Pippa praised at awards

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A BORDERS’ hockey coach has been named Scottish Hockey Youth Coach of the Year at a prestigious dinner in the Apex International Hotel, Edinburgh.

Pippa Bell received a trophy in recognition of her efforts at the annual Scottish Hockey awards on Saturday night, having travelled straight from Peffermill where she was managing the Scottish Over 45s team.

A full-time manager at Hawick Knitwear, Bell, from Lilliesleaf, turns out for Borders Fjordhus as well as coaching a number of Borders development squads. On Saturday evening she received high praise indeed from the sports governing body.

During the testimony, a packed room heard: “Pippa has had a fantastic impact on youth hockey in the Borders, single-handedly introducing hundreds of children to club hockey in the area.

“She never fails to give each child a fantastic introduction to the sport and then continues to support them and develop their skills. She has developed the Tweedbank junior section for 10-12 year olds with more than 60 members and she has recently set up an under-15 age group within the club with 30-plus players attending twice weekly.

“Pippa not only cares about the technical ability of the child, but fully supports them emotionally and her positive attitude and encouragement have a huge impact on their overall development as children as well as hockey players.

“I am sure every parent would fully support her nomination.”

Adding her own input, local development officer Janet Jack told TheSouthern: “I could not run Borders Hockey Development without Pippa’s input as a coach. The recent success by Borders players at international level is a reflection of the hard work that all our coaches put in.”

Bell reflected that it is the “light-bulb” moments of the children learning and developing that make her job as coach so worthwhile and enjoyable. On receiving her award, she added: “Without the fantastic children I coach in the Borders I would not have received this accolade.

“Many thanks for all of the support – a testament to all of the children I have had the pleasure of coaching and to the continued growth, hard work and success maintained by Janet [Jack] and Lindsey [Forster] towards Borders Hockey Development.”

On a weekly basis Pippa delivers: Borders Fjordhus, Tweedbank 8-12 years; Borders Fjordhus Tweedbank Under-15s; Borders Hockey Development Squad Under-12s (24 participants); Borders Hockey Development squad Under-14s (32 participants); and South 2nd year/development squads.

In addition, Pippa has delivered Cashback sessions run through the Borders Fjordhus club (sessions which are free to anyone between the ages of 10 and 19 financed with money from the proceeds of crime to fund diversionary activities for young people) in Eyemouth, Hawick, Jedburgh, Peebles, Gala. This introduction to the game has shown numbers increase within the club at junior level.

Borders hockey development are hoping to develop their coaching structure further in the Borders and send their congratulations to those who have just qualified as UKCC Level 1 coaches after the recent coaching course held at Tweedbank. These are: Ashley Robson, Laura McLean, Jade Tyreman; Nicola Laing, Sarah Mathers (all Borders Fjordhus); Veronica Boyd (Peebles high School); and Ashley Hogg (Edinburgh University).

“They will be put to good use!” added Jack.