Plaudits aplenty for Pippa the Pied Piper

Clubsport Ettrick & Lauderdale Coach of the Year - Pippa Bell
Clubsport Ettrick & Lauderdale Coach of the Year - Pippa Bell

Fjordhus Reivers coach Pippa Bell was named Coach of the Year at the Club Sport Ettrick & Lauderdale Awards evening held at Gala RFC’s Netherdale clubrooms on Friday night.

Bell, who also coaches at Scottish age-group level, was singled out for her amazing work ethic and highly commendable success rate which was relayed to the packed room by former international player, now Borders Hockey Development manager, Janet Jack.

Later, an emotional Bell told The Southern: “It was a great honour to receive the accolade, especially considering the amount of experience sitting in the room.

“I certainly couldn’t have achieved what I have without the help of Fjordhus Reivers and Borders Hockey Development or, more importantly, without having such a great mentor, friend and confidante as Janet.

“There are some extremely talented players in the Borders and it is a great pleasure to work with them here and then see them progress through the Scottish ranks. Long may it continue.”

After initially taking on the Under 12s participation centre, set up at Tweedbank to offer hockey to the younger generation, in 2010 Bell progressed to manage further junior centres across the region, from Jedburgh to Eyemouth. Wherever she went children would arrive in their masses, earning Bell the title Pippa the Pied Piper among the local hockey fraternity. Through her hard work and enthusiasm the Fjordhus Reivers club now regularly turns out three Under 14s and two Under 16s teams.

As well as coaching the U14s mixed squad of more than 60 players, the U16s squad of more than 40 players, the Borders Hockey Development U15s squad, the U16s Scottish Hockey Development squad and the Peebles Community Group U18s, U16s and U12s squads, Bell also coaches the new Fjordhus Reivers 3rds, helps out with the Ladies 2nds and also plays regularly for the Ladies 1sts on Saturdays.

“Pippa’s work with young players does not just see her delivering hockey, but also sees her valuing every player that she coaches so that every child benefits,” said Janet Jack.

More news and pictures from Club Sport Ettrick & Lauderdale on page 73.