For the third year running The Shetland Times and Shetland Recreational Trust are teaming up to stage the Shetland Sports Awards, with a special ceremony and presentations in various categories.
The awards, first held in 2007, are designed to recognise the achievements of the isles’ many sportsmen and women, and the clubs they represent, who have excelled at home and further afield during the year.
Readers are invited to nominate individuals or teams to be considered in five different categories: sportsperson of the year; young sportsperson of the year (aged 18 or under); team of the year; young team of the year (aged 18 or under); and coach of the year.
The winners last year respectively were cyclist Christine McLean, athlete Faye Richardson, Delting Football Club, the Anderson High School netball team and athletics coach Elaine Park.
Several of the individuals and teams who could be in the running for the different categories this time round are suggested below. However, this is only a guide and people are free to nominate anybody they wish.
The closing date for nominations is Monday 2nd November. Coupons for nominations will be available in this Friday’s Shetland Times or you can make your suggestion(s) by posting a comment at the end of this story.
The awards ceremony will be held following a dinner in Clickmin Leisure Complex on Friday 27th November. Three nominees in each category, or representatives of clubs nominated, will be invited to attend and tickets will also be sold for the evening.
This year, the winner of the SRT/Shetland Times Fit Club competition, whose participants were Susan Anderson, Elaine Jamieson, Graham MacAllister, Tam Rowley, Catriona Campbell, Terry Williamson and Gordon Williamson, will also be announced.
Shetland Recreational Trust general manager James Johnston said: “Last year’s awards were a great occasion and we are once again delighted to be associated with the event. The awards are an excellent way for our many talented athletes and coaches to receive fitting recognition for their tremendous achievements over the past 12 months.
“I would like to ask anybody with an interest in all kinds of local sport to put forward names of individuals and teams who deserve to be recognised at the Shetland Sports Awards.”
Editor of The Shetland Times Paul Riddell said the title, a strong supporter of sport in the isles, was proud to sponsor the event because it would highlight the hard work put in by participants and coaches.
“The awards are a very positive addition to Shetland’s sporting calendar which we are delighted to be involved with. If there is an individual, a team, or a coach that you think should be rewarded for all their efforts please fill in one of the coupons and send it back to us.”
Sportsperson of the year
• Clay pigeon shooter John Magnus Laurenson won silver in the island games individual skeet competition and bronze in the skeet pairs event;
• Pool and snooker player Brian Thompson was once again at the top of his game on the green baize, winning trophies in both sports and leading the inter-county pool team to victory over Orkney;
• Triathlete Lynsey Henderson is now one of the highest rated competitors in the country, with her achievements over the past year including defeating the world silver medallist;
• Archer Billy Finnie won gold in the individual men’s compound at the island games, and a bronze in the team event;
• Veteran Whalsay footballer Michael Williamson, in his last game for the club at senior level, scored the goal which clinched the Shetland Premier League;
• Middle-distance runner Emma Leask won the gold medal in the women’s 800 metres at the island games in Åland in July;
• Swimmer Amy Harper picked up the bronze medal at the island games in the women’s 100 metres freestyle;
• Cyclist Christine McLean maintained her excellent form, despite an early-season injury, and secured the UK 12-mile time trial title for her age group.
Young sportsperson of the year
• Table tennis player Lynda Flaws won the Scottish under-18 championship last December, completing a hat trick of national titles at different age groups, and she recently won a championship in Denmark;
• Swimmer Felix Gifford won a host of titles at district level, breaking many age group and open Shetland record in the process, and was selected for the Scottish schools squad;
• Footballer Cameron Gibbs, after being voted under-14 player of the year at Inverness Caledonian Thistle, has now joined Aberdeen;
• Arianne Fraser once again qualified for the Shetland Pony Grand National at Olympia in December;
• Jordan Leask, the only golfer to represent Shetland at the island games, had an excellent season, including winning both the Shetland Open and Buildbase scratch competitions;
• Athlete Bobby Bristow was a member of the Cambuslang team which won the under-17 Scottish cross country title, and was later chosen to represent the Scottish schools;
Team of the year
• Whalsay Football Club ended a seven-year reign by Delting by winning the Shetland senior championship;
• The inter-county badminton team defeated Orkney for the 24th consecutive year;
• The Shetland indoor bowling team returned from the island tournament in the Isle of Wight with the overall silver medals, plus a silver in the women’s singles and bronzes in the men’s and women’s fours and the women’s pairs;
• Whalsay again raced to victory in the Inter-Club Sailing Association team races for Shetland Models;
• The island games 4×400 metres women’s relay team, all teenagers, won the bronze medal;
• The island games compound archery team came home with a men’s gold, a women’s bronze and the overall bronze medals;
• The Bressay Light cricket team won the indoor league for the fourth time in a row.
Young team of the year
• The under-17 Shetland football team were crowned champions of the Loch Lomond International Youth Soccer Festival;
• The under-18 Shetland badminton team defeated Orkney 18-6 in the annual inter-county match;
• The Anderson High School netball team once again made it as far as the semi-finals of the Scottish schools title, narrowly missing the final;
• The overall junior-inter county team defeated Orkney by a handsome margin of 214 points to 153 in this year’s event;
• The junior inter-county hockey team won 3-0 against Orkney, ending a seven-year losing streak;
• The Shetland junior athletics squad picked up 25 medals, including nine golds, in the North District Championships at Inverness in March.
Coach of the year
The competitors and teams already mentioned would be the first to acknowledge the support, guidance and encouragement given by the many people who dedicate their efforts in a coaching capacity. While it would be unfair to single out individuals we would anticipate a healthy list of nominations for those worthy of praise.