Ettrick and Lauderdale Sports Council Award winners

Ettrick and Lauderdale award winners along with former British touring car champion John Cleland and representatives from the Sports Council. Photograph Alwyn Johnston.
Ettrick and Lauderdale award winners along with former British touring car champion John Cleland and representatives from the Sports Council. Photograph Alwyn Johnston.

Sports Personality of the Year: Scott Wight

In 198 games so far, Wight has amassed 1597 points, including 22 tries and 10 drop goals, with an amazing 348 points for his club last season.

His South Under-19 and Under-20 representative honours were followed by six club international caps – playing against Ireland and France in 2009, 10 and 11. The reformation of the South side in 2009 saw White selected to captain the team.

While his XVs record is impressive, his sevens honours are phenomenal. In his first season, in 2003, he won his first winners medal at Jed-Forest, but over the next six campaigns he must have wondered if he would ever pick up any more as Melrose managed to fall at the final hurdle seven times. However, a second winner’s gong at Peebles, in 2009, was a sign of things to come.

The following two seasons saw the side he captained pick up nine winner’s medals – and a further one for runners-up, and secure the Kings of the Sevens trophy.

Wight has been integral to Melrose’s success – reaching four consecutive cup finals and winning last season’s Premier One championship and Border League titles. Being offered a professional contract with Glasgow Warriors was no less than he deserved.

Junior Sports Personality of the Year: Sarah Robertson

Currently studying law at the University of Edinburgh, Robertson plays for their first XV hockey team. This involves training twice a week and playing games another twice weekly, on a Wednesday and a Saturday.

She also plays for Scotland Under-21s and is training for the Under-21 B Division European Championships to be played in Anapa, Russia, in July 2012.

For Scotland, Robertson has to train on the pitch on a Monday evening and a Friday morning, as well as doing strength and conditioning training. She trains once a month with the whole Scotland squad. This year the Under-21s have also started to become involved in the senior women’s squad so she has been training with them on their Monday evening sessions.

During the summer Sarah played for the Scotland Under-18 team in the European A Division in Holland. This followed a nine-month intensive programme of fitness and hockey practice which resulted in her chance to play against some of the best teams in the world. Last year she played club hockey for Borders Fjordhus with local hockey legend Janet Jack, who has been a massive influence.

Team of the Year: Melrose RFC

It is always extra special for a team to win their own sevens and, in April, Melrose did just that. In a pulsating final, they beat the South African team from Hamilton 32-26.

The following Saturday they were at Murrayfield to contest the Cup final against Ayr. However, victory was not to be theirs – they went down 21-25 in a closely-fought contest.

Seven days after Murrayfield the big pink team were at the Greenyards for the crunch game which would decide the championship of the Premier League. The final score of 29-20 to Melrose does not convey the excitement and drama which the game generated.

One may be forgiven for thinking their season was done and dusted, but not a bit of it. Winners of two more titles were still to be decided. The Border League trophy was still up for grabs. Selkirk had been holders of this oldest trophy in club rugby for the three previous seasons. On the evening of April 27, players and supporters travelled to the Gytes for a Border derby, played with all the commitment and fervour expected of such a game. The final score of 20-0 to Melrose in no way reflected the story of this match.

From the start of spring the team had to focus on the short game as well as XVs. And, from the word go, Melrose were committed to defending their Kings of the Sevens title. On May 14, at Riverside Park, three teams were left in contention – the holders, Selkirk and Jed-Forest. Melrose met Selkirk in the semi-finals and progressed to meet the hosts in the final.

There was drama aplenty in a tie that went right down to the wire, when the Kings title was retained by 31-24.

Coach of the Year: Alex Jordan

Aussie Jordan has been the Borders’ performance swimming coach for just over three years and in that time has founded the six initiatives of the Borders Performance Development Programme, the results of which have improved at an impressive rate since its inception.

His achievements last season include:

z Five performance squad members qualifying and competing at the British Age Group Championships with one winning a silver medal.

z Performance squad members breaking four Scottish age group records.

z Eleven of 14 performance squad members being selected for Scottish Swimming’s national development squads.

z Being one of only four programmes in the East of Scotland to have a swimmer qualify for the East of Scotland Institute of Sport.

z Performance squad members breaking 20 East District age group records.

z One performance squad member being selected for the East of Scotland team for the 2011 UK School Games.

z One performance squad member being selected for Team GB open water training and racing tour of Europe and Britain.

z Three performance squad members being selected for the Scottish team for the 2011 WISE (Wales, Ireland, Scotland, England) Schools International.

z Five performance members being selected for the East District team to contest the British Inter-county championship.

Junior Coach of the Year: Katie Addison

Katie began coaching while at high school in Galashiels, helping to set up Academy Tennis, now a successful coaching scheme.

Over the last year she has set up and taken coaching blocks in all 10 primary schools in the Gala cluster to introduce tennis to as many children as possible. She has also taken school teams from Earlston, St Boswells and Galashiels to Borders Schools Tournaments.

This year saw Katie rolling out a new initiative by setting up a mini-tennis programme in Galashiels for two to four-year-olds to introduce the sport at an earlier age.

She has been involved in the district training programme for Borders Tennis and has taken teams to Kilgraston to play in a national tournament. Katie has been involved with coaching at the Borders Sports Academy and has also organised summer camps in Gala, Earlston and St Boswells.

SALC Service to Local Sport: Margaret Wilson

Margaret has been involved in bowls for 45 years.

She was a founder member of the ladies’ section of Gala Waverley Bowling Club in 1967 and has served the club with distinction, being seven times club champion, lady president twice and secretary for 16 years.

In 1970 she organised a meeting of the seven Border clubs and formed the Ladies’ Border Bowling League – she was appointed the first president.

Margaret has been successful in skipping the Borders Fours twice, Borders Pairs twice and at 69 years of age took the record for the oldest lady to win the Borders singles – a record she still holds to this day. Her greatest achievement was in 2000 when she and her partner reached the semi-finals of the national four-bowl pairs at Ayr.

Her work as an administrator is second to none. In the 1970s she served for three years as district secretary on the Scottish Women’s Bowling Association, while in 1983 she was invited to be part of the steering group with a view to forming an indoor bowling club in the Borders. This came to fruition the following year when Tweedbank IBC was opened with 500 members.

The next year she was appointed as the first lady president. In 1997 Margaret was elected to represent the club on the Scottish Women’s Indoor Bowling Association where she served for 14 years, during which time she spent five years as a selector.

After serving for several years on the executive committee she was elected as lady president in 2009/10.

Margaret retired on June 26 this year and was awarded honorary life membership of the Scottish Indoor Bowling Association, only the fourth lady to receive this honour in the association’s 50-year history.