Youth and experience appear to be the key ingredients as the two 2018 Live Borders Celebration of Sport public vote categories are revealed.
Now in their sixth year, the CoS awards, sponsored by GB Technologies, have been created to recognise the wealth of sporting talent that exists within the region, from sports personalities to teams, coaches, clubs and events.
An expert judging panel will decide the winners in some of the specialist categories but two of the accolades will be decided by the Borders public and the shortlist of these nominees was unveiled this week.
In the running for Sports Personality of the Year are Borders rugby international duo Stuart Hogg and Ross Ford, and world-class para athlete Samantha Kinghorn.
The contenders for Team of the Year are Hawick Bowling Club Senior Four, Gala Harriers Juniors and Hawick RFC U16s.
The latter category is sponsored by Border Embroideries and a spokesman for the Duns-based company said: “Once again, we are delighted to be sponsoring the Team of the Year category at the Celebration of Sport Awards.
“As a business, we understand the importance of working together as a team and the importance of having the ability to work together towards a common vision.”
Visit the Live Borders Facebook page to vote online.
The winners of all the categories of the Celebration of Sport Awards will be revealed at a special ceremony at the Volunteer Hall, Galashiels, on Friday, March 23.
Ticket prices include a three-course meal. To book, contact the booking line on 01896 661166.
Categories and sponsors:
Sports Personality of the Year (public vote) – GB Technologies.
Team of the Year (public vote) – Border Embroideries.
Club of the Year – Fantasy Prints.
Event of the Year – Origin.
Disability Sports Personality – Powertec.
Inspirational Performance – Astral Hygiene.
Hall of Fame – Endsleigh.
Junior Sports Personality of the Year, Coach of the Year, Junior Coach of the Year, Service to Sport.
Team of the Year biographies:
Hawick Bowling Club Senior Four
Consisting of Bill Anderson (skip), Les Clarkson, Willie Wells and Robin Bell, the journey of this seasoned quartet began back in May 2017 with the District Qualifiers for the Bowls Scotland National Championships. Having battled their way through the early rounds, Anderson and his men faced a final hurdle at Abbotsford BC, where they edged a victory over Dennis Poloczek’s Kelso BC four to claim their place on the hallowed Northfield Greens in July.
There, they won against Dumbarton (17-15), Stranraer (16-15), Rutherglen (17-7) and Bankfoot (23-7), before meeting Yarrow Recreation in the final. Playing in horrendous conditions, the Hawick four found themselves eight shots down after three ends in their last match of the Championship. A crucial shot on the fourth end gave the Teris hope, however, and a decision by Anderson, making his first appearance at the National finals, to bring the mat up, proved pivotal. From being 8-1 down, the Borders four cruised into a 15-8 lead, which they managed to hold for a 15-12 victory.The triumphant Seniors will now represent Scotland at the British Isles Championships at Leamington Spa in June.
Hawick Youth Rugby Under 16s (Hawick Albion)
In season 2016-17, the Albion were undefeated in the Border U16s League and Scottish Youth Cup competitions, scoring a total of 348 points across 10 games, with only 130 points against. They scored a total of 53 tries and conceded 23. In the 7s competitions, they were undefeated in the four Border tournaments entered – Jed, Duns, Melrose and Kelso – scoring a total of 80 tries and conceding 34, across 14 ties of 7s. An ‘off the pitch’ success achieved from the squad’s achievements was the strengthening of the playing relationship in place between Hawick and Langholm youth rugby. The successful Albion squad included two Langholm boys; however, on the back of their success, this season’s U16s now have eight Langholm boys involved, meaning these players now have access to a higher standard of rugby and will hopefully develop and improve and more importantly remain in the game for many years –hopefully benefiting both Hawick and Langholm rugby in the future. Five of the squad from last season have also been involved at district level this season, with three of these players in the running for either Scotland U16 or U18 places.
Gala Harriers Juniors
From July to October last year, many of the Gala Harriers Juniors were selected to Team Borders for both the East of Scotland cross country league and the Forth Valley track league. Successful team members included 28 athletes from Gala Harriers. In December 2016, the U17 women and U17 men’s teams both won bronze medals at the East District cross country Championships in Aberdeen They followed this up in January 2017 with two golds at the Inter District Championships in Holyrood. Gala Harriers Juniors were involved in all these East District successes. The National Cross Country saw the U17 men (Faisal Khursheed, Callum Tharme, Yousuf Khursheed, Robert Fox) and the U17 women (Katie Rourke, Susannah Godfrey-Faussett, Zoe Pflug) both win silver. In March, the team travelled to the National Young Athletes Road Race in Greenock where U17 men took home another silver medal, while The Borders Schools Cross Country, held at Netherdale, saw several Gala Harriers Juniors take their place on the finishers podium with five finishing in first place, two in second and six in third. In June, the team continued its strong performance with 12 top three places at the Borders Schools Track & Field at Tweedbank, with Faisal Khursheed winning a bronze medal over 5000m at Grangemouth at the Scottish Schools Track and Field.