Congratulations to all the winners of this year’s SCA Annual Awards that were announced at the SCA‘s AGM on the 14th November. The awards recognise the outstanding efforts of coaches, volunteers and clubs that have gone that extra mile through the last 12 months. Below is a list of the winners and some of the reasons they were nominated;
Willing Hands Quaich Wendy Nicol Shetland Canoe Club
Wendy’s huge contribution to our sport is one that often goes unnoticed being less visible than some other roles, but is equally important if not more so. Wendy for the past 10 years has been instrumental in the training for new coaches, and coach advancement. Wendy has organised and accessed funding to bring Level 1 and Level 2 providers to Shetland making training accessible to all and ensuring a constant supply of coaches progressing through the system. As well as this Wendy is instrumental in applying for funding for new boats , safety equipment and organising the biennial Shetland kayak symposium, which benefits both local members as well as kayakers from further afield.
Professional Coach of the Year - Steve Macdonald Breadalbane Canoe Club
Steve is the junior Talent coach for Breadalbane Canoe Club training athletes from grass roots at he the age of 9 through to National development level at the age of 18 and manages to work with all age groups getting the best out of each and every paddler. He is a wonderful motivator, educator, and guide to all of the young paddlers and a source of constant support to their parents. He ensures that the whole club works as a team youngsters and adults alike. An example of this is organising working parties where athletes and parent turn up at the riverbank with gardening and maintenance tools in hand to look after the Aberfeldy Slalom Centre. Steve’s success is demonstrated with athletes from the club being members of the SCA Performance Squad, athletes having won medals at the Junior European Championships and one Athlete selected for the Youth Olympics in China.
Joint Volunteer Coach of the Year David Grieve Lothian Sea Kayak Club
David dedicates and extraordinary amount of time to coaching sea kayaking, canoeing and other paddlesports to hundreds of young people and adults across Scotland. David is Chairman of Lothian Sea Kayak Club as well as running river trips, training sessions in the pool, 3 star training and assessment, organising and leading the clubs annual expedition, contributing to a series of talks and sharing his knowledge on navigation, tidal planning and VHF use. If this wasn’t enough David is also an Explorer Scout leader at Biggar, where he runs weekly paddlesport sessions for all scouting sections from Beavers, to Explorers and their leaders giving over 200 scouts this opportunity each year.
Joint Volunteer Coach of the Year Rob Ailey Forth CC
Robert though having only fairly recently completed his Level 1 has now devoted many hours working with the club to make it better environment for paddlers with access needs. Robert has organised and run access days for the club and even adapting equipment himself to make it suitable. He has even cut his working hours to spend more time working with individuals or groups with access needs. He has also supported paddlers with a disability through their 1 and 2 star courses.
Youth Coach of the Year Neil Forsyth Glasgow KC
Neil volunteers a great deal of time to Glasgow Kayak Club’s junior marathon and sprint section of the club. Working with a wide range of abilities with Neil’s patience, sense of fun and ability to interact at the right level at the right time means he gets the very best out of the young folk he works with. The club also recently started a section for children with learning difficulties with Neil being a vital part of this coaching team.
Club of the year Breadalbane CC
Breadalbane Canoe Club is a strong Family based club that offers a wide range of activities in kayaking and canoeing including introductory courses, slalom coaching, activities specifically aimed at families, training and development of paddling skills, hosting competitions, running indoor pool sessions and organising river trips. The club employs a Junior Talent Coach to train athletes from grass roots level through to national development level. They also help develop and train young volunteer slalom coaches. The club has also developed a flat water training venue in order for our young athletes of all abilities to train throughout the year and, therefore, progress and develop within the sport. This ties in well with the club having nearby access to the white water at Grandtully.