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Berwickshire celebrates annual sports awards

An abundance of sporting talent from all corners of Berwickshire turned out in force recently for their annual regional ClubSport Awards held at Duns Rugby Club.

Celebrated along with charity Live Borders, Berwickshire was the last of four regional awards ceremony of the season, which see individuals and clubs recognised for their efforts within sport and in keeping the region more physically active.

Rally driver Euan Thorburn took out the coveted Sports Personality of the Year Award for his achievements throughout 2019.

The Duns local confirmed his position as Scotland’s leading international driver by becoming the 2019 Scottish Rally Champion and also the 2019 Championship in the English equivalent, the BTRDA Rally Championship.

At the wheel of their very rapid Ford Focus WRC, Euan and his co-driver Paul Beaton from Inverness left the opposition behind in this year’s Scottish Championship.

They won four of the first five counting events including the Border Counties Rally, Speyside Stages, Argyll Rally and Grampian Forest Stages and this was enough to secure the title with a round to spare.

After claiming the Disability Award at the recent Live Borders Celebration of Sport award, wheelchair curler David Melrose was crowned with the same award for the Berwickshire area.

David has been rewarded for a meteoric first year in British Curling’s Programme Wheelchair Squad with selection for 2019-20 as the wheelchair curlers prepare for the second year of the Paralympic cycle building towards Beijing 2022.

When it comes to Paralympic glory, wheelchair curler David Melrose makes no secret of his golden ambitions in Beijing.

“I want to win in Beijing in 2022 so I can have a post box in my town painted gold, that’s my dream,” the 53-year-old father of two said.

The Junior Sports Personality of the Year award went to badminton player Callum Smith.

After impressing throughout junior levels, Callum is now ranked second in Scotland at senior level.

Earlier this year he was selected to represent Scotland at the World Junior Championships in Russia. He helped the team move up four places in the world rankings.

For his work over two decade involved in swimming, Neil Tait claimed the Coach of the Year Award.

Neil has dedicated many hours into his passion for swimming. From coaching the Eyemouth Swimming Club back in 2006 all the way to coaching the Scottish Gold Youth Squad in 2016 whilst still continuing to coach Duns ASC from 2014 onwards.

His achievements with his various squads and individual athletes continues to grow by the year.

Max and Callum Redpath were awarded for being the Team of the Year Award following their recent achievements in rally driving.

From major titles like the Junior Scottish Rally Championship in 2017, Max Redpath was crowned the third ever John Horton Star Driver Award winner after triumphing in the Scottish Rally Championship (SRC) shoot-out held at Knockhill Racing Circuit last week.

Staged at Knockhill Racing Circuit for the second year running, the John Horton Star Driver Award aims to reward an inspiring driver for their performances.

It caps off a hugely successful year for the duo, who grabbed the Subaru Cup in their Subaru Impreza with one round to spare.

For decades of service to their respective sports, Gary Smith (football) and Deborah Kenworthy (badminton) were awarded with the Scottish Association Local Sports Councils Service (SALSC) Service to Sport Awards.

Jake Kerr and Fraser Thompson were recognised as the Junior Coaches of the Year for their efforts in delivering a large block of sporting activities at Duns Primary School.

Special Achievement Awards were also given to Jodie Black, Isaac Weir, Callum Stokes (Badminton), Maddie Rosher (Gymnastics), Rachael Dawson (Swimming), Harris Ross (Athletics), Henry Johnston-Smith (Equestrian Vaulting), Alan Fairbairn (Football), Jill Mykura (Athletics), Callum Kenneally (Golf) and the Jim Clark Trust.

2019 winners at a glance

Junior Coach of the Year – Jake Kerr and Fraser Thompson

Coach of the Year – Neil Tait (Swimming)

Team of the Year – Max and Callum Redpath (Rally Driving)

SALSC Service to Sport – Gary Smith (Football) and Deborah Kenworthy (Badminton)

Disability Award – David Melrose (Wheelchair Curling)

Junior Sports Personality of the Year – Callum Smith (Badminton)

Sports Personality of the Year – Euan Thorburn (Rally Driving)