Last year was a fantastic year for local sport in Perthshire, with a number of our fantastic athletes not only shining on a local and national stage, but internationally too. And as someone who has been following the progress of all of our region’s fabulous sportspeople, coaches and clubs, I’m really excited for next month’s Perth and Kinross Sports Awards!
It’s even more exciting as this year Small City, Big Personality is sponsoring the Disability Sports Person of the Year award and the final three athletes shortlisted have all had a fantastic 2017 in their respective disciplines. Freya Howgate, Ben Leitch and Innes Martin are the final three in contention for the award, which will be presented on Friday 16th March at Dewars Centre in what is set to be a great night celebrating the area’s top athletes, clubs, coaches and volunteers.
Freya Howgate is classified as a T37 athlete by UK Athletics. The Perth Strathtay Harriers member has been with the club for six years and competed as an U15 athlete in 2017. She competes in a variety of track and field events as an individual T37 athlete but she is also part of the main Strathtay Harriers U15 team in the Grampian Athletics League.
The youngster managed four personal bests in 2017, in the 100m track event and also in the shot put, discus and javelin throwing events. She travelled the UK – York, Yeovil, Coventry and Nottingham – winning first place at events in all four competitions. Her performances were rewarded when she picked up the Cerebral Palsy Athletics 2017 award for Best UK Junior Field Event Athlete. She was also recognised at the recent Perth Strathtay Harriers annual ceremony, winning the President’s Award for her achievements over the past twelve months.
Also in contention for the Disability Sports Person of the Year award is St. John’s Academy pupil, Ben Leitch. A member of the U23 Great Britain men’s wheelchair basketball squad, the 5th year pupil has had a glittering year in terms of achievements including scoring the winning basket for Scotland against the South of England to give the nation its first ever medal at the wheelchair basketball school games!
Ben has also represented Scotland at U19 and U23 level , and is also the current Disability Sports Person of the Year – after winning the award in 2016. After developing a rare bone cancer, Ben had surgery to remove a bone in his leg to kill the cancer and since then he’s managed to achieve great heights in wheelchair basketball. Freya Howgate, Ben Leitch and Innes Martin are the final three in contention for Disability Sports Person of the Year, and Small City, Big Personality is delighted to be sponsoring the award. In the past twelve months, his list of achievements include; Scottish Cup winner, Scottish playoffs winner, Scottish Regional silver medal, Scottish Regional MVP, Grampian Cup winner, Invitational Challenge silver medal winner, School Games U19s bronze medal winner and Dundee Dragons Young Player of the Year.
The final athlete shortlisted for the award is Innes Martin, who has been nominated for his achievements in the Paralympic sport of Boccia. Last year, Innes won gold at the National Boccia Championships in Edinburgh and he was selected to represent Scotland at the GB Boccia Championships in the summer.
He attends training with the national squad once a month, as well as regularly training at both Bell’s Sports Centre and Perth College. Innes also coaches Boccia at Craig Albert School and enjoys passing on his knowledge to the next generation of athletes. The athlete also takes part in No Limits Cricket on a Monday, which is run by Live Active Leisure.
All three have a great chance of winning this year’s award and are among a host of fantastic sportspeople, coaches and volunteers recognised and shortlisted at this year’s awards. The main Perth & Kinross Sports Personality of the Year Award sees three athletes shortlisted who have had a major impact internationally in their chosen sport.
Bradley Neil became the first Perthshire golfer since Brian Marchbank in 1979 to join the European Tour, after being awarded his full tour card in dramatic fashion. He qualified from the Challenge Tour with a nail-biting final putt and will be rubbing shoulders with some of the sport’s biggest names this year, such as Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia. The Blairgowrie Golf Club member has already made a solid start and will be hoping to reclaim the award that he won back in 2014.
Scotland Rugby Sevens star James Fleming has also been shortlisted for the main award, and the former Perthshire Rugby man has enjoyed a successful year with the national side. He was part of the squad that defied the odds and defeated England in the HSBC Rugby Sevens London Series title at Twickenham last year, and will be hoping to help the nation add more titles to the trophy cabinet in the 2018 season.
Scott McLay is the other athlete shortlisted for the award, and the swimmer has enjoyed a fantastic year which included becoming the most decorated athlete in the history of the Commonwealth Youth Games when he won three gold medals, and five medals in total at the 2017 Games in Nassau. Scott has been selected alongside previous Sports Personality of the Year winner Stephen Milne to represent Scotland at the 2018 Commonwealth Games which will be held in April on Australia’s Gold Coast.
Twelve awards are up for grabs on the night and the final three shortlisted for each category were confirmed last week. Congratulations and good luck to all of those shortlisted and we’ll see you on Friday 16th March at the ceremony!
Full list of Perth and Kinross Sports Awards finalists:
Perth & Kinross Sports Personality of the Year, sponsored by Perthshire Advertiser
James Fleming (Rugby), Bradley Neil (Golf) and Scott McLay (Swimming)
Perth & Kinross Disability Sports Person of the Year, sponsored by Small City, Big Personality
Freya Howgate (Athletics), Ben Leitch (Basketball) and Innes Martin (Boccia)
Perth & Kinross Young Female Sports Personality of the Year, sponsored by Alison Wilson
Lilly Roy (Gymnastics), Nina Mowatt (Netball) and Sarah Coutts (Athletics)
Perth & Kinross Young Male Sports Personality of the Year, sponsored by Alison Wilson
Charlie Aldridge (Cycling), Luke Bibby (Boxing) and Mark Alvarez-Perez (Fencing)
Perth & Kinross Official of the Year, sponsored by Thorntons Solicitors
Aaron Gray (Mountain Biking), Isla Buchanan (Football) and John Rough (Swimming)
Perth & Kinross Volunteer of the Year, sponsored by The Perth Trophy Shop
Russel Kesson (Basketball), Gordon Loudon (Hockey) and Caroline Ness (Athletics)
Perth & Kinross Team of the Year, sponsored by Springfield Properties
Salle Ossian’s senior women (Fencing), Perth Phoenix U16 girls (Basketball) and Perthshire men’s first-team (Hockey).
Perth & Kinross Young Coach of the Year, sponsored by The Perth Card
Louise Brett (Boccia), Caitlin Gow (Netball) and Hannah Courcha (Gymnastics)
Perth & Kinross Club of the Year, sponsored by Steve Brown Electrical Ltd
Scone Thistle (Football), Auchterarder Gymnastics Club (Gymnastics) and Perth Triathlon Club (Athletics)
Perth & Kinross George Mortimer Award for Service to Sport, sponsored by Perth & Kinross Sports Council
Susan Coe (Swimming), Nancy Davidson (Athletics) and Ian E Brown (Badminton)
Perth & Kinross School Team of the Year, sponsored by Active Schools Perth & Kinross
S1 Girls’ Perth Grammar School (Basketball), The Community School of Auchterarder Level 3 Team (Gymnastics) and S3 Girls’ Perth Academy (Netball).
Perth & Kinross Coach of the Year, sponsored by Sprinterz
Neil Mitchell (Hockey), Ann Dickson (Swimming) and Russel Kesson (Basketball)
Live Active Leisure has launched a new campaign encouraging the residents of Perth and Kinross to ‘Travel the World with LAL’.
May 27th Wednesday 2020
Chrystal Matthan is the 24 year old netball player from Perth who was recently selected for the Scottish Thistles Long Squad!
February 27th Thursday 2020
Foundation trustee Charlie Gallagher recently handed over a £2000 cheque to Academy head of youth development Alistair Stevenson.
January 31st Friday 2020