Talent to
the fore
at awards evening

Sports Personality of the Year (public vote): Stuart Easton (motor bike racing) at the Celebration of Sport Awards at Cadrona Hotel.
Sports Personality of the Year (public vote): Stuart Easton (motor bike racing) at the Celebration of Sport Awards at Cadrona Hotel.

Borders Sport and Leisure has launched the 2015 Celebration of Sport Awards, which will take place at Peebles Hydro Hotel on Friday, February 27.

Sponsored by GB Technologies and supported by the ClubSport Borders Network, the event is now in its third year and recognises the wealth of sporting and coaching talent that exists across the region, from individual and team performances to coaching abilities, sporting events and services to sport.

This year, a total of 12 awards will be featured, including an inductee into the Borders Sporting Hall of Fame and three honours which will be decided by a public vote.

The categories for 2015 are Hall of Fame, Junior Sports Personality, Coach of the Year, Club of the Year, Event of the Year, Service to Sport, World-Class Achievement, Disability Sports Award, Positive Coaching Scotland, plus the three awards which will be determined by public vote: Sports Personality of the Year, Team of the Year and Inspirational Performance of the Year.

Ewan Jackson, chief executive of Borders Sport and Leisure, said: “We are proud of the achievements in sport in our region and this awards scheme plays an important role in recognising and rewarding the amazing wealth of sporting talent we have.

“It is a true Celebration of Sport in all its guises and this year’s winners will join a growing roll of honour which showcases the diversity and exceptional ability of our sportsmen and women, clubs, coaches, volunteers and supporters. We are inviting members of the public to become involved with these awards, both by voting to decide the winners in three categories and also through the opportunity to buy tickets to attend the actual ceremony, which is sure to be a fabulous evening.”

Last year’s Celebration of Sport Awards ceremony was attended by more than 200 guests and the winners included those chosen by the public: Sports Personality of the Year – Stuart Easton, Team of the Year – Melrose Bowling Club and Inspirational Performance of the Year – Greig Laidlaw, plus a host of other worthy recipients such as Alex Jordan – Coach of the Year, Peebles Cycling Club – Club of the Year, Patrick Wilson – Disability Sports Performance of the Year, Emily Newlands – Junior Sports Personality of the Year, Scott Brash – World Class Achievement, a posthumous Lifetime Service Award to Southern Reporter photographer Alastair Watson and the induction of Ivan Laing into the Hall of Fame.

This year, voting in the three public categories will take place through in-paper coupons and also on the Borders Sport and Leisure Facebook page. More details on the nominees for each of these awards (chosen by the judging panel) will be unveiled soon.

The 2015 event is being sponsored by GB Technologies (formerly GB Telecom) which has recently rebranded and remains dedicated to providing unrivalled voice and data solutions across the region.

Gordon Brown, from GB Technologies, said: “We are proud to continue our sponsorship of these awards which recognise excellence and reward those who strive to meet their goals.

“There are many parallels between sport and business, and as a company committed to growing and succeeding in the Borders, we are honoured to be able to play a part in showing our appreciation of our region’s sporting heroes.”

ClubSport Borders, the organisation that represents and supports local member clubs, organisations and individuals to help everyone in the region to achieve their sporting goals, is also lending its backing to the awards.

Chairman Rick Kenny said: “ClubSport Borders is the umbrella group established to co-ordinate the work of the four regional ClubSport groups that seek to improve standards in Borders sport by encouraging and supporting development across all sectors.

“We are delighted to support the 2015 Celebration of Sport as it showcases the best people and clubs from the Borders who have been judged to have shown excellence, commitment and dedication to improving their performances over the years.”

For the first time the awards ceremony will be held at Peebles Hydro Hotel, which was recently acquired by Crieff Hydro.

General manager Patrick Diack said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be hosting this event which places our region firmly on the map for producing some of the UK’s most talented athletes.

“Peebles Hydro plans to engage individuals, businesses, communities and organisations fully in our exciting development plans over the coming months and we look forward to forging a future partnership with Borders Sport and Leisure to support their aims in encouraging and inspiring future generations of Borders athletes.”

Over the coming weeks, details of the nominees in each of the three public vote categories will be revealed, alongside information on how to cast votes and help to decide this year’s winners.

Mr Jackson added: “We feel the Celebration of Sport Awards are very special and I hope that residents across the Borders will chose to continue to support this initiative and cast their votes for their favourite nominees.”

More information on the Celebration of Sport Awards and details on how to book tickets for the ceremony can be obtained by calling Borders Sport and Leisure on 01896661166 or emailing enquiries@bslt.org.uk.