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Tweeddale celebrates sporting success

The driving force of all things sport in Tweeddale turned out on Friday night for the annual regional ClubSport Awards held at the Green Tree Hotel.

Hosted with charity Live Borders, the evening was a true celebration of success for sports men and women of all ages and abilities.

After winning the European Athletics Mountain Running Championships earlier this year, Jacob Adkin took home the coveted Sports Personality of the Year Award.

The 23 year-old from Peebles become Great Britain’s first ever European Mountain Running Champion, in the process leading the GB team to their first-ever men’s team gold.

After success throughout the junior ranks and international representation, Jacob gained a place on the Borders Athlete Support Programme (ASP).

Jacob was unable to be there on the night, currently in Argentina representing Great Britain in the World Championships.

After winning the Junior Sports Personality of the Year at September’s Celebration of Sport event, Ellie O’Hara claimed the same award on Friday night.

Ellie has had an outstanding 2019, following on from a highly successful first year in the Under-17 age group and she has improved on her national records yet again.

In her favoured event of triple jump she has improved her personal best from 12.46m in 2018 to 12.58m, an improvement that places her third in the UK all time outdoor rankings for her age group.

At just 16 years of age, she is the top ranked Under-20 triple jumper in Scotland, second ranked senior, and is currently ranked seventh in the World for Triple Jump for 16-year-old females and ninth in Long Jump.

For his tireless work in cycling, Chris Bryant was recognised as the Coach of the Year.

As a Level 3 Road and Time-Trial coach, a cyclo-cross and mountain bike coach, track coach and a Trail Cycle leader Chris has the skills to work across a range of cycling disciplines. He has developed cycling specific training courses for Triathlon Scotland, Scottish Disability Sport and Scottish Cycling.

Twelve years ago, Chris founded the Kids’ Innerleithen Cycle Club or KICC for short, for children. Currently 80-plus riders supported by 22 leaders and coaches who take over the trails of Glen Tress each Sunday morning.

He also works with the Innerleithen annual Spooky Cross, the Live Borders Cycle Skool, Advanced Rider Squads, the annual Sports Academy and Filles a Velo.

Rachel Campbell was presented as the Junior Coach of the Year.

Rachel is a sixth year pupil at Peebles High School with a love for working with children and sport, particularly gymnastics.

When she turned 16 years, old Rachel joined PHD FUNdamentals Trampoline and Gymnastics club. It is here where Rachel where she gained her UKCC Level one Gymnastics coaching qualification. As part of the team Rachel has helped nearly 100 children gain British Gymnastics badges.

For his service Peebles football, Gerri Rossi was awarded with a Service to Sport Award.

From the earliest years where he first started with the old Peebles Thistle Boys Club, Gerry returned to football club work in the early 2000s where he became the Chairman of Tweeddale Rovers.

Gerry then once again showed his family devotion by making the move to Peebles Rovers, eventually becoming chairman of the club. During his time as chairman he oversaw great club success with Peebles Rovers winning both the league title and King Cup in the East of Scotland division.

Gerry finally retired from club duties this summer but has continued to support and attend football throughout the Tweeddale area and beyond.

Peebles local Antony Prior picked up the Disability Award for his achievements in the pool as part of the Borders Barracudas Borders Squad – which is the Scottish Borders regional squad for swimmers with a disability and Peebles Swimming Club.

2019 has been an exceptional year for Antony. As part of both clubs, he qualified for the Senior National Championships, which took place in February. Tony took home a gold in the 50m freestyle and a bronze in the 50m backstroke.

In September this year Antony continued to improve and at the Learning Disability Scotland Autumn Swimming Gala. Tony gained four new personal bests in backstroke, freestyle, breaststroke and the individual medley.

The Under 13 Peebles Netball/S1 Peebles High School were presented as the Team of the Year. There are 11 girls who play in the ‘Peebles Rockets’ who, during the 2018/19 season, played as the Under 13 Peebles Netball Team and S1 Peebles High School Team.

In the first year of competition, they reached two finals and were crowned champions of not only the Scottish Schools Cup but also the Scottish Youth Cup, a phenomenal achievement for a team that had only been training together for almost two years.

Club of the Year was awarded to the Innerleithen-based St Ronan’s Bowling Club

The club has been in existence since 1904 and continues to engage with the community.

The club tries to encourage as many people as possible to try the sport by hosting come and try sessions, family days on top of their regular sessions.

St Ronan’s prides itself on the close relationship that been developed with the local primary school with weekly coaching sessions for P6-P7 pupils and this year the club has worked hard to fundraise to refurbish their clubhouse, whilst making it more disabled friendly.

2019 winners at a glance

Junior Coach of the Year – Rachel Campbell (Gymnastics)

Coach of the Year – Chris Bryant (Cycling)

Team of the Year – U13 Peebles Netball/ S1 Peebles High School

Club of the Year – St Ronan’s Bowling Club

SALSC Service to Sport – Gerri Rossi (Football)

Disability Award – Antony Prior (Swimming)

Junior Sports Personality of the Year – Ellie O’Hara (Athletics)

Sports Personality of the Year – Jacob Adkin (Running)