Swimming Club. He has competed in 400m, 800m, 1500m and 5K and 10K open water events. Amongst his many impressive achievements, Martin was a Scottish Champion in 1500m Freestyle, British Universities champion in 1500m Freestyle, as well as 400m and 1500m (Short Course) champion. Martin has also represented Team GB and Team Scotland at many events and cup tournaments around the world.
Martin ran with the torch relay in both the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2014 Commonwealth Games, at which he competed as part of Team Scotland. Martin now serves full time as a Police Constable in the Metropolitan Police Service, having initially joined the police force as a special constable for Forth Valley division in March 2013.
In an interview with Kaleidoscot in 2014, Martin said “I really wanted to talk out to end any perception that as a gay person you can’t participate in sport…It’s a very supportive, inclusive community, and for me being gay and a swimmer has never been an issue.” On being a role model, Martin says “I just hope someone might feel easier about taking part in sport after seeing that I’ve had a really good experience – that would be great”.
On becoming a Patron in October 2015, Martin said “LEAP Sports Scotland has achieved a great deal in the short time that it has been operating. Pride House is one of my stand out memories from Glasgow 2014. I feel privileged to be joining the organisation at what is an exciting time for LGBTI sport in Scotland and I hope that I can use my role to help LEAP achieve its goals in the coming months”.
Christopher Saynt is the first openly gay wrestler in Scottish history. Dubbed Scotland’s sexiest sinner, Clydebank-born Christopher began a career in wrestling in 2010 aged 17, having previously had an ambition to become a wrestling manager. Christopher trained at the Scottish Wrestling Alliance’s Source Wrestling School but has branched out since and wrestled for many different companies including Pride Wrestling. He has over 100 professional matches under his belt, was a previous Scottish Junior Heavyweight quarter finalist and fought Mikey Whiplash in a Scottish title fight for Heavyweight Champion.
After Christopher came out, he received negative responses and hate mail from many people. He was quoted in the press as saying “I’ve had people send me emails saying we don’t want to pay money to see your shows. It’s a sign that prejudices still exist. When it comes down to it, wrestling is a bunch of men in their underwear cuddling angrily”.
In 2015, Christopher was a shortlisted finalist in the sports category at the first ever Scottish Icon Awards. He has been working as part of the LEAP Sports LGBTI Youth in Sport Task Force and on becoming a patron of LEAP said, “becoming a Patron of LEAP Sports Scotland is a great opportunity to give something back to the LGBTI community. I look forward to working with the task force and can’t wait to see what they produce. 2016 looks to be very exciting”.
We are really glad this angry cuddler has decided to become an activist and work with LEAP Sports Scotland!
Photo credited to Graeme Cunningham