The Shetland Times is teaming up with Shetland Recreational Trust for the fourth year running to stage the Shetland Sports Awards, with a special ceremony and presentations in various categories.
The awards, first held in 2007, are intended to recognise the achievements of the many sportsmen and women, and the clubs they represent, who have excelled both in the isles 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.
This year a special category, a lifetime endeavour award, has been created by the family of the late Rob Anderson. It is to recognise someone who has devoted a lifetime to their sport, someone who has turned up week after week to help with training, or perhaps someone in a “backroom” role whose contribution will never win medals but without whom the sport would be poorer.
The winners last year respectively were middle distance runner Emma Leask, table tennis player Lynda Flaws, the island games 4×400 women’s relay team, the junior inter-county hockey team and athletics coach Martin Leyland.
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 15th November.
A coupon for nominations (printed in this week’s paper) should be filled in and returned to us at the address given. Alternatively, you can make your nominations by posting a comment at the end of this story or sending an email to email@example.com
The awards ceremony will be held following a dinner in Clickmin Leisure Complex on Friday 26th 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.
Shetland Recreational Trust general manager James Johnston said: “Last year’s awards evening was a fantastic occasion and we are once again delighted to be associated with this worthy 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 year.
“I would like to ask anybody with an interest in all kinds of sport in the isles to put forward names of individuals and teams who deserve to be recognised at the Shetland Sports Awards.”
The Shetland Times editor Paul Riddell said the paper, a strong supporter of sport, was proud to sponsor the event because it would highlight the hard work put in by participants and coaches.
He said: “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 effort please fill in one of the coupons and send it back to us.”
Sportsperson of the year
- Fencer Chris Rocks won a bronze medal while representing Scotland at the Commonwealth Championships in Australia;
- Clay pigeon shooter Ewen Johnson picked up two trophies, including one for the Scottish “high gun”, in the Home Internationals;
- Triathlete Lynsey Henderson won a European silver for her age group and then finished fifth in the World Championships;
- Cyclist Carlos Riise remained at the top by winning both the Scottish 50-mile and 100-mile time trial championships;
- Hockey player Toni Sidgwick performed amazingly well for the Shetland team and has been tipped for a Scotland call-up;
- Golfer Jordan Leask won a number of competitions, including the prestigious Shetland Open;
- Triathlete Robin Atkinson took part in the gruelling “ironman” (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile cycle and 26.2 mile run) in Switzerland.
Young sportsperson of the year
- Swimmer Felix Gifford won a host of medals, was Scottish junior champion, and was also picked to represent Scotland;
- Sailor Maggie Adamson was chosen for the British team at the Youth World Championships;
- Footballer Cameron Gibbs, formerly with Inverness Caledonian Thistle, was offered a one-year contract with Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen;
- Runner Bobby Bristow was Shetland’s most consistent young distance athlete, competing well at various competitions on the UK mainland;
- Horse rider Arianne Fraser competed with distinction at the Shetland Pony Grand National at Olympia;
- Swimmer Sarah Williamson won two gold medals at the Scottish age group championships.
Team of the year
- Whalsay Football Club won the Shetland senior championship for the second year, and also the coveted Parish Cup;
- The inter-county badminton team defeated Orkney for an incredible 25th time in a row;
- The Nesting yoal rowing team were by far the most successful team in this season’s championships;
- The much-improved Shetland women’s hockey team have won two matches so far in the Scottish District Cup;
- The Bressay Light cricket team once again picked up the indoor league title and the knockout trophy into the bargain;
- The Shetland Select rugby team became the first home winners of the Midsummer Sevens Tournament.
Young team of the year
- The Anderson High School netball team did extremely well in the Scottish Cup, with only travel problems forcing them out at the semi-final stage;
- The overall junior inter-county sports team defeated Orkney by 214 points to 163 in the annual encounter;
- The junior inter-county athletics team did their bit by winning by 107 points to 87;
- The Delting Dolphins swimming team secured a host of medals both at home and away;
- The Lerwick swimming team were also very successful, breaking many records on the way;
- Lerwick Rangers Junior Football Club had a fine season again, finishing on a high by defeating fierce rivals Whitedale in the Rocklea Cup final.
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.