Sprinter Sutherland is gifted chairmanship of Pitreavie meeting

Athletics Ron Sutherland.
Athletics Ron Sutherland.
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BORDERS-BASED veteran sprinter and former rugby chief executive Ron Sutherland has taken over as chairman in a boardroom reshuffle ahead of the second staging of the prestigious Pitreavie Gift open athletics meeting on January 27.

Paying tribute to his predecessor Wallace McGown, the 67-year-old sports management academic and consultant from Innerleithen also welcomed new colleagues, Fife-based Derek Brand and Stirling University student Callum Murray, himself a Borders sprinter of note.

The new chairman said: “It is an honour to take over from Wallace, a former athlete of the year who intends to concentrate on competing, while the additional support and expertise that Derek and Callum bring to the organising committee will prove invaluable.”

Back in January the feature 100m sprint at the inaugural Pitreavie Gift was won in fine style by Darrin Scott from the TLJT club.

There are races for competitors of all ages from each gender – run on a handicap basis to ensure equal opportunities for all.

Pitreavie Gift is modelled on the iconic world-renowned Stawell Gift meeting in Victoria, Australia, originally established by an expatriate Scot.

Despite the tough economic climate, Mr Sutherland takes an upbeat view of prospects for the second staging of the event, saying: “We are hoping for some 300 entries on this occasion – a marginal increase from the initial meeting, with a strong Borders representation we’d be delighted to see repeated.

“Fife Sport & Leisure Trust who operate the state-of-the-art Pitreavie facility near Dunfermline on behalf of Fife Council are fantastic partners – great to work with and unfailingly supportive. It should be a great day.”

He added: “Apart from that, all we really want as an antidote to sleepless nights right now is an early visit from Santa, bringing some welcome sponsorship and grant support.”

Entries close on January 6, 2013. Handicaps tbc prior to the public heat draw at 7pm on Monday, January 14, in Pitreavie Athletics Centre, Dunfermline.