Sarah’s coaching crew earns award acclaim on a night of celebration

The coaches who helped Selkirk’s Scotland and GB hockey star, Sarah Robertson, reach the top of her game have been acknowledged with the sportscotland Coaching Chain Award 2019.

Friday, 29th November 2019, 9:20 am
Updated Friday, 29th November 2019, 9:26 am
Sarah Robertson (far right) thanks those associated with her coaching team, left (photograph by Alan Peebles)

Irene Logan, Janet Jack, Sam Judge, Jen Wilson, Sarah Kelleher, Kate Richardson Walsh and Danny Kerry were honoured at the sportscotland Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards 2019 in Glasgow last week.

On the night, inspirational coaches, officials and volunteers from all over Scotland were celebrated across 15 categories for their significant contribution to sport over the past 12 months.

Sarah (26) started her hockey career at Selkirk High School and has gone on to play in two Commonwealth Games and earn 99 Scotland caps and 42 for GB.

Earlier this month, she was named ClubSport Ettrick and Lauderdale Sports Perosnality of the Year and, the same weekend, helped the GB ladies’ hockey squad secure qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, after a two-legged play-off against Chile. The UK ladies won both games and Sarah very nearly got on the scoresheet.

Irene Logan was Sarah’s coach from her first year at Selkirk High, where she picked up a hockey stick for the first time.

Janet Jack was Sarah’s first coach outside school hockey.

A former GB player, Janet, of Ancrum, has been committed to developing hockey in the Borders for years. Sarah first joined Borders Fjordhus Hockey Club aged 15 and flourished under Janet’s guidance.

Sam Judge has been a great influence on Sarah’s career since taking up a coaching role at Edinburgh University.

During Sarah’s university years, the team progressed from being in the relegation play-offs to winning the national title five years in a row.

Scotland head coach since 2018, Jen Wilson, managed Sarah’s seamless transition back from the GB programme.

Sarah Kelleher and Kate Richardson Walsh have been Sarah’s coaches at her current club, Hampstead and Westminster HC, for the past two seasons.

Danny Kerry was Sarah’s first GB coach, inviting her to a GB trial after the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

He identified Sarah’s potential and gave her an opportunity in the GB team, helping her to develop as a player.

Sarah herself flew up from GB training to attend the ceremony, returning to London the next day.

At the event, hosted by BBC Scotland’s Bryan Burnett, award winners from up and down the country and across the sporting system were honoured from sports such as swimming, cycling, athletics, football, karate, wheelchair curling, basketball, boxing and canoeing.

Janet Jack said afterwards: “What an absolutely amazing night that was. I couldn’t help but be completely bowled over by the inspirational coaches and volunteers across Scotland, changing lives and Scottish sport. Very humbling.”

Stewart Harris, sportscotland chief executive, added: “We’re implementing a world-class sporting system at every level and that is only possible with the support of the many dedicated coaches, officials and volunteers.”