Photo by Bobby Gavin
Derek Easton collected the coveted Tom Stillie Sword accolade at our 4J Annual Awards and then spoke with real candour and passion about coaching.
Like so many across our sport, the Central AC legend’s commitment to athletics in Scotland runs to decades rather than years.
Double Olympian Andy Butchart presented the Tom Stillie Sword on our behalf to mark Derek’s huge contribution and also spoke warmly of the Central AC ‘family’.
Butchart will make his marathon debut in New York this weekend but it was a 2:26 marathon run which helped move Derek’s career in athletics in a different direction.
‘I am certain Andy can beat that time and I should have run quicker myself on the day I did 2:26 for the marathon,’ he smiled.
‘That was one the reasons I moved towards coaching. I felt I had maybe under-achieved myself as an athlete and there was a wee bit of frurstration there perhaps.
‘When I started coaching, it was always my aim to try and help my athletes improve and achieve their full potential. That is still my aim.
‘There is a role for everyone to play. You can assist and help what is a wonderful sport. It is a sport for all.
‘Acoss our sport in Scotland there is a place for everybody – be that competitively or not. If you don’t fancy the competitive side of things there are so many ways you can still contribute.’
‘It is a great sport and been a huge part of my life for 55 years. I know how much it means to a lot of people here at the 4J Annual Awards.
‘So I am deeply honoured to win this as I regard it as one of the top awards that Scottish Athletics present.
‘I have looked at the winners of it in the past and the recent past and there are well-known names there. People who have committed their lives to our sport. I’m thrilled to be the lucky recipient this year.’
Butchart couldn’t hide his admiration for the mentor who put him on the both to two Olympics.
‘Derek does not know, I don’t think, how much he has done for so many people at our club and in our sport,’ said Andy.
‘For me personally he gave me so much. Every week he is at the track without fail. Some people might not show up but Derek is always there. He is the heart and soul of Central AC and it feels like a family in many ways. We love him.’
Butchart wil make his marathon debut this weekend.
‘I want to try and finish top ten and be as close to the podium as I can be,’ he said. ‘Fingers crossed I have a good day and a good run and it is smooth sailing on my marathon debut.’
Central AC landed our Off Track Club of the Year award at the Annual Dinner (photo by Bobby Gavin)