Festival was a huge hit

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MORE than 300 hockey players took to the artificial pitch at Tweedbank on Saturday for an event jam-packed with high-quality hockey.

Around 120 children aged between eight and 12 from nine junior clubs started off by playing in a tournament.

Next up was an exhibition match between the development squad (under-14 players) and the potential squad (under-12s).

The senior games in the afternoon were equally as exciting as the morning’s action with the experience and tactical ability of the Scottish Masters being matched by the pace and skill level of two Borders Select teams.

Last up was the under-15 tournament, unfortunately played in heavy downpours, with Borders Fjordhus juniors exacting revenge on Haddington with a well-earned goal in the dying seconds of the final.

The day was a great success with a phenomenal age-range in action, from eight to 68.

Junior internationalists Sarah Robertson, Nicola Whellans and Emily Newlands all turned out to assist in the coaching and umpiring of the festival games and were also involved in the Borders Select team.

The results of the Borders Hockey Awards were also announced, nominated by the public for the 2010-11 season.

They were as follows: Player development awards – Under-12s: Paul Goldie – Borders Fjordhus Hawick club and member of potential squad; Under-14s: Jo Marr – Borders Fjordhus Selkirk club; Under-16s: Nicola Whellans – Borders Fjordhus and Scotland under-16 cap; Under-18s: Gillian Forsyth – Borders Fjordhus goalkeeper, junior performance squad member and player of the Scottish Schools tournament for Kelso High; Senior: Sarah Robertson – Under-18 Scottish international.

“It is a privilege and a pleasure to coach Sarah,” said local hockey legend Janet Jack. “Her attitude towards her training and personal development is tremendous and this award is very well deserved.”

Junior coach of the year: Brogan Beattie – Hawick High and Borders Fjordhus Junior Hawick club.

Senior coach: Irene Logan – Selkirk High.

Grassroots coach: Pippa Bell – coaches under-12 Borders potential squad, Tweedbank Borders Fjordhus participation centre, Borders Fjordhus under-15s, Under-14 South Schools and hockey nights at Galashiels and Hawick through the Cashback for Communities scheme.

Volunteer of the Year: Claire Townsend – Borders Fjordhus secretary and coach, has seen membership grow from 30 in 2008 to more than 500 this year;

Umpire of the Year: Hazel Dods – long time-served umpire who is set to take a well rest from officiating.

“She will be a huge loss to the many people who have played under her whistle,” added Jack.