Sports coaches, officials and volunteers have recently been recognised for their efforts at a glittering awards ceremony hosted by East renfrewshire culture and leisure (ERCL)
Badminton Coach Mary Odell was presented with the Lifetime Coaching Achievement Award by Jane Leavey, from sportscotland and former St Mirren footballer, manager and now chief executive, Tony Fitzpatrick.
For more than 20 years, Mary has been coaching badminton at Barrhead Foundry with as many as 35 adults coming along to her coaching sessions. Mary also coaches the Barrhead Junior Badminton Club passing on her skills and experience to the next generation of players. Through her years of commitment, Mary has ensured that every player at every age or stage receives the appropriate coaching and encouragement.
Andy Jackson won both the Performance Development Coach of the Year and the Disability Coach of the Year titles. Andy has been a swimming coach for more than 20 years and is the National Lead Coach for Scottish Disability Swimming, which involves developing disability swimmers and coaches. He is also a coach with the Ren 96 swimming club and is a regular poolside at Barrhead Foundry.
The awards also took on an international flavour with an American living in East Renfrewshire being awarded for introducing the sports of his home country to youngsters at a local primary school. Josh Hahn started the American Sports Club, in Carolside Primary School, giving youngsters the chance to try sports like flag football, softball, dodgeball and basketball. Outwith the school, he also runs a basketball team, which is part of the Carolside Sports Club. Josh was presented with the Community Coach of the Year Award by ERCL board member Dr Noreen Siddiqui and former St Mirren footballer, manager and now chief executive, Tony Fitzpatrick.
Josh, Andy and Mary were just some of the several dedicated sports people who were honoured at the ERCL Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards, supported by sportscotland, held at a special ceremony in Eastwood House.
Other award winners were:
Young Coach of the Year, Stephan Gillan; Young Person's Coach of the Year, Maria Fazzi; High Performance Coach of the Year, Gordon Shepard; Coach Developer, Anna Beattie; Volunteer of the Year, Keith White; Lifetime Volunteer, John Kerr; Technical Official of the Year, Alison Finlayson and the Young Volunteer of the Year Award went to Ruairidh Gordon.
The standard of nominations were extremely high and it was very difficult for the selection panel to decide on our winners this year. My congratulations and thanks go to all the winners for their dedication to sport and their commitment to improve opportunities in sport and physical activity for the local communities of East Renfrewshire.
Barry Cook, Active Schools Team Leader, East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure
If it wasn't for volunteer coaches, club officials and referees, who so selflessly give up their time, thousands of people of all ages wouldn't be able to take part in sport.
Anthony McReavy, Chief Executive, East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure