BORDERERS are being urged to vote for their favourite sporting achievers in the new Borders Sport and Leisure Celebration of Sport Awards, supported by GB Telecom.
Run in partnership with TheSouthern, the awards have been created to recognise the wealth of sporting talent that exists within the region, from sports personalities to teams, coaches, clubs and events.
The event’s expert judging panel will decide the winners in some of the specialist categories, but three of the accolades will be decided by a public vote and the shortlist of these nominees was unveiled this week.
In the running for Sports Personality of the Year is Olympic gold medal-winning equestrian Scott Brash, jockey Ryan Mania and rugby hero, Chris Paterson.
The contenders for Team of the Year are Gala Rugby Football Club, Peebles Netball Club and the Borders Elite Swim Team.
And battling for public votes in the Inspirational Performance award are Paralympic runner Libby Clegg, young sailor and Olympic Torch bearer Callum Airlie and, again, showjumper Brash.
The shortlisted nominees were selected by the expert judging panel, comprising Scotsman journalist David Ferguson, Borders Sport and Leisure sports development officer John McBay, Radio Borders sports broadcaster Stuart MacFarlane, former Border Telegraph editor Atholl Innes and TheSouthern’s sports writer Fiona Scott.
Judge John McBay said: “Following a recent meeting of the judging panel we are delighted to be able to announce the nominees in the three awards categories that will be decided by a public vote.
There was much debate amongst the panel when it came to choosing the final list of contenders as there are so many worthy potential recipients, but we hope the public will approve of our selections and get behind them by voting for those they would most like to see pick up an award.”
To vote, you can either text or phone.
Text the letter of your choice below to 01750 432002.
• Text A to vote for Callum Airlie in the Inspirational Performance category
• Text B to vote for Libby Clegg in the Inspirational Performance category
• Text C to vote for Scott Brash in the Inspirational Performance category
• Text D to vote for Scott Brash in the Sports Personality of the Year category
• Text E to vote for Ryan Mania in the Sports Personality of the Year category
• Text F to vote for Chris Paterson in the Sports Personality of the Year category
• Text G to vote for Borders Elite Swim Team in the Team of the Year category
• Text H to vote for Gala Rugby Football Club in the Team of the Year category
• Text I to vote for Peebles Netball Club in the Team of the Year category
Or register your vote by phone by calling 01750 432002 and follow the instructions.
Calls will be charged at local rate and texts at the standard network rate.
Also announced were the shortlisted nominees in three of the categories for which the panel will determine the final winner.
Event of the Year: Jim Clark Rally; Tour of Britain; Jedburgh Running Festival.
Club of the Year: Gala Harriers; Peebles Cycling Club; Peebles Netball Club.
Coach of the Year: George Graham (rugby); Peter Gardiner (judo); Alex Jordan (swimming).
Additional awards include: Junior Sports Personality of the Year, Scottish Borders Disability Sport Group Performance of the Year, Inductee to the Scottish Borders Hall of Fame and Unsung Hero Award.
Ewan Jackson, chief executive of Borders Sport and Leisure said: “These awards are the first of their kind in the Borders and we are really keen to give local people their say in who should collect the gongs.”
The awards have also secured sponsorship from Borders-based business GB Telecom. Gordon Brown, the company’s founder and managing director said: “As a Borders business we are committed not only to providing unrivalled voice and data solutions across the region, but also to supporting initiatives that recognise other forms of excellence in the Borders.
“We have backed a number of different sporting initiatives and charities in the past and are delighted to be supporting the inaugural Celebration of Sport Awards, which will reward all of the brilliant people involved in sport in our region, from the coaches and teams through to the individuals, who by their sporting efforts make us all feel proud.”
The winners of all of the categories of the Borders Sport and Leisure Celebration of Sport Awards will be revealed at a special ceremony at the MacDonald Cardrona Hotel on Friday, March 1.
The event will be hosted by renowned BBC TV presenter and sports journalist Alison Walker.
Tickets to attend the event cost £30 and can be purchased by contacting Borders Sport & Leisure on 01896 756274.
The ticket includes drinks on arrival and a sumptuous dinner, followed by the awards ceremony.