Tributes to the best in Borders sport

The talent, dedication and commitment of sporting clubs and individuals in the Borders was acknowledged on Friday night with the first of the region’s four annual local award ceremonies.

Sunday, 3rd November 2019, 4:10 pm
Award recipients and their representatives at Netherdale on Friday (photograph by Alwyn Johnston)

ClubSport Ettrick and Lauderdale kicked off the geographical celebration of sporting accomplishments in south-east Scotland with its presentations at Gala RFC’s Netherdale setting.

The local sports council, supported by Live Borders, said the accolades “recognise and celebrate the achievements of the most inspirational people within our community – from the elite proudly taking medals to our passionate workforce and volunteers who work tirelessly in the area.”

The group’s chairman, Trevor Jack, said that, despite financial challenges this year. ClubSport Ettrick and Lauderdale had, in the last 12 months, been able to award grants to a “wonderfully diverse range” of sporting groups and individual athletes.

It had assisted various clubs who had realised they needed to widen their grass-roots base programmes to attract more young people into their sports, plus some who may want to engage in physical activity later on in life, and others who were returning to sport, or doing it for the first time.

“At the other end of the sporting spectrum, we continue to support our elite athletes, taking their next and often very costly steps on to the international arena and, through the ClubSport Borders sports scholarship programme, we ensure our next generation of coaches is also in place to facilitate the very developments just mentioned of the athletes.”

Mr Bryant added that ClubSport Ettrick and Lauderdale had also made a donation to ClubSport Borders, an umbrella organisation which supported Borders initiatives and representation from the four ClubSport committees. Help for Borders-wide projects included a donation towards a tennis development apprentice to assist with youth tennis.

“Tonight’s awards reflect the diversity of sporting participation and achievement that continues to blossom in this relatively sparsely populated but beautiful part of the Scottish Borders, as we celebrate the effort of volunteers, clubs and athletes who continue to hit consistently above their weight on the national and international stage,” said Mr Bryant.

“Some of my best personal memories of the year are of visits to present cheques to recipients of development funding and seeing first hand the activity, engagement and enthusiasm of our next generation of young sports people, in gymnastics, bowling and football clubs, to name a few, and the voluntary efforts of so many coaches.”

The award winners were:

Coach of the Year – Linda Seggie, Team of the Year – Gala Cricket Club 1st XI, Club of the Year – Selkirk Golf Club, SALSC Service to Sport Award - Christine Lawrie, Disability Award – Daniel Porter, Junior Sports Personality – Blake Hedley, Sports Personality – Sarah Robertson.

Award sponsors included Gail Robertson, Fjordhus Ltd, Rowan Boland Memorial Trust, The Trophy Guy and Skyes.

There’ll be more on the awards in this week’s edition of the Southern Reporter newspaper.