David Ovens, Chair of scottishathletics, with Gerry Gaffney of Inverclyde AC, who won our Tom Stillie Sword for 2021 (photo by Bobby Gavin)
From Aberdeen AAC to Airdrie Harriers. From Gerry Gaffney to Alistair Aitchison. From the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow across track and field, road and cross, hills, ultra and Para.
The feel-good factor in athletics in Scotland, threatened by a global pandemic over 18 months or so, returned emphatically on Saturday evening at our 4J Annual Awards.
And it is that strong link between the grassroots of our sport and our elite athletes and coaches competing at global level which can help maintain growth and momentum, insisted new Chair David Ovens.
The messages throughout were abundantly clear – with Guest of Honour Jo Pavey explaining how when she stood on the start-line at the Olympics she took a moment to reflect on her club, her first coach, her schools athletics and all the volunteers involved along the way.
Jo competed at no fewer than five Olympics so those reflections must have been ‘on repeat’ all the way from Sydney in 2000 through to Rio in 2016!
‘It was a special night and we were delighted to celebrate the 4J Annual Awards with an ‘actual’ Dinner in Glasgow,’ said David.
‘I think so much of what our Guest of Honour, Jo Pavey, said about the role of volunteers resonated strongly with the audience in the room.
‘We deliberately continued our awards last year despite the impact of Covid-19 because we wanted to celebrate the hard work so many people put in to keep making the sport happen.
‘That has followed on into 2021 – despite lockdown in the early months – and the dedication and tireless commitment was evident across so many of our 4J Awards from the likes of Community Coach, Volunteer of the Year and Technical Official of the Year to name just but three.
‘We send our warm congratulations to all our winners for 2021 but also to those short-listed and indeed many others across the length and breadth of Scotland.
‘To be able to celebrate that service to the sport on the same platform as our high profile Athletes of the Year Laura Muir and Owen Miller firmly underlines the connection between grassroots and elite – and I feel that bond can help the sport in Scotland keep building momentum.’
Laura Muir presented the Track and Field Club of the Year award to Paul Allan of Pitreavie AAC (photo by Bobby Gavin)
Volunteer of the Year – Pamela Stephen and Fiona Pollock, Cambuslang Harriers
4J Studios Innovation Award – West End Road Runners
Track & Field Club of the Year – Pitreavie AAC
Impact Club of Year – Harmeny AC
Janice Eaglesham MBE Para Development Club of the Year – Fife AC
Tom Stillie Sword – Gerry Gaffney, Inverclyde AC
Technical Official of the Year – Kevin, Carol, Rebekah and David Rose, Perth Strathtay Harriers
Raymond Hutcheson Award for Services to Officiating – Richard O’Grady
Community Club Coach – Nichola Crawford, Aberdeen AAC
Development Coach – James McMenemy, Airdrie Harriers
Performance Coach – Andy Young
Honorary Life Members – Alistair Aitchison (Edinburgh AC), Janice Hendrie (Inverclyde AC), Bob Masson (Aberdeen AAC)
*Athlete awards listed elsewhere
jogscotland Group of the Year – Let’s Go Linlithgow
SAMH Mental Wellbeing Award – Joanne Tominey, Jiggly Joggers
jogscotland Achiever of the Year – Alison Miller Duff, Ready, Steady, Go Pitreavie
jogscotland Leader of the Year – Neil Nairn, Fenwick Striders
Track & Field