Ali Hay is named Kelso’s citizen of the year

Ali Hay received his Citizen of the Year award from Kelso Rotary Club president  James Mackie.
Ali Hay received his Citizen of the Year award from Kelso Rotary Club president James Mackie.

The man responsible for creating Kelso’s £240,000 skatepark has been honoured with a top award from his hometown this week.

Ali Hay has been named Kelso Rotary Club’s Citizen of the Year, an award handed out annually to someone deemed to have shown continued loyalty and service to the town.

The 29-year-old fitness coach and businessman formed the Kelso Skatepark Project group in 2009 with a view to updating the existing park, before becoming instrumental in designing and securing funding for the new park which opened last spring.

The father-of-two received his award this week from Kelso Rotary Club president Jim Mackie, who said: “This year’s winner of the citizen of the year award goes to a very remarkable young man, who has travelled the world extensively, and is a successful businessman.

“Ali was initially involved with the council in the upgrade of the old skatepark, but realised that it was not big enough and decided that the next level was essential, by way of building a professional skatepark.

“He found the planning and designing, coupled with dealing with the local authority most time consuming and very demanding.

“His total commitment to the project enabled him to raise the necessary funds of around £240,000 to build the skatepark, but, most importantly it resulted in him having to obtain the lease of the land from the authorities.

“With community backing the skatepark was eventually built. The first of its kind in the region and the biggest in the South of Scotland. A most remarkable achievement.

“The skatepark has been a huge success and is widely used by the youngsters of the town and visitors.”

Mr Makie added: “Ali is also an ambassador for Asthma UK and gives talks to help spread awareness about the disease. He is a sponsored athlete and competes around the world in Ninja Warrior competitions and is A three-times finalist on the hit TV show Ninja Warrior UK.

“I am sure you will all agree with me that he is a very committed and motivated individual and a worthy recipient of this year’s award.”

In August Ali received the Freedom of Kelso High School award for his work within the town.