Hockey devotees praised for dedication and desire

The Borders Hockey Development awards recipients
The Borders Hockey Development awards recipients

Hockey’s biggest event of the year incorporated a salute to some of the brightest young Borders personalities in the game.

Borders Hockey Development’s (BHD) seventh annual festival featured a special awards ceremony acknowledging the contribution of hockey enthusiasts across a range of skills, including players, coaches and officials.

The event, which was held earlier this month at Tweedbank, also featured the first ever game between two XI-a-side squads consisting of boys.

The accolades were presented by John McBay, LIVE Borders’ senior sports development officer.

Borders hockey development officer Janet Jack said she was very proud to see the appetite for the sport locally reflected in the success ot the 2016 festival. Awards went to:

Player of the year U12 - Jessica Main (Selkirk). She was described as “a young player with bags of enthusiasm. She is eager to learn and a great team player, always encouraging and supporting others in her training.”

Player of the year U14 – Charlie Jack (Fjordhus Reivers). Charlie has mastered tremendous skills at a young age. He has played for the Fjordhus Reivers U14 team for three years, and his steady play and ferocious pace of pass has been instrumental in getting the team to the top of East League 2. He has also represented South U14 boys for the last two years and is involved in Selkirk High School’s ‘School of Hockey’ project.

Player of the year U16 – Helena Tipper (Peebles).

Helena has family responsibilities which have prevented her playing for the school team but she has seized the opportunity to play and enjoy her hockey through the club environment. She is a valuable member of the Peebles Ladies team, who won East District Ladies Division One and promotion to the Premier League.

Player of the year U18 – Aimee Martin. Aimee has represented both Fjordhus Reivers at U16 level and also plays for the Ladies Firsts in the National League. She has also represented her school, Kelso High School, and shone particulary in the U16 Inter District.

Senior Player of the year – Rhona Gowans. An integral part of the Fjordhus Ladies First team playing in the National League, she has progressed along the Borders Hockey pathway, representing the District at U14, U16 level and U18 level. She was captain and a key member of the Fjordhus Reivers U18 team who made it to the final of the Scottish Hockey Club U18 cup.

Junior Coach – Megan MacIver (Peebles). An inspiration to the young players, encouraging them and supporting individually and collectively.

Senior coach – Stuart Lobb (Peebles). Along with the arrival of a new full-sized artifical pitch for the Peebles Ladies 1sts to train on, Stuart has displayed dedication, invested much time and developed a great work ethic within the squad, helping it to the East District League Division One title and promotion to the East District Premier League for 2016-17.

Grass Roots coach – Sara Robson (Fjordhus/Borders Hockey). Organised in her planning of sessions, ensuring there is progression from the start to finish in every one.

Umpire – Lynn Young (Kelso). Lynn contributes much to sport in the Borders, in particular badminton, but she has also played a big part with Kelso Hockey Club. All who are involved in the organisation of getting teams out do fully appreciate the necessity for willing umpires to pick up the whistle and travel with teams. The importance of the umpire is very often overlooked, while Lynn is well respected, patient and fair.

Volunteer – Hilary Woods (Peebles). Hockey, like any other sport, cannot survive and flourish without volunteers.Hilary is a stalwart of Peebles Hockey Club and for years has been a willing part of the committee. She also umpires school and senior games, helps coach the juniors, and co-ordinates the many facets needed to help run the club.