ANGUSalive Sports Awards winners announced

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TaeKwon-Do champion Catriona Steele was crowned the ANGUSalive Sports Personality of the Year at a celebratory awards dinner in the Reid Hall last night (Thursday).

The ANGUSalive Sports Awards shine a light on the very best of sporting talent, excellence and success that has been achieved and throughout Angus in 2016. Now in its 21st year, the awards recognise individuals, teams and clubs across Angus throughout 2016.

Catriona Steele is a worthy winner of the coveted Sports Personality of the Year award (sponsored by Auchterhouse Country Sports) standing out in what was a very high quality field this year. Short-listed were Andrew Woodroffe and Jonny O’Mara.

Catriona from Edzell won two gold medals in individual events at the TaeKwon-Do world cup in Budapest, Hungary as part of the Scottish Team and also won double gold at the Scottish Championships. Above and beyond her training and family commitments, Catriona has also given back to the sports by assisting at her club in development and administrative roles at the David McNairn Blackbelt Academy in Montrose, volunteering to coach junior club members and umpiring regional competitions.

The Club of the Year Award – a new accolade sponsored by Ferburn Trophies – was won by the Brechin Beavers Swimming Club.

All in all, 2016 was a monumental year for the club, as they celebrated their 40th anniversary and pulled together to rescue the club from the brink of collapse and transform them into 2nd division champions. The change in ethos at the club has been helped by the new pool at Brechin Community Campus, but more so by the dedicated hard work of so many individuals involved in the club.

The club has also worked closely with ANGUSalive and Scottish Swimming to achieve the ACE Gold award and SwiMark accreditation respectively. Shortlisted were Carnoustie Panmure Football Club and Arbroath Shotokan Karate Club.

Gemma Lumsdaine of Dundee Dragons Wheelchair Sports Club, picked up the Sports Personality of the Year Award for People with a Disability, sponsored by National Oilwell Varco in partnership with Angus Disability Sport. Short-listed were Courtney Bernard and Greg Clark.

Gemma from Monifieth was a key part of the winning Scottish Wheelchair Basketball team that competed in the Celtic Cup U23 and was co-captain of the U19 Scotland Squad and National Junior Championships. She was also picked out to be part of the team who competed at the Sainsbury’s School Games.

Gemma was assistant coach to the Scottish U19 Wheelchair Basketball team for the Junior League Championships. She participates in wheelchair rugby and was part of the team who competed in the wheelchair rugby super series for the Caledonian Crushers. Gemma also commits time as a panel member for the Scottish Disability Sport Young People’s Panel and Basketball Scotland Young People’s Panel.

Young Sports Personality of the Year, sponsored by Tay FM, went to Joel McFarlane of Arbroath and District Athletics Club. Short-listed finalists were Sophie Smith and Sandy Mitchell.

Joel is ranked as Britain’s No.1 for the U17 Decathlon and Pentathlon. He won seven Scottish titles and two British titles in Decathlon in 2016 and became British and Scottish U17 champion, setting a new Scottish Championship record. Joel represented Scotland at the Scottish International Athletic Board Schools International and was selected for the Scotland team at the UK Schools Games.

He has now also been selected for the Scottish Athletics National Academy Programme for outstanding young athletes.

Lynda Sim of Arbroath and District Netball was named Club Volunteer of the Year, an award sponsored by Special Olympics Tayside and Voluntary Action Angus. Short-listed were Murray Dalgety and Mary Towns.

Lynda has delivered many of hours of netball in Angus primary and secondary schools, devoting much of her time to preparing and entering U17 and two U15 teams to National District Competitions. She has also developed an over-17-years team to compete in the Dundee Ladies League, so players can keep playing, and been instrumental in setting up satellite centers for the club in Montrose and Monifieth.

Arbroath High School Open Girls Basketball Team was declared Team of the Year, an award sponsored by Angus Community Sport Hubs. Short-listed were Tayside Dynamos Powerchair Football Club and Links Park Community Trust – Montrose Walking Football Team

AHS Open Girls Basketball Team had an outstanding 2016, winning the Scottish Cup for the fourth time in five years by beating Portobello High School in the dying minutes of the game. They went undefeated for the entire season and are also part of the Tayside Musketeers Basketball Club and combine school commitments, club commitments and team training.

Scott Haxton of Arbroath St Thomas Swimming Club was named Coach of the Year, an award sponsored by Forbes of Kingennie Country Resort. Short-listed finalists were Robert Christie and Garry Johnston.

Scott commits around 16 hours per week to poolside coaching the performance swimmers at the club, as well as maintaining links with the development and intermediate squads. He remains a member of the Scottish Swimming District Swimming Committee, as well as Midlands District Head Coach, providing opportunities for the national level swimmers in Midlands District to train together. He was also an assistant coach on the Scottish Swimming Youth Development Squad with his swimmers competing at all Scottish National level events throughout 2016.

The School Sport Volunteer of the Year Award, sponsored by Active Schools and Cash for Kids, went to Chris Kettles. Also shortlisted was Caroline Kerr and Kelvin Walling.

Chris has worked with the majority primary schools in the Kirriemuir cluster, focusing on the P1–3 age group to increase participation in football. His efforts resulted in an impressive increase in the number of girls participating in the sport. He also worked with the Webster’s High School S1–3 girls team to develop girl’s participation in football and strengthen the pathway from primary through secondary school. Chris also worked with the Angus select team - the majority of the players coming from his home club of Kirrie Thistle Youths U13 squad.

The Service to Sport Award, sponsored by Dundee and Angus College, went to Rhona Alston of Montrose Tennis Club. Short-listed were Philip Hope and Elinor Phillips.

Rhona has held many roles at the club, including club secretary for the last 12 years, and has been committed to improving club facilities for several years. It now boasts two mini-courts for juniors, six all-weather floodlit courts and there have been renovations to the club house. She also played a key role in establishing the Tennis Taster programme for all P3 classes in Montrose and Brechin. Rhona was recently elected President of Tennis Tayside and continues her development of tennis across the region.

ANGUSalive would like to offer a huge thanks to all the sponsors for their support of the ANGUSalive Sports Awards 2016 and hopes that all nominees across each of the categories have a hugely successful 2017 and a vying for honours once again.