Commonwealth games star Andrea Strachan is excited to be on this year’s judging panel for The Shetland Sports Awards, with nominations for top sporting endeavours flooding in this week.
The Lerwick swimmer was crowned Sportsperson of the Year in 2015, crowning off a sparkling career in the pool.
Strachan won three gold medals and two silvers at the island games in Jersey and has represented the isles at the games since 2005.
In 2014 on the Commonwealth stage she reached the final of the women’s 50 metres breaststroke with the roar of the home crowd in Glasgow and many proud Shetlanders back home cheering her on.
Moving back north from Edinburgh she is now working as a sports development officer, having previously been employed passing on her swimming skills to youngsters in the capital.
Strachan admits it will be strange to be on the judging panel as opposed to one of the potential winners.
“The sports awards have always been a good night and I’m looking forward to enjoying it from the other side,” she said.
“I think there’s a wide range of sports going on now [in Shetland] and there seems to be more and more sports.”
Strachan, who had her first swimming lesson at the age of four, hailed the facilities in the isles, although retiring from the sport, she does not miss the early morning regimes.
“The facilities we have here are a lot better than a lot of places on the mainland,” she said, offering opportunities to people to enjoy sport not just competitively but as part of their lifestyle.
Only a few weeks into her new job, she’s excited about what lies ahead and is grateful for the support she has received from Shetlanders over the years.
“It’s just to come back and give to Shetland what they have given to me,” she said, adding she has always been proud to wear the Shetland colours.
Don’t forget, nominations have to reach The Shetland Times by Sunday 2nd October.
“I always think swimming sets you up to transfer into working life because you’ve got your time management. Your organisational skills have to be good before you can organise your studies and your training schedule.
“You’re always being around new people and doing lots of different events.”
The island games has formed a huge part of her time in the swimming lanes and it is a competition she has many fond memories of.
“The island games is great and it’s something not everybody has the opportunity to do.
“It’s more than just a sport at the island games; it’s meeting people from all over the world and it’s a great opportunity to race at an international level,” she said.
“With it being every two years you finish the last one and you think ‘two years is such a long time’ and before you know it you’re onto the next one.”
But Strachan added: “The island games is always something I’ve been proud of.
“I don’t know if it’s something about representing Shetland, it’s always a little bit more exciting and the whole community gets behind you.
“At the Commonwealth Games the support from Shetland was great and that’s something that inspires the younger ones in sport. It’s great they get the recognition from the community.”
To make your nominations for this year’s sports awards you can leave a comment below this post, visit our Facebook page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations can be made in the following categories: Sportsperson of the Year; Young Sportsperson of the Year; team of the Year; Young Team of the Year; Coach of the Year; Volunteer of the Year; Young Volunteer of the Year; Technical Official of the Year.