Three of Scotland’s brightest sporting prospects have been named as finalists for the Sir Peter Heatly Trophy and the title of Young Athlete of the Year at the 2019 Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards on 3 October.
All three have graced major championship podiums this year, with mountain biker Charlie Aldridge shortlisted alongside boxer Vicky Glover and swimmer Katie Shanahan. The trio are in the running to take the prestigious award sponsored by The Park Practice.
The future of Scottish sport looks to be in good hands with this one of the most difficult categories for our judges to choose a shortlist of just three from the many outstanding nominations received. Each of our finalists has stepped up this year to perform in style on the international stage, following in the footsteps of past winners such as World and Olympic medallists; swimmer Duncan Scott and cyclist Katie Archibald.
Charlie Aldridge was crowned the 2019 World Junior Champion in Cross-Country Mountain Bike, the first gold medal and rainbow jersey ever to be won by a British male in the cross-country discipline. Crowned European Youth champion in 2017, Charlie had already made history earlier in this year as he became the first British male to win a UCI Mountain Bike Junior Series event on foreign soil with victory in Germany. He finished 11 seconds clear of the field at the World Championships and after major shoulder surgery last winter his achievement is testament to his character and hard work to get back to fitness.
Following Vicky Glover’s appearance at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games she has continued to blaze a trail for Scottish women’s boxing, becoming one of the first three Scottish women to compete at a World Championships in November 2018. In March she won Scotland’s first ever female major championship boxing medal with European Under 22 bronze and continued her great year by winning gold at the GB Elite Championships in May.
“It’s brilliant to be nominated for this award,” said Vicky. “With the number of talented athletes in Scotland, I’m absolutely delighted to be short listed as a finalist.”
Katie Shanahan returned from the European Youth Olympic Festival in Baku as the most decorated British athlete across all sports with three individual gold, setting new championships records in all three events, and three silver medals in relay events. She also won 400m IM bronze at the European Junior Championships, setting a new British age group and Scottish junior record in the process. All the more impressive as she only turned 15 in June and has two more years as a junior swimmer.
Paul Bush, Chairman, Commonwealth Games Scotland said: “The breadth and depth of nominations received for this award, and the wide range of sports represented, shows that the future of Scottish sport is in good hands. We have an incredibly strong line up in our three finalists who have delivered some truly outstanding results on the international stage. I congratulate them on their tremendous achievements over the past year and look forward to following their future successes.”
Sponsor of the Young Athlete of the Year Award is Glasgow based dental clinic The Park Practice, dental services supplier to Team Scotland for Gold Coast 2018 and for the Bahamas 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games. A former rugby player with GHK and Glasgow Hawks, principal dentist Mike Blackie started The Park Practice Dental Clinic in 1999. The practice has a holistic approach to its patients and has always had a high proportion of patients with sporting backgrounds. Over the years the team at The Park Practice has treated various trauma injuries in professional rugby players and have passionately encouraged rugby and hockey players, especially, to wear correctly fitted sports mouth guards.
Winners across all award categories will be crowned at the Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards in a star-studded celebration of Scottish sport on 3 October at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.