Triathlon Scotland 2015 Award Winners

Our Award Winners

The 2015 Triathlon Scotland Annual Awards took place at the 2015 Exchange conference, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh.

We look forward to this event every year and 2015 was no exception!  We are extremely lucky to have such a community of volunteers, athletes and supporters and we once again had a difficult time deciding on our very worthy winners.  Grant Sheldon and Marc Austin helped to present our winners with their trophies and goodies.

This year’s winners are:

Make sure you also watch our short interviews with the winners on our YouTube Channel: triathlonscotlandtv

Young Volunteer of the Year
Shannon Botham, Stirling University Triathlon Club

A student at Stirling University Shannon started triathlon not long before beginning her degree.  On arriving at the University Shannon helped to resurrect the University Triathlon Club which is now a thriving student club.  A promising triathlete herself she now receives funding from the Winning Students Scholarship programme and has also completed the UKCC  Triathlon Level 1 Coaching qualification. Shannon is a great ambassador for triathlon and is a committed Club President and triathlete.

On receiving her award Shannon said: “My favourite part about volunteering for Stirling Triathlon University Tri Club is seeing the club grow – going from only a couple of members to having a big group of people who love triathlon and I have found that really inspiring!”

Volunteer of the Year
Lucy Matheson, West Lothian Triathlon Club

In addition to this top award, club member Lucy Matheson won Volunteer of the Year.  Lucy was recognised for her hard work and commitment to the club and in particular setting up and helping to grow the youth section.  As if this is not enough Lucy also trains hard in order to participate in Ironman events! There is no doubt that Lucy has been a catalyst for the interest and enthusiasm particularly in the youth section, and without her hard work and dedication the club would not have seen its youth section be so successful.

On winning her award, Lucy said: “It means a lot to me to get the recognition for the work I have put in, not just over the last 12 months but also over the last three years since I started as a youth coach.  I will make sure I keep learning and developing so I can give my best guidance and help to the kids.”

Official of the Year
Lynne Lauder

Triathlon isn’t all about the athletes and the coaches as our races would not run without our technical officials.  Lynne is always first to put herself forward when it comes to officiating.  She has been a Technical Official since 2012 and is currently working towards National Technical Official level (the only female in Scotland to be doing so) and this has seen Lynne travel to both British and World events.  In addition Lynne also volunteered at the European Games in Baku in order to gain further experience of major events.

Lynne strives to try and educate athletes and share her knowledge of the rules to athletes of all levels.  She is well known and well liked and dedicated to officiating, where she has never missed a training event in her officiating career.

Most Enjoyable Event of the Year
Monikie M3 Sprint Triathlon
, Monifieth Triathlon Club

The Monikie Sprint takes place at Monikie Country Park, near Broughty Ferry and involves a 750m open water swim, a 21km bike ride, finishing with a 5km run.

The event is organised by Monikie Triathlon Club to top standard offering a welcoming atmosphere, good race course and, not least, a top offering of food for the hungry participants.  Athletes were piped to the water for the start of the swim: a fun and lifting touch for the athletes.  On top of this an army of volunteers were involved, each of whom were enthusiastic and encouraging as the athletes raced their way round the course.

The Monikie Sprint really is a great event that is sure to be enjoyed by all and as a result the club has been successful in its bid to host the 2016 Scottish Sprint Championships.

Commenting on the award club representative, Eric Blythe said: “This award is the culmination of a great year for Monikie Triathlon Club.  We put in a lot of effort to ensure the competitors had a fantastic day – we certainly had a great time organising it and we hope to see everyone at the event on 10 July, next year.”

Athlete of the Year
David McNamee, Stirling Triathlon Club

A well-established and successful triathlete and following his seventh place finish at Glasgow 2014 [the highest finish by any Scottish triathlete at a Commonwealth Games] David took the decision to up his distance to middle and long distance triathlon racing.  A decision that has seen him finish a credible seventh place in his first Ironman distance in South Africa in April, followed by victory at the Ironman UK Championships in July and victory once again at Ironman Bolton.  His results saw him qualify for the prestigious and well renowned Ironman World Championship event in Kona, where he posted the fasted run split of the day to secure 11th place on his long distance World Championship debut.
On winning his award David commented: “I am not generally stuck for words, but thank you for always being supportive, especially [Triathlon Scotland Performance Coach] Blair Cartmell.”

Age Group Athlete Male
Alan Bremner, Newhaven Harbour Triathlon Club

This award rounds off a top year for Alan where he won a Bronze medal at the European Age Group Sprint Championships. Following this medal winning performance, Alan then took to the World stage in Chicago for the Age Group World Championships, hoping to improve on his Bronze.  He certainly did and after a hard race he was crowned Age Group Sprint World Champion.  If this wasn’t enough two days later he competed in the Standard Distance Age Group World Championship race and finished fourth, missing the podium by the slightest of margins.

