New chairman for recreational trust

At the presentation evening at the Lerwick Hotel on Thursday are (from left): New Shetland Recreational Trust chairman Bryan Leask, outgoing chairman Joe Irvine and general manager James Johnston.
At the presentation evening at the Lerwick Hotel are (from left): New Shetland Recreational Trust chairman Bryan Leask, outgoing chairman Joe Irvine and general manager James Johnston.

A new chairman has been appointed by Shetland Recreational Trust following the retiral of Joe Irvine.

Bryan Leask will take over the role from Mr Irvine who has given almost 25 years of voluntary service to the organisation.
Mr Irvine was appointed as a trustee in May 1990 and made chairman in October 1995.

He said: “Sport in Shetland has evolved a great deal in the last 25 years and I am privileged to have been able to contribute what I could to that.

“I retire in the reassuring knowledge that the trust is in the hands of its very capable staff and trustees.”

His replacement was elected by fellow trustees at an SRT meeting on Wednesday night, a presntation was made the following evening at an event in the Lerwick Hotel.

Mr Leask, who has served as a trustee since 2010, said: “I’m honoured to have been elected as chairman and look forward to the challenges of building on Joe’s legacy for the benefit of folk in Shetland.”

Mr Leask has been closely involved in the development of rugby in the islands, and coaches the senior team. He is the chief executive of Hjaltland Housing Association.

When Mr Irvine was appointed as a trustee in 1990, SRT had a staff of 65 and attendances were running at 400,000 a year. It now has almost 250 staff and annual attendances of 700,000.

As a trustee Mr Irvine witnessed the opening of the South Mainland and Scalloway pools in 1993 and the Clickimin pool and bowls hall in 1995.

As chairman he presided over the opening of the Apex Fitness Centre at Clickimin in 2001; the West Mainland Leisure Centre in 2002; the extension of the North Mainland Pool in 2002; the replacement of the Clickimin running track in 2004; and the construction of the Clickimin squash courts in 2005.

Also in 2005, Mr Irvine was a key organiser when the NatWest Island Games were held in Shetland, including co-ordinating the sail boarding.

In 2013 he travelled to Brussels with the political leader of Shetland Islands Council, Gary Robinson, to receive the European Community of Sport Award on behalf of the trust.

He is currently chairman of the Voxter Trust which manages the Voxter Outdoor Centre and has served as a board member of NHS Shetland.


Add Your Comment
  • Ali Inkster

    • December 12th, 2014 13:41

    Hidden amongst this good news story is a little gem of information, Staffing at SRT has more than trippled since 1990 yet attendances haven’t even doubled, could this be yet another example of empire building among management in Shetlands public bodies?

  • Chris Johnston

    • December 12th, 2014 22:14

    In 1990 Shetland had 22,500 residents and SRT provided 400,000 attendances with a staff of 65.
    Today Shetland has 23,200 residents (3% increase) and SRT provides 700,000 attendances (75% increase) with a staff of 250 (384% increase).
    The staff increase seems out of proportion with the attendances increase. What is the reason?

    • Shuard Manson

      • December 14th, 2014 3:41

      Could they have longer opening hours and more facilities?


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