THE winners of the 2017 Argyll and Bute Sports Awards have been announced.
Eight community heroes have been honoured for their contribution to sport.
Announcing the finalists and winners was Dee Bradbury, Vice-President of Scottish Rugby.
The awards aim to celebrate and reward the success and achievements of athletes, coaches and volunteers and are run in partnership with sportscotland.
Policy Lead for Communities, Robin Currie, said: “Congratulations to all our winners and finalists – this is very well-deserved recognition.
“There is so much going on in grassroots sport in Argyll and Bute and people put in so much of their own time to coach, train and run clubs in their community.
“It’s only right that their commitment should be properly marked and that the enthusiasm and dedication they’ve shown and the successes they have achieved is recognised and celebrated.
“Well done to everyone and thank you to those who took the time to nominate their unsung sports stars.”
Awards will be presented to the winners in front of fellow members at their individual sports clubs.
Dee Bradbury made the announcement via video link and it is available to view at www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/sportsawards
Congratulating the winners and nominees, she told them: “Regardless of whether you win or not, you have all played a massive part in the success of sport in Argyll and Bute.”
The winners are:
Adult Youth Coach: Winners, Ian and Elizabeth Stewart, archery, Lochgilphead. Runners-up, Brian MacNaughton, Col-Glen and Dunoon Grammar School shinty clubs and Jennifer Wilkie, G84 Netball Club, Helensburgh.
Ian and Elizabeth can be credited with bringing archery to Mid Argyll. In August 2016 there were no archery clubs running in the school or within the Mid Argyll community however through the hard work of Ian and Elizabeth a local coaching course was organised which enabled volunteers to become qualified. A thriving club has been running at Lochgilphead High School for a year and the local sports centre has now started a community club. Ian and Elizabeth have inspired many pupils at the school through their enthusiasm and innovative coaching sessions.
Young Coach: Winner, Michael Strathern, Benderloch Badminton Club. Runners-up, Shannon McCuish, swimming, Oban and Davina Batey, Islay High School (who teaches after-school activities in a primary school).
Michael has attended the badminton club since he was eight and started coaching at 13. During his five years of coaching he has encouraged many young people to take up badminton and has helped produce some very competitive players at S1 level. Without Michael’s coaching ability, the club would not be where it is in terms of competitive success and the success of the club overall.
Primary Young Leader: Winner, Darren Hamilton, formerly Port Ellen Primary, Islay. Runners-up, Leanne Abbot, formerly Bowmore Primary, Islay and Shannon Tangy, formerly Salen Primary, Mull.
Darren took part in the Young Sports Leader training organised by Active Schools and helped to run extra-curricular clubs in the school for two years. He showed a great commitment in this role and was an excellent role model for other pupils in the school. Darren was a dedicated coach to the younger children and his enthusiasm for sport was a great asset to the school.
Community Coach: Winner, Gordon Shearer, Oban Lorne Rugby Football Club and Oban High Rugby Club. Runner-up, Sid Gallagher, Kintyre Canoe Club and Campbeltown Sea Sports project.
Gordon has many years’ experience coaching rugby and coaches at Oban Lorne RFC. His commitment and professionalism to coaching session has seen him build up a fantastic relationship with the players at the club, helping them gain both individual and team success. His work with the clubs has enhanced the developments of the School of Rugby Programme at Oban High School and the on-going development work at Oban Lorne.
Service to Sport: Winner, Bobby Crowe, Dunoon Shinty Club. Runners-up, Jane Isaac, Argyll Riding for the Disabled, Arlene McNeilage, Cove Sailing Club.
Bobby has been involved in shinty in Dunoon for many years. He founded Dunoon Shinty Club, a youth team; however he has also been involved with coaching shinty in local primary schools and is a big supporter of the local women’s team. His passion and drive to keep young people playing is remarkable. He brings clubs together, encouraging them to communicate and work for a common cause. He gives up countless hours of time to help promote the sport, coach, attend development group meetings, and volunteer at competitions and in schools.
Sporting Achievement of the Year: Winner, Louis MacMillan, Loch Eck Orienteering Club. Runners-up, Anna Sherry, G84 Netball Club, Helensburgh and Eilidh Gammons, Highland dancing.
Louis has been a member of the Loch Eck Orienteering Club for nine years and a member of the Scottish Junior Orienteering Squad since 2015. Representing Scotland at the World Schools Championships, Louis finished 4th in the individual competition and 3rd in the relay. Louis was also selected to attend the GB Summer Camp. While he attends club and regional training, the remoteness of his home means he regularly has to train alone.He shows a high level of commitment to his training and is meticulous in his analysis of his races and training.
Club of the Year: Winner, G48 Netball Club, Helensburgh. Runners-up, Helensburgh Youth Rugby and Hermitage Academy S3 netball club, Helensburgh.
G84 Junior Netball Club offer training and playing environments to suit all abilities and run both recreational and competitive teams. They are open to children aged five to 16 and their success has resulted in a huge growth in membership. Every coach and volunteer is passionate about what they do and this is one of the reasons children come back year after year. The G84 competitive teams have gone from strength to strength with the U15 team winning both the Scottish Cup and the Glasgow League. Players from the club have been selected for the U15 Argyll and Bute District Team, the U15 Netball Scotland West Development Academy and the Scotland U17 long squad.