It has been a year when north and north-east stars have paraded their talents across a diverse range of sporting pursuits.
Indeed, 2018 has encompassed everything from glory in such activities as tug of
war, windsurfing and shinty to Scotland’s women footballers qualifying for the World Cup and the country’s cricketers defeating England on the ODI stage.
All these exploits have gained plaudits and generated interest and they have all been covered comprehensively by the Press and Journal.
But now, it’s up to you – the P&J readers – to decide which member of this illustrious group deserves to be crowned as our inaugural Sports Personality of the Year.
The deadline for voting is 5pm on Friday, December 7.
VOTING HAS NOW CLOSED
The candidates are listed in alphabetical order and include plenty of representatives from across the gender divide.
Who has impressed you most, on the pitch, in the sea, on the course or on the athletics track, amid the fervour of international action?
JULIE BANNERMAN and LOUISE McKENZIE (Tug of War)
This redoubtable north-east duo were part of the team who battled against the best in the globe at the World Championships in Cape Town during the summer.
And they were ecstatic after winning the 500kg open category. As members of the successful Cornhill club at Banff, Ms Bannerman, 27, and Ms Mckenzie, 18, have definitely proved their pulling power.
ZOEY CLARK (Athletics)
The 23-year-old Aberdonian star had a hectic start to 2018, but relished winning a bronze medal in the 4x400m relay at the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Birmingham.
She subsequently took part in the Commonwealth Games in Australia, helping Team Scotland set a new national record in the 4x400m, and was part of the GB and NI quartet who secured bronze in the relay final at the European Championships in Berlin.
KYLE COETZER (Cricket)
The Scotland captain set the tone during his country’s first-ever success against England in June when he and his north-east teammate, Matthew Cross, orchestrated a superb opening century stand, which threw down the gauntlet to their highly-ranked rivals.
Coetzer was also superb in his fielding duties and the experienced campigner was thrilled when his men recorded a nerve-shredding one-wicket victory over the World Cup favourites.
KIRSTY DEANS (Shinty)
This young livewire captained Badenoch and Strathspey to their televised Valerie Fraser Cup Final win at Kingussie with a player-of-the-match performance and then took part in a live television football fixture a few days later playing for Forfar Farmington.
She is widely regarded as one of the sport’s most outstanding talents, a performer with superb skills who can hold her own in any company and epitomises the way women’s shinty has advanced.
NEIL FACHIE (Cycling)
The Paralympic champion in London in 2012 and world record breaker maintained his honour-studded career with a brace of gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.
The 34-year-old from Aberdeen triumphed in the men’s tandem sprint and the men’s tandem 1km time trial events.
KIM LITTLE (Football)
Scotland celebrated wildly when they clinched their first place at a Women’s World Cup finals with a dramatic 2-1 victory over Albania and nobody was more important to their triumph than 28-year-old Kim Little, who scored the opening goal and confirmed her reputation as a global superstar.
She and another north-east stalwart, Rachel Corsie, are blessed with the requisite mixture of steel and skill to thrive in France in 2019.
ROBERT MACINTYRE (Golf)
The 22-year-old from Oban was already an amateur champion and Walker Cup player.
But he showed his mettle in his first season as a professional when he gained his European Tour card with a string of quality performances.
He will be joined by three other Scots on the circuit in 2019 – including Aberdeen’s David Law – and the future looks bright for the newcomers.
SCOTT MCKENNA (Football)
The Aberdeen defender has become one of the most highly-prized players in the Pittodrie pantheon and has glittered for Scotland in recent months as well.
Despite being the target of such clubs as Premiership champions Celtic and English Championship club Aston Villa, the 22-year-old played a pivotal role in the Dons finishing second in the SPFL and was in the vanguard when his compatriots thrashed Albania 4-0 earlier this month.
ROBBIE SIMPSON (Athletics)
Scotland finished the 2018 Commonwealth Games with a total of 44 medals – the nation’s second highest-ever tally.
And north-east runner Robbie Simpson collected bronze on the final day of competition – Scotland’s last medal of the competition – to demonstrate the fortitude which has seen the Banchory man prosper.
His podium finish was all the more creditable, given the sweltering heat in the Gold Coast.
ISLAY WATSON (Windsurfing)
The Aviemore-based teenager highlighted her prowess on the water when she won the World Youth Championships in the RS:X class in Texas and spoke positively about her desire to keep making waves and become a professional sailor.
Watson, 17, subsequently followed that up by being included in Team GB’s squad for the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires and it’s clear the teenager has no intention of slowing down as she pursues her ambitions.