At the Commonwealth Games Scotland Sports Awards Dinner in Glasgow on Saturday night, supported by Clydesdale Bank, there was recognition for a number of the nation’s top sportsmen and women after an exciting and action pacled year for Scottish sport.
The top award of the evening went to swimmer Hannah Miley, who saw off stiff competition to win the title of Scottish Sportsperson of the Year 2010 and was awarded the ‘Emirates Lonsdale Trophy’ and two business class tickets to Dubai, courtesy of team travel partner Emirates Airline as well as £1000 prize money. She becomes only the second woman to win the title, following hot on the heels or rower Katherine Grainger last year, and the second swimmer after Gregor Tait in 2006. The award is for performances between 18 September 2009 and 17 October 2010.
2010 was a golden year for Hannah finishing the year ranked as the world number one in her favoured 400m individual medley (IM) event. At the European Championships in Budapest in August, Hannah won the 400 IM in a new European Championship record, beating the 2009 World Champion from Hungary in her home pool. She also won bronze medals in the 200m IM and as part of the Great Britain 4x200m freestyle relay team.
At the Commonwealth Games in Delhi last month, Hannah withstood the pressure of being event favourite and rose to the challenge, taking gold in the 400m IM on the last day of competition in the pool. Her winning time broke the previous Commonwealth record held by 2008 Olympic champion Stephanie Rice by three seconds.
It was great news for Hannah, just back from a month’s warm weather training in Australia yesterday.
In runner-up spot receiving £500 was triathlete, Caitriona Morrison. Catriona has been competing at the highest levels for a numbers of years including representing Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in 2002 and 2006. In recent years she stepped up to long distance triathlon, setting the world best debut time for an Ironman in the summer of 2009.
In 2010 she represented Great Britain at the World Duathlon Championships in Edinburgh, and racing over one of the most demanding courses ever devised, Catriona made home advantage count, to become world champion in a close run race. Earlier in the year Catriona won the Ironman Lanzarote, despite being stuck at the side of the road for 30 minutes with a broken chain. Running through the field, she won the event in one of the greatest comebacks ever in Ironman history.
Completing an impressive short list were shooters, Jonathan Hammond and Jen McIntosh, cyclist David Millar, tennis player Andy Murray and five times Emirates Lonsdale Trophy winner, cyclist Sir Chris Hoy.
Announcing the award, Michael Cavanagh, Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland said: “It is has been a particularly tough decision this year with so many fantastic performances to consider, not just at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, so many congratulations to all our nominees and runner-up Catriona Morrison.
“However, 2010 has seen Hannah Miley step up a significant level to secure her position at the top of the world stage and deliver not once, but twice in three months. Anyone who knows Hannah is in no doubt of her total commitment to be the very best in the world and already since returning from Delhi she has been away in Australia warm weather training. She is a worthy winner of the Emirates Lonsdale Trophy and we wish her all the very best as she starts to home in on her Olympic dream in London 2012.”
Congratulating the winners, Denise Holmes, Sales Manager Scotland, Emirates said: “Emirates is very pleased to continue its support of The Lonsdale Trophy, and we would like to offer our warmest congratulations to Hannah Miley on being awarded the ‘Scottish Sportsperson of the Year’. As official travel partner of Team Scotland, we are honoured to be associated with an event that acknowledged the achievements on the global stage of elite Scottish athletes like Kath Grainger, Sir Chris Hoy and Andy Murray.”
Four further awards were also given to specifically recognise performances at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. This programme, supported by Clydesdale Bank, has recognised an athlete each month since October 2009 as they vied for selection for the Games and has culminated in a number of overall awards.
Smallbore shooter Jonathan Hammond was announced as the Clydesdale Bank Male Athlete of the Games and was awarded £1,000. Jonathan is Scotland’s most successful individual athlete at a single Games wining two gold medals a silver and a bronze, only the second Scot after Ross Edgar in 2006 to win a full colour set at one Games. He won gold in the individual 50m rifle 3 position event and silver in the individual 50m rifle prone event and gold in the 50m rifle prone pairs and a bronze in the 50m rifle 3 position pairs events, both with Neil Stirton.
Clydesdale Bank Female Athlete of the Games and also awarded £1,000 was fellow smallbore shooter 19 year old Jen McIntosh, who won individual gold in the women’s 50m rifle prone, equalling the World Record score with 597 ex 600. She also won pairs gold in the women’s 50m rifle prone and pairs bronze in the 50m rifle 3 position both with Kay Copland. Her outstanding efforts meant she became the most successful Scottish female at a single Commonwealth Games.
Swimmer Robbie Renwick was recognised with the Clydesdale Bank Inspirational Performance Award. Robbie won Scotland’s first gold of the Games in the men’s 200m freestyle, coming back after bitter disappointment in the 400m freestyle on day one. After hearing ‘Flower of Scotland’ played for the very first time on the podium, Robbie dedicated the hard fought gold to his former coach, Eileen Adams, who sadly died of cancer earlier in the year.
The Clydesdale Bank Memorable Moment of the Games was awarded to weightlifter Peter Kirkbride. A ‘fired up’ Kirkbride shouted ‘Scotland’ as he lifted himself into silver medal position in the 94kg weight category. So pleased with his performance, he leapt up from the lifting platform in sheer delight and then eluded to the rapturous crowd just how easy it all was – all captured on camera! Both Peter and Robbie received £500 in prize money.
Also recognised tonight were five winners of Scottish Sports Aid Merit Awards supported by John Lewis Glasgow. These were made to: David McNamee, aged 22, a triathlete from Stirling, Jonathon O’Mara, a 15 year old tennis player from Arbroath; Lisa McKenzie, aged 21 from Edinburgh and a fencer; Grace Reid a 14 year old springboard diver from Colinton in Edinburgh; and Craig McNally, 17 from Edinburgh and a swimmer.
Duncan Hamilton, the executive director of Scottish Sports Aid went on to present the Scottish Sports Aid Junior Sportsperson of the Year 2009/10 to diver Grace Reid
Grace had an outstanding year finishing an incredible fourth at the European Senior Diving Championships in August, a result which saw her qualify for selection for Team Scotland at the 2010 Commonwealth Games as its youngest ever team member. In Delhi she had a wonderful experience and finished in sixth place setting the highest ever score for a British junior.
Commenting Duncan said: “We are delighted that John Lewis Glasgow is supporting our Merit Awards, and the award of the Junior Sportsperson of the Year. The backing of John Lewis and our other sponsors is vital for us to be able to continue to provide meaningful financial support for the up and coming Scottish sporting stars, especially in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014. This is the first year that the awards have been sponsored by John Lewis, and we hope that this is the first of many years to come.”
More than 350 people across the Scottish sporting spectrum attended the event that reflected on Team Scotland’s success in Delhi and went on to look forward to when Scotland will host the next Games in Glasgow in 2014.