Search is on for this year’s sporting heroes
The 10th Shetland Sports Awards were launched on Friday and The Shetland Times is again asking readers to nominate the competitors, teams, volunteers and officials who deserve recognition.
This newspaper is delighted to continue its association with the awards that celebrate sporting success as well as recognising the often unsung efforts of those who work so hard to support our athletes and ensure that top-level sporting competition can continue.
A look back at the previous winners shows that a broad range of sports have enjoyed success since the awards were launched in 2007. Athlete Claire Wilson was the first winner, followed a year later by cyclist Christine McLean.
Athlete Emma Leask picked up her first award in 2009, scooping the honour again four years later.
It was the turn of fencer Christopher Rocks to take the top honour in 2010 and triathlete Lynsey Henderson was named Sportsperson of the Year in 2012.
Five years ago swimmer Andrea Strachan won the first of her three awards, also taking the honours in 2014 and 2015. Two years ago she was joined by young para-swimmer Erraid Davies and table tennis star Lynda Flaws as the judges honoured three exceptional athletes.
As in the past, this year has seen athletes enjoy success in a wide range of sports.
Previous winner Henderson has enjoyed another successful year, earning a place at the World Ironman Championships. Joining her in Hawaii will be Aberdeen-based Shetland man Davie Williamson. Could they be in the running for this year’s Sportsperson of the Year award?
Maybe record-breaking strongman Dhanni Moar will get your nomination. He has twice been a finalist and this year has been in impressive form, winning a British title and recently competing against some of the world’s best in Finland.
Some junior sportspeople have also had fruitful seasons. Lucy Holden earned a silver medal at the Scottish Schools Athletics Association championships and earned a place in the Scottish schools’ team.
More recently young volleyball player Edward Oldbury earned national recognition, representing Scotland East at the 2016 School Games.
In football, Connell Gresham has been in supreme goal-scoring form in the reserve league while premier league champions Spurs have had a successful season.
The Shetland women’s hockey team has also had another good year in the Scottish District Cup, reaching the semi-finals.
And the county netballers enjoyed double joy as the squads won both the A and B inter-county matches against Orkney.
Also in netball, the AHS team retained their Scottish Open silver title. Have they done enough to earn a nomination as Young Team of the Year? It’s up to you to put forward your selections for the judges to consider.
Of course, the above is only a brief summary of some of the outstanding sporting achievements this year. That’s why we want you to have your say on which individuals, teams, volunteers, and officials should be considered.
This year’s awards are again hosted with the support of The Shetland Times, Shetland Recreational Trust, SIC Sport and Leisure and the sports development agency sportscotland.
As well as celebrating sporting success, all the partners involved also wish to congratulate those who work hard behind the scenes.
The event is as much about celebrating participation in sport as praising those who excel in their chosen field.
Hundreds of sportspeople and sports followers will be at the awards celebration on Friday 25th November.
This year readers can nominate in eight categories, listed in the form opposite.
You can nominate by filling in the form that was published in Friday’s Shetland Times, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations can also be made by leaving a comment below this story. Please ensure you provide a name and address (which will not be published) and which category you are making the nomination in.
The judges include representatives of all the supporting organisations who will review the nominations and select winners.
They will also select a winner of the Lifetime Endeavour Award which is presented annually in honour of the late Rob Anderson.
Nominations are not sought for this special award which recognises an outstanding commitment to sport. But we do need your help to give the judges as broad a selection of nominees as possible to consider. Please ensure your nominations reach The Shetland Times by Sunday 2nd October.
Once the judging panel has reached a decision three nominees in each category or representatives of clubs nominated, will be invited to attend. The winners will be announced at the presentation evening, hosted by Shetland Recreation Trust at Clickimin. Tickets will also be sold, via the SRT, and will cost £32 which will include food as well as a sporting demonstration.