Grass roots award for Tweedsider Derek

GRASS roots hero Derek Paterson, from Kelso, has been named winner of the Scottish FA’s South East region’s Volunteer in Youth Football Award in the 2012 Scottish FA Grassroots Awards, presented by McDonald’s and the Sunday Mail.

The Grassroots Awards celebrate those young players, coaches and volunteers in the six Scottish FA regions, who dedicate their time to supporting grassroots football in their local community.

Patterson created the youth set-up at Kelso Football Club nearly 10 years ago, with the formation of an under-nines squad which grew under his leadership and is now the club’s under-17s, while Kelso FC has grown and developed teams across all age ranges.

Patterson works tirelessly for the kids and the club – helping to organise the twice-weekly training sessions, while also ensuring that coaches are in place for every age group and can help provide any training required.

He also takes primary school children every Friday evening as part of the SFA Soccer Centres and his role in football in the community is appreciated by parents, teachers and coaches from across the area.

As winner of the regional Volunteer in Youth Football Award, Patterson will now be included in the national shortlist, with the national award winners being announced at a special ceremony at Hampden Park on Thursday, September 27.

Patterson said: “It is a fantastic feeling to have been recognised by people across the region for all the hard work that has gone into developing Kelso FC.

“The people and community that support this club are fantastic and I wouldn’t do all of this if it wasn’t for them. I just hope that I can do them all proud now I have been put through to the national awards shortlist.”

David Sheldon, football development officer for the South East region, added: “Derek is a legend of the game in our eyes and it is right that we take the time, not just to recognise his dedication, but also to say thank you for the enthusiasm and time that he gives up.

“Without the thousands of volunteers, like Derek, dedicating their time and effort passing on their skills to others, grassroots football in local communities simply wouldn’t happen.

“I want to wish Derek the best of luck in the national awards later this year, and we look forward to hearing the results.”

Voting for the national awards is still open at http://www.scottishfa.co.uk