The SCA announced the winners of the Recognition Awards 2013, at the AGM on Sunday 27th October, during Paddle 2013.
The Willing Hands Quaich - Winner 2013 - Andy Watt
"Andy has worked tirelessly over the last 5 years to make Pinkston Paddlesports Centre become a reality. He has chaired all the meetings and driven contact with many other organisations who may be interested in using the facility. In particular he has engaged with Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service who have now confirmed that they will be on site which is a big financial boost to the centre. He also pushed for Coaching qualifications for local youth group leaders who have now qualified and have already been getting local youths out onto the water. When the centre opens in November it will be a massive boost to canoe sport in Scotland from beginners up to elite Polo and Slalom paddlers. This would not have happened without Andy’s drive and enthusiasm."
Volunteer Coach of the Year - Winner 2013 - Robert Bartusik
"Robert B has taken Forth Canoe Club by storm. He’s put in so many man-hours on a voluntary basis, that it inspires the rest of the voluntary coaches – and he’s taken brought many new faces to the club to be coached by him in sprint. He provides a great platform for kids to get into sprint, and supports them throughout their training. He regularly takes kids to regattas, and adults alike – and has succeeded in bringing a number of medals back to the club."
Professional Coach of the Year - Winner 2013 - Kristina Medovcikova
"We have joined together to submit this nomination in recognition of the outstanding commitment and achievements of Kristina Medovcikova, National Sprint Coach for Scotland. For the past 6+ years since Kristina came to Scotland, she has focussed totally and committed beyond every reasonable expectation, all of her time and energies to the development of the athletes who have now become the Scottish Sprint National Performance and Development Squads. Kristina devotes at least 6 days every week, starting at 6am most mornings and very often not ending till very late into every evening to the development of programmes to identify, develop and ensure that the athletes peak in their performance at the correct times for their varying competition schedules throughout the year. All of the athletes and parents in Scotland recognise how very lucky we are to have someone of Kristina’s calibre, knowledge, dedication and single minded commitment to sprint kayaking development in Scotland. Kristina selflessly sacrifices her own needs in order to ensure her athletes receive the personal training and development they need to peak in their performance just at the right time for their varying competition schedules. The results of the rigorous winter training programme which Kristina implements each year (which includes winter cross country skiing in partnership with members of the Slovakian squad and early on the water paddling in Portugal in February to ensure the athletes are ready to peak at the very start of the season in April, despite Scotland’s winter weather) were even more self evident at the British Championships at the start of the 2013 season in April. Kristina’s sixteen top paddlers dominated the field in the under 14, under 16 and under 18 events, hauling a total of 16 British Championship titles and an incredible 73 individual and team medals in all! In addition, Kristina delivered her first Junior paddler as a promotion into Mens A division. After this incredible, early success to the 2013 season, Kristina’s commitment never faltered. During the Easter and Summer training camps, Kristina ran up to 10 sessions per day in order to deliver specialist training to three paddlers who represented GB at the international Piestany regatta in Slovakia in May; two paddlers who were selected for the Junior European Championships in Poland in June; one paddler (aged only 15) who was selected for the Junior World Championships in Canada in August; another who was training for the Dutch Championships in August and 3 who are currently training for the Olympic Hopes in Czech Republic in September. Numerous others of different ages and stages of development were at the same time developed for the four GB national regattas throughout the season. Through Kristina’s special partnership with the Slovakian team, she facilitated an international study year for one of the 18 year old Slovakian paddlers, to study in Linlithgow and train and compete with the Scottish squad. Her choice of athlete was inspirational to all of the Scottish team and the arrangement had so many positive repercussions, both in terms of the training benefits to Scotland’s athletes as well as the educational achievement and inspiration for both Scotland and Slovakia in the future. As if that wasn’t enough, Kristina became Scotland’s first Level 3 Coach this year, further confirming her talents in her sprint specialism and ensuring that she will be able to further develop her athletes in Scotland towards their Olympic dreams long term and pass on her skills and knowledge to future generations of paddlers and coaches alike. In the words of Sean Redmond, one of her athletes “I know we are extremely lucky to have Kristina in Scotland. Out of every nation she could have chosen, she chose Scotland, and she has stuck with us, despite offers to entice her elsewhere. It is her incredible commitment and hard work which really motivates us to give her the same and more in return. ”This nomination in recognition of Kristina’s exceptional, above and beyond commitment and dedication to the development of and success of sprint kayaking in Scotland".
Youth Coach of the Year - Winner 2013 - Poppy Croal
“Poppy is only 17 years old. This hasn’t stopped her spending nearly every moment at Forth Canoe club this year. From running the polo teams single handily – to helping kids learn slalom on Tuesday nights – Poppy has been there. She’s also a level 1 coach, getting her 1 star log book signed off this year, and returning the favour by supervising other level 1 coaches at the club to sign off their 1 star assessor log book as well. She coached the summer courses for kids for 6 weeks during the summer holidays, and received nothing but admiration from the many parents who emailed me afterwards to say what an absolutely amazing time they had – and how could they get more involved in paddlesport with their kids afterwards. Her friendly manner is a big hit with the kids, and her knowledge of paddling games is unrivalled! She recently completed her Level 2 training at Glenmore Lodge, and will soon progress up the coaching ladder. Poppy also organises most of the clubs social events too – going to ceilidhs, having BBQs and baking birthday cakes for the other coaches. She’s the heart and soul of the club – and deserves an amazing award for her dedication to paddlesport.”