The Lothian Disability Sport (LDS) Annual General Meeting (AGM) for 2014/2015 was held at Caledonia House, South Gyle on Thursday 25th June and there was good representation from local clubs and athletes with around 45 people in attendance. This proceeded the Annual Awards Ceremony as LDS continue to recognise the huge impact that athletes, volunteers, coaches and teams have in sport across the Lothian area. The awards ceremony gives LDS the opportunity to celebrate these achievements and are proud to have such talented, dedicated and enthusiastic individuals within the region.
LDS presents a total of six awards and a brief description of the winners is detailed below:
Senior Sports Person: Scott Quin - Scott wins the award for the second year running after he continued his hugely impressive form into 2015. The Warrender Elite Squad swimmer secured silver at the IPC European Championships in Eindhoven last year and carried this form into 2015, breaking the SB14 100m Breaststroke world record as Scotland claimed victory at the British Gas Disability Championships in Manchester - only to better this time at the Scottish Short Course Championships at his home pool in Edinburgh a week later. The Midlothian man is also only one of two Scots to be included in the GB squad due to compete at the IPC World Championships in Glasgow in mid July.
Young Sports Person: Ruairi Logan - The young wheelchair tennis player has been a member of Edinburgh based club Winning Wheels since 2009, demonstrating exceptional dedication towards training and competition. Ruairi currently trains five times per week, taking part in both individual wheelchair tennis sessions and group sessions with ambulant juniors of a similar age and ability. This hard work has paid off and Ruairi was recently selected for the GB Junior Wheelchair tennis team, competing in Turkey and testing himself against the top seed at the competition.
Club of the Year: Livingston & District Dolphins - Rainbow Squad - The West Lothian club were able to facilitate their first disability specific swimming gala at the beginning of June, providing another competitive swimming opportunity for the swimmers of Lothian. The gala is the latest development from the club, having increased members, found additional pool time, facilitated extra training sessions and recruited more poolside volunteers and coaches who are able to assist non-swimmers, improvers, stroke development and competitive swimmers. Livingston & District Dolphins also act inclusively, providing full integration with the competitive section of the club and some Rainbow Squad members are currently training with the mainstream section's silver squad. The increased number of swimmers can be easily identified through entry to recent LDS Gala's with the Rainbow Squad now amongst the biggest club entry across the Lothian region.
Coach of the Year: Niall Ritchie - Niall has been coaching wheelchair basketball for 5 years and this year saw his under 15 side become National Junior League Champions after a triumphant visit to Nottingham for the National Finals. In addition to this role Niall is also heavily involved with the Scotland programme, acting as head coach for the under 15's and assistant to the under 23 squad. As a result of his undoubted d dedication, Niall regularly commits four hours per week to coaching and many weekends are spent travelling to Leeds for National league matches - all on top of juggling a full time job and supporting additional programmes and events delivered by Lothian Disability Sport and partner organisations.
Endeavour Award: Ross Foley - Ross has been playing badminton with Lothian Disability Badminton Club (LDBC) since its formation in 2008, rarely missing a training night or event the club support. This commitment is now paying dividends and Ross is now at a standard of play which enables him to compete at the 4 Nations Disability Events across the United Kingdom, winning a gold medal in the Junior SS6 category Boys Doubles earlier this year. However, his friendly positive attitude off the court is what makes him such a popular club member and these characteristics are the reasoning behind the nomination from his club coaches.
Jim Anderson OBE Bursary - Stephen Clegg - Stephen was the deserving winner of the cash award presented in recognition of Jim Anderson's outstanding achievements in the sport and link with LDS. Stephen has developed superbly since his transition to East Lothian Swim Team and under the guidance of coach Bruce Halloran is reaching new levels in his performance which has only wetted his appetite to emulate his siblings and reach a Paralympic Games himself.