THERE was an added element of excitement at the Roxburgh Sports Council Awards this year as three of the region’s Olympic and Paralympic stars attended the event.
Held at Kelso RFC’s Poynder Park clubrooms on Friday night, the occasion drew a fine collection of Borders sporting heroes and joining the fray were Olympic eventer Caroline Powell and Paralympians Kate Murray (archery) and Libby Clegg (athletics).
Libby’s brother James (swimming) could not make the event because of holiday commitments, but he too was honoured for his part in the 2012 London Games along with the aforementioned trio.
Libby, from Newcastleton, who brought her silver medal won in the T20 100m, told TheSouthern: “The whole thing was an incredible experience although I still can’t remember my actual race.
“It was great having James there too and he performed really well to get a bronze, I was really proud of him.
“We are also really proud to have been recognised by the Sports Council this year. We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from people back home and were gobsmacked about the amount of support the Paralympics got in general, it all bodes well for the future of disability sport.”
Adoptive Kelsonian Caroline Powell was named as Roxburgh’s Sport’s Personality of the Year She told us: “It has been really nice living in the Borders and I’m thrilled to have been given this award, the support has been fantastic.”
She was born in Lower Hutt, New Zealand, but Caroline and her husband, Richard, have lived in Kelso for many years. Caroline qualified for the London 2012 Olympics as part of the New Zealand eventing team and picked up a bronze medal on her 19year-old horse, Lenamore.
Kelso was prominent on Friday night’s honours list with Highland dance teacher Robyn Jerdan winning the Junior Coach of the Year; swimmer Lucy Hope (Junior Sports Personality) and Kelso High School 1st XI hockey squad lifting the Team of the Year title.
Coached by Mary Weir, the high school girls have enjoyed an outstanding year during which they won the three main South Schools Trophies and remained unbeaten throughout the Borders.
The team also had six players in South Under-18s, five in the Under-16s, three of whom also played for the Scottish Under-16 team, and nine in the South indoor squad.
Captain Amber Cuthers said: “It’s a real honour to be given this award.
“We didn’t expect it and we’re really happy about it.
“We have worked really hard this season with the help of Mrs Weir and for six of us it was our last shot at playing for the high school team, so it’s great to finish on a high note.”
Coach of the Year award was picked up by Hawick archery coach Gwyn Jones, a county coach with Archery GB.
He represented Great Britain at the European Indoor Disabled Championships twice in the 1990s and started coaching at a club for people with physical disabilities at Glenrothes, Fife.
Currently based at Eascote Archery Centre near Hawick, Gwyn gave local Paralympian Kate Murray her first archery lesson and coached her through her beginners’ course in March 2002 until she was selected by the GB Paralympic squad for the 2008 Beijing Games.
Jedburgh runner John Steede completed the list of six main award winners and was given the Service to Sport Award in recognition of his many years of dedication to Borders Athletics.
The evening was hosted by Sports Council legend David Laing with vice-chairman Norman Anderson introducing the winners and Councillor George Turnbull giving the vote of thanks.