Alan describes his year as: “a great year” and “becoming a World Champion is the stuff of dreams, it made all my years of hard training and racing worthwhile.”

Age Group Athlete Female
Alice Jenkins, Hartree JETS Ecosse

The Female Age Group Athlete of the Year was award to Alice Jenkins of Hartree JETS Ecosse.  Alice has only been participating in triathlon for four years but has made significant progress, and as a result of qualifying for the European Age Group Championships last summer, she was asked to join the Hartree JETS Ecosse – a performance squad developing Age Group triathlon talent in the Edinburgh area.  Alice’s first international race was the Age Group European Championships where she finished an incredible second.  Her season was then topped off with her winning the British Championship title in her Age Group, giving her qualification for next year’s Age Group World Championships, in Mexico.

Paratriathlon Award
Alison Patrick and Hazel Smith

This year’s award goes to two athletes who have worked together throughout the season to great success.  Hazel Smith was one of three guides added to GB’s paratriathlon team in March and she soon teamed up with PT5 paratriathlete Alison Patrick.

It didn’t take them long to make an impact; winning the British Paratriathlon Championships in Llanelli in May and ensuring they were put forward for the European and World Championships. In June, Alison competed at the Besançon ITU World Paratriathlon Event in France with Grace France as her guide. Alison won the race comfortably, finishing more than ten minutes ahead of her nearest rival.

The European Championships in Geneva provided yet more success for the pair. Leading the PT5 race from the start, Alison and Hazel were crowned European champions. This was Hazel’s second medal of the weekend, having already finished third in the 25-29 Standard Championships.

Alison raced with Grace France again in August at the Rio 2016 test event, where she won gold on the Copacabana Beach course where she will be hopeful of similar success next summer. Alison and Hazel teamed up again for the World Championships in Chicago in September. The pair led a tight race coming out of the swim and pole position changed hands a couple of times throughout the race with Alison and Hazel eventually finishing second.

With a successful year under their belts and some experience of the Rio 2016 course, there is cause for optimism for the pair next year.

Youth Coach of the Year
Jo Phillips
, Edinburgh Road Club

Jo has made an exceptional contribution to youth triathlon in Scotland, setting up a youth section at her club and ensuring she created a strong coaching team, supported by meticulous planning.  A real strength is Jo’s encouragement that has ensured young athletes of all levels are staying in the sport.  Jo constantly develops herself and attends sportscotland and Triathlon Scotland CPD workshops and is also brave enough to ask her young athletes for feedback!

Jo comments: “It is important to inspire the kids, ensuring they are enthusiastic and involved in the sport.  As a coach you have to be patient and through perseverance you see progress, and as a result of this, the kids are attentive and progress well – and that is really rewarding.”

Participation Coach of the Year
Penny Rother
, Edinburgh Road Club

Also of Edinburgh Road Club, Penny Rother won the Triathlon Scotland Participation Coach of the year award to add to a suite of well-deserved awards won this year, which are: The Leigh Day British Triathlon Coach of the Year, sportscotland Community Coach of the Year and the highly coveted Sports Coach UK Community Coach of the Year.

A full-time GP in Midlothian and a former Age Group Triathlon World Champion Herself Penny turned to coaching in 2009 and has had a significant impact from the start.

Penny has invested a significant amount of time increasing women’s participation in the sport.  With a busy professional, personal and athletic life she set herself the goal of helping a group of women who were trying to balance some exercise with the pressures of work and family life.  Penny has gone out of her way to help a group of female members at Edinburgh Road Club fit training around both their, and her, busy lifestyles.

Now a level three triathlon coach, Penny is an integral part of the coaching setup up at Edinburgh Road Club and is also on the sportscotland Coaching Talent programme.  She lends her patience, time and knowledge to creating a sociable environment in which they can achieve their personal goals.   Penny comments: “It has been an incredible few months for me, receiving all this recognition.  It is great fun encouraging others to participate and improve in the sport I love.  Many thanks to all those that nominated me.”

Performance Development Coach of the Year
Joel Enoch
, Hartree JETS Ecosse

Also from Hartree JETS Ecosse, founder Joel Enoch won Performance Development Coach of the Year.  Following a successful age group career himself, Joel decided to start up an age group squad, and set about creating a professional and holistic coaching environment.  Joel has worked tirelessly to support the athletes on his squad and as a result has seen athletes medal at Scottish and UK national championships right up to European and World Championships.  While Joel is very proud of these achievements he said: “I take pride, of course, in the athlete’s race achievements but I am more proud when each squad member pushes themselves and beats their personal best in each of the triathlon disciplines.”

