THE SPORTING stars of Angus were in the spotlight for the 16th annual Angus Sports Awards ceremony last night. The Angus Sports Awards 2011 ceremony took place at the Reid Hall, Forfar and again highlighted the sporting talent and achievement that exists in Angus.
Angus Council Sports Development Team again took the opportunity to honour the commitment, achievements and dedication of individuals and teams involved in sport across Angus. Angus Ahead, the area marketing campaign set up to fly the flag for the county at home and abroad were associated with the Angus Sports Awards 2011 ceremony.
Greg Drummond of Fotheringham Curling Club was crowned Sports Personality of the Year and has been a Scottish Junior runner up, Mens Champion and World Champion runner up under Team Brewster and also represented Great Britain in the Winter Universiade. Greg is a key player in a team of 4 who helped to secure the Scottish championship title and were runners up in the World Championships. He also won the highly sought after Continental cup which is contested by North America against The World. Greg has his sights set of retaining the Scottish title and if victorious, hopes to win Gold at the World Championships in 2012. The Angus curler and his team mates are working towards GB selection for the Winter Olympics in 2014. Other short listed finalists were cricketer, Claire Pirie and Mark Shepherd.
Female Golfer Ailsa Summers was named Young Sports Personality of the Year and is a junior member of Carnoustie Ladies Golf Club and is currently playing off scratch. Alisa is a very accomplished young athlete whose highlights in 2011 include representing Scotland at under 18 level and being a reserve for the Scottish Ladies European Tour team in Austria. The young golfer has won the Angus Ladies County Championship for the last 3 years in a row. Ailsa currently holds the Carnoustie Ladies course record over the Carnoustie Championship course which is no easy task. Over the last year Ailsa has won tournaments locally, at county level and has represented the county and Scotland on many occasions. This category attracted an amazing 14 nominations this year which highlights the depth of the county’s young sporting talent and the 3 other short listed finalists were Kelly Clark (Football), Nicky Sim (Basketball), Yhana Van Wees (Basketball).
The Tayside Musketeers Cadet Men Under 16 team has 8 Scotland internationalists and compete in the National League Division one. In 2011 the Muskies were the first team in the region for 10 years to win the National League Division one title. This talented squad of players also won the Scottish National League Cadet Men Play-offs in 2011. 2 members from the coaching staff were selected to coach for the Scottish National teams and in the future the team hopes to continue to compete at national level and win the Basketball Scotland Under 18 Junior Mens League, cup and play-offs. 2011 has been capped off with them winning the Team of the Year Award. The other short listed teams were Arbroath United Cricket Club 1st 11 and Arbroath High School S1 Girls Netball Team.
The Coach of the Year award went to Paul Boath of Tayside Musketeers Basketball Club has coached 11 Scotland internationalists from under 13 to under 16 levels and he led the Cadet Mens team to win the Basketball Scotland National League division 1 and play offs for the first time in 10 years. Paul is the Scotland under 14 coach and led the team to win tournaments in Northern Ireland and Spain. A personal highlight for Paul in 2011 was being named Performance Development Coach of the region and Coach of the Year for Basketball Scotland. The national governing body has involved Paul in the apprentice programme where he mentors 2 younger coaches. Paul hopes to continue coaching at national level and build better club links. This category attracted very high quality nominees and the other short listed finalists were Fraser Burnett (Swimming), Calum Owens (Rugby) and Marion Durham (Swimming).
Ian Bradford of Tayside Special Olympics won the Sports Personality of the Year for People with a Disability award. Ian has attended a variety of local, regional and national table tennis competitions throughout the year. Ian represented Tayside at a National competition in Crewe where he returned home with a Gold and Silver medal. Ian was selected to be a member of the Great Britain Team who competed at the World Games in Athens during June 2011. Ian won 2 medals at the Games in Athens, a Gold in male singles and Silver in mixed doubles. Tayside and Great Britain recognise that Ian is a true ambassador for his region and Country. The other short listed nominees were Neil Grant (Football) and Jamie Black (Ten Pin Bowling).
Service to Sport award winner Neil Valentine of Forfar Amateur Swimming Club started on poolside with the club over 20 years ago. Over the years Neil has gained many teaching qualifications and has also pursued various technical qualifications as a judge, starter and referee. A highlight in 2011 for Neil was when he was appointed as the President of Scottish Swimming, the National Governing Body for the sport. Along with the administrative role of the president Neil continues to attend numerous events and devotes time to Midlands District along with the club in Forfar where his love of swimming blossomed. His personal dedication to the sport it has seen Neil preside at the highest level. The selection panel found this to be a very difficult decision and the other short listed nominees were Laura Smith (Special Olympics) and Yvonne Robertson (Rugby).
The ceremony in association with Angus Ahead was hosted by Radio Tay and included locally based Modern Pentathlete and previous Angus Sports Personality of the Year Louise Helyer as guest speaker for the evening.
Angus Council Sports Development Officer, Laura Baxter, said: “Angus Council Sports Development Team is delighted to be recognising and rewarding all those involved in sport across Angus. All of the award nominees and winners are proactively representing Angus and we are delighted to be highlighting the positive features that sport and physical activity can bring to Angus. We would like to thank all those who made nominations for the awards and Angus Ahead who helped us stage this fantastic event.”
Angus Council Sports Development Team would also like to thank Coaching Angus, Tayside & Fife Regional Sporting Partnership, Angus Disability Sport, National Oilwell Varco, Angus College, Radio Tay – Cash For Kids and McDonalds who all sponsored different award categories. Other event sponsors included Springers Coffee Lounge, Silver Tay Landscapes Ltd and Strathmore Mineral Water Company.