Sports stars’ dedication rewarded

John Forster, left, who was rewarded for this service to sport, pictured with Kenneth Ovens from the Scottish Association of Local Sports Councils.

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By Hannah O’Hanlon

It was a golden evening as sporting dedication was celebrated at a Campbeltown ceremony.

Sports person of the year Fiona Irwin received her award from Kathleen McMillan on behalf of DM Fabrication.

Fiona, who runs Wee Toon Warriors, teamed up with Fiona Robertson to compete in the CrossFit Doubles a year after taking up the sport and they placed first in their region and second worldwide.

Prize-winners were recognised in six categories at the South Kintyre Sports Council (SKSC) awards dinner dance in Campbeltown Bowling Club last Saturday night.

Event MC, John Armour, announced the winners whose prizes were presented by a representative from the company or group sponsoring it and Kenneth Ovens from the Scottish Association of Local Sports Councils.

Mr Ovens from Kelso has attended three of the five bi-annual awards ceremonies, which started in 2010.

He said that the 462-mile round trip is worth it and he was glad to see the number of young people involved in the sports council.

Young volunteer of the year Rachel MacPhail received her prize from Sharon Gillies-McCallum of Active Schools.

Rachel is part of the team which restarted ladies’ football in Campbeltown, and volunteers at clubs including badminton.

She was praised for never shying away when asked for help.

Young sports person of the year runner Gregor Campbell was presented with his award by Archie Millar of Wee Toon Sports.

‘Dedicated athlete’ Gregor, who trains at least once a day, was at the awards ceremony but disappeared before receiving his award.

His achievements include winning gold in the under 15 boys’ 1500m at the Scottish Schools Track and Field Championships in June.

The biggest cheer came when Darren Renton was named coach of the year.

Darren, who coaches youth football, was described as a ‘great mentor’ whose dedication has never wavered despite dealing with issues in his personal life.

Among his achievements was coaching the U16s team which won the Michael McGinley shield, the first trophy ever won by a Campbeltown 11-a-side team in the Dunbartonshire Football Development League.

His prize was sponsored by the Whisky Shop.

President, Donny McCrimmon, from team/club of the year Argyll Bowling Club accepted the award from Stuart McQuaker of SKSC.

The club was praised for winning major competitions, with two members, Lee Allen and Gavin Mclachlan, in the Scottish team which won the British Isles Bowls Council under-25s championship in 2017, retaining it in 2018.

John Forster won the, Ardshiel Hotel sponsored, service to sport award, presented for a notable contribution to sport across many years and many clubs.

John has improved youth rugby in Campbeltown for the last 10 years and has never given up, despite competition from other clubs, with 40 children now part of the mini-rugby club.

After their meals, guests worked off the extra calories by dancing the night away at a Jamie G disco in the clubhouse.

Rachel MacPhail, young volunteer of the year. 50_c45sportsawards01

John Forster, left, who was rewarded for this service to sport, pictured with Kenneth Ovens from the Scottish Association of Local Sports Councils. 50_c45sportsawards02

Fiona Irwin, sports person of the year. 50_c45sportsawards03

Darren Renton, coach of the year. 50_c45sportsawards04

Lee Allen, Donny McCrimmon and Gavin Mclachlan from Argyll Bowling Club which was named club/team of the year. 50_c45sportsawards05