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South Ayrshire Sports Awards 2022 Winners Announced

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The South Ayrshire Sports Awards returned this year, celebrating those who make a positive impact to the sporting communities across South Ayrshire.

The return of sports and physical activities after COVID-19 restrictions meant a busy year for our Thriving Communities service and all of the coaches, volunteers, clubs and schools. The awards recognise and highlight the fantastic work and achievements of our sporting superstars, who continue to go above and beyond to help make sport and physical activity accessible to all.

This year, the ceremony was held on Thursday 1 December at Troon Concert Hall, allowing the sporting community to come together to share the excitement of the evening.

Danny Gibbons took home the 'Lifetime Achievement Award', which is presented to an outstanding individual who has made an exceptional contribution through a lifetime dedicated to sport and physical activity. Danny has been an integral part of Ayr Storm Basketball Club since 1997, playing in their first ever competitive game. Since then, Danny has also helped to run the club, as well as becoming a qualified referee and table official. In an effort to expand the club and become more inclusive, Danny was instrumental in involving young male players, in addition to inviting female basketball players to join the Ayr Storm family. Due to Danny's commitment, the club is going from strength to strength and has provided numerous opportunities for its rising stars.

The 'Disability Coach' award was presented to Michele Strachan, for her inspirational work as a coach at Tams Brig Judo Club. The club has members of all ages and abilities and regardless of disability, all members are in mainstream classes. Michele devotes time to tailor the Judo syllabus to ensure that members are treated as individuals and encouraged to participate in a sport they enjoy, regardless of any barriers they may face.

The 'Sue McClure Recognition Award' was awarded to Nicola Russell for her passion and dedication to her training and sport. Nicola is involved in a number of sports clubs, competing at a high-level. A talented athlete, Nicola has an array of medals to her name in a range of sports including wheelchair racing and taekwondo. Nicola also helps to coach young wheelchair racers at Inspire sessions in Ayr after recently completing an assisted coaching qualification with Scottish Athletics. Nicola pushes the boundaries and proves that anything is possible.

Councillor Brian Connolly, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Sport and Leisure said: "Congratulations to all the winners and finalists of this year's South Ayrshire Sports Awards. The last couple of years have been challenging for the sporting community, however, thanks to the dedication of the coaches and volunteers who support our clubs, our local communities continue to grow with endless opportunities.

"The benefits of sport on physical and mental health are becoming ever more apparent and our Thriving Communities service enables people in South Ayrshire to lead active, happy and healthy lives. I'm therefore delighted that we are able to recognise the efforts of everyone involved, our unsung heroes."

The full list of winners and finalists is available at: