Leslie Roy, Ian Beattie and Eilidh Doyle with the trophy (photo by Jeff Holmes/Team Scotland)
WE WIN! scottishathletics have been named Governing Body of the Year at the Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards.
The accolade is due recognition of an outstanding year in so many areas across the sport – spanning both participation and performance.
Director of Coaching Rodger Harkins probably put it best as our social media channels caught fire on Wednesday night when he Tweeted: ‘Well done to athletes and coaches – this is what can be achieved #teamwork’.
We can definitely add progressive clubs, committed volunteers and hard-working officials to that roll of honour in a year which has seen events attract record numbers and no fewer than 21 athletes head to Rio for the Olympics and Paralympics with Team GB and NI and Paralympics GB respectively.
Chairman Ian Beattie summed it up on Twitter thus: ‘Absolutely delighted to win this award. Reflects a huge amount of work by everyone in the sport.’
And interim CEO, Mark Munro, said: ‘Great for @scotathletics to win @Team_Scotland governing body award. Recognition for clubs, coaches, officials & athletes doing great work!’
Nigel Holl, who was our CEO until his departure for UK Athletics in June, was among the first to offer his congratulations on social media.
Further adding to the feel-good factor at the Team Scotland event in Edinburgh was Maria Lyle’s coronation as Young Athlete of the Year. The Dunbar teenager beat off the opposition to collect the coveted Sir Peter Heatly Trophy, with the Award backed by EDF Energy.
Libby Clegg and Jo Butterfield formed two of the three-strong short-list for Para Athlete of the Year but lost out to wheelchair tennis star, Gordon Reid, while Ian Beattie was short-listed for Sports Leader of the Year.
Laura Muir’s 3.55.22 run in Paris for a Commonwealth, British and Scottish Record made the top five in the Sporting Moment of the Year Award. Sammi Kinghorn helped Scottish Disability Sport collect a special Legacy 2014 Award.
In terms of the Governing Body of the Year Award, which was sponsored by Bluefin Sport, Netball and Boxing were the other sports short-listed.
Here’s what the Team Scotland media release said when the short-list was announced early in September:
‘It has been a bumper year for scottishathletics with a raft of medals at World, European and Commonwealth events across all disciplines and age groups.
‘The 15 Olympians selected for Rio 2016 comprise the largest Scottish representation for a century, with a further six athletes selected for the Paralympics Games which are underway this week.
‘Underpinning this success is the new national strategy ‘Perform When It Counts’ delivering the highest competition entry numbers since the 1970s with over 120,000 athletes participating in scottishathletics permit events over the past year.
‘The strategy has also driven significantly increased membership of clubs and the recreational jogscotland programme, as well as the launch of eight new clubs and centres, catering for Para-sport athletes, in partnership with Scottish Disability Sport.
‘Along with innovative developments in coach and club development and the creation of an industry leading physical competency programme, scottishathletics is working hard to ensure that the success of 2016 is repeated in years to come.’
We would echo that citation but certainly add: a governing body’s main role is lead, direct and facilite and represent the members.
It really is about being the sum of the parts and, in this case, that’s a huge commitment and contribution from athletes, coaches, clubs, volunteers and officials across all strands of the sport from track and field to road running to cross country to hills and ultras. Thanks very much for the support.