Blairgowrie-based golfer Bradley Neil has won the coveted Perth and Kinross Sports Personality of the Year award for a second time, after a successful 2017 which saw him become the first Perthshire player to make the European Tour in almost 40 years.
Bradley saw off the competition of his two fellow finalists - Scottish Rugby Sevens star, James Fleming and Scottish Commonwealth Games swim team member, Scott McLay - at the annual Perth and Kinross Sports Awards which took place at Dewars Centre on Friday past.
It's the second time that the 22-year-old has won the top award and he was represented by his brother Connor at the ceremony, who collected the award on his behalf. Bradley was across the pond - in Atlanta, Georgia - when he received word that he'd won the 2017 award just days after he sadly lost his grandmother.
He tweeted just after he was announced as the winner: "Can't believe I won! Thank you to my brother for collecting. Massive thanks to everyone for the support and congratulatory messages.
"Also thanks to the Perthshire Advertiser and Live Active Leisure for sponsoring and organising the event. It's been a tough week for my family and I, so this means a lot."
Perth City Swim Club head coach, Ann Dickson, won the Coach of the Year award which was presented to her by Kevin and Gillian McConachie of Sprinterz. Ann was there to collect the trophy on the eve of her long journey Down Under to be part of the Team Scotland aquatics coaching team at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia.
And for Ann and Bradley, there could be more award success on the horizon. Both have been nominated in the Nordoff Robbins Scottish Sporting Awards - Bradley for Breakthrough Sports Person of the Year, and Ann once again in the Coach of the Year category.
More of Perthshire's top athletes, coaches, volunteers and clubs were recognised at the Perth and Kinross Sports Awards and the full list of winners can be found at the bottom of the page. The night was well attended by sponsors, supporters, and some of the best-known faces in local sport.
Jim Spence, one of the most highly regarded Scottish football broadcasters, compered the entire evening and special guest speaker Mark Beaumont blew the audience away as he revealed some of his stories from his 'Around the World in 80 Days' global circumnavigation world-record bid. It was a journey he completed one day ahead of schedule in 2017 and it was the second time he had broken the record.
Provost Dennis Melloy also led tributes to the late Charles ‘Chuck’ Hay on the night. Chuck sadly passed away last year and had a great impact on sport in Perthshire – most notably in curling where he was a former World Champion skip.
A total of twelve awards were given out on what was a special evening, and Small City, Big Personality was proud to sponsor the award for Disability Sports Person of the Year. Ben Leitch won the prize and I was delighted to be there at the ceremony to present him with his trophy, which was well deserved.
Full list of award winners and sponsors on the night
Sports Personality of the Year, sponsored by Perthshire Advertiser: Bradley Neil (golf)
Disability Sports Person of the Year, sponsored by Small City, Big Personality: Ben Leitch (basketball)
Young Male Sports Person of the Year, sponsored by Alison Wilson: Mark Alvares-Peres (fencing)
Young Female Sports Person of the Year, sponsored by Alison Wilson: Lilly Roy (gymnastics)
Official of the Year, sponsored by Thornton’s Solicitors: Isla Buchanan (football)
Volunteer of the Year, sponsored by The Trophy Shop: Russel Kesson (basketball)
Team of the Year, sponsored by Springfield Properties: Perthshire Hockey men’s first team
Young Coach of the Year, sponsored by The Perth Card: Louise Brett (athletics and Boccia)
Club of the Year, sponsored by Steve Brown Electrical Ltd: Auchterarder Gymnastics Club
George Mortimer Award for Service to Sport: Nancy Davidson (athletics)
School Team of the Year, sponsored by Active Schools: Auchterarder Gymnastics Level 3 Team
Coach of the Year, sponsored by Sprinterz: Ann Dickson (swimming)
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