Event of the Year
South Lanarkshire Leisure’s “Spring Into Duathlon”

The Spring into Duathlon event takes place at Hamilton Palace Sports Ground and involves a 5km run, 20km cycle finishing with another 5km run.

The event, now in its fourth year, is organised by South Lanarkshire Leisure and attracts around 180 competitors ranging from compete beginners to elite age group athletes.  The event is run to a top standard where athletes can also take up their offer of a 12-week training plan, or for the younger athlete a weekly duathlon class, designed to allow people of all ages to get involved in the sport.

Commenting on the award, Gerry Campbell of South Lanarkshire Leisure said: “Triathlon is really important to the overall commitment towards sport and physical activity we make, and the event that Shona [Girdwood] and many of our colleagues have been involved in for the fourth year now continues to grow, and develop.”

Club of the Year
West Lothian Triathlon Club

Dubbed ‘a true people’s’ club by members, West Lothian Triathlon was created eight years ago by a community of like-minded people looking to support each other on their first triathlon steps.  A welcoming club, today their ethos of support is still strong and as such the club caters for newcomers right up to those participating at Ironman World Championships.

The club has a thriving youth section that is ever expanding and a fantastic boost for West Lothian. The club identified a need for more youth events in Scotland and as such they put on their first ever event in August: a youth triathlon in Bathgate.  It was a huge success and had young athletes from all over the country participating.  On top of that the club supported a local schools aquathlon event at St Margaret’s Academy in Livingston, by providing help with planning as well as valuable volunteers on the day.  As a result the school-club links have been strengthened and more opportunities available to local youngsters.

On winning the award, club President Stuart Cameron person said: “We are delighted and proud to win this award.  We make sure we maintain the ethos we adopted from the beginning and that is to, in the first instance, make sure we attend to the needs of members of all abilities and to ensure it is fun as well.”

Outstanding Contribution
Stewart Bailey, Ayrodynamic Triathlon Club

Stewart is someone who has dedicated a lot of time to triathlon over the years whilst asking for very little in return.  Under some pressure to “just give triathlon a go” he was soon hooked on the sport and launching a sustained assault on the rankings. His work off the course, however, has showcased his talent in a number of areas.

Soon after joining his local triathlon club, he joined the committee and is still there offering his opinion – and for this he apologises! He is a keen race organiser and has organised his local Aquathon for a number of years and is always looking to have youngsters compete in local events.  As such he has been working with Triathlon Scotland and South Ayrshire Council to develop more youth events in the area. As well as his committee work and race organising, he is an active technical official which has helped him gain a deeper understanding of the sport.

Always looking to give back to the sport, he has a passion for coaching; something he happens to be very good at. He regularly coaches club sessions, has coached with the Inter Regional Championship squad for seven years, and is involved with the Foundation Squad as well.

He contributes to all Triathlon Scotland surveys and working groups and attends all our events, even though he is famed for getting lost!  If ever there was an example of his dedication to the sport it was when he was picked to carry the Queen’s Baton before the Commonwealth Games but had to turn it down because it clashed with the Scottish Youth Championships!

Stewart said: “I really enjoy being physically active and outdoors and I have a desire to share with others.  So I like to share the pleasure I get from the sport with others and also enjoy helping them to enjoy triathlon too.”

Outstanding Contribution
Catriona Morrison

Catriona has already been recognised this year when she was awarded an MBE in the summer.  She is the most successful triathlete in Scottish history and has had a direct and lasting impact on triathlon, duathlon and multisport in Scotland. This has not been just because of her remarkable international success but also because of her unwavering willingness to promote the sport.

Catriona recognised early on that her individual success can be used as an opportunity to develop a healthy Scotland and has regularly made herself available the media, often at her own personal expense.  She has inspired both fellow athletes and the public with her enthusiastic commitment and determination to improve not just herself but also her fellow Scots, especially children and women.

Despite a glittering career, there have been the difficult times as well, particularly through injuries. Whatever the disappointments, she has always faced them and seen them as a challenge to be accepted rather than be avoided. She regularly gives talks to junior athletes on how to manage their disappointment and importantly what not to do during those difficult times.

To recognise her incredible contribution to triathlon, in 2012 she was awarded a Gold Pin by the British Triathlon Federation.  This is an award given for outstanding service to triathlon, and one that is rarely given to an athlete who is still competing and as such illustrates the measure of the high esteem in which she is held within the triathlon community.

Still in her thirties, she has given back to sport more than many will give in a lifetime and picked up the Scottish Cross Championship title this year in her final race before moving to the USA to study.

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