Inspirational Volunteers Named as Awards Finalists

September 3, 2018

From the thousands of volunteers who give selflessly of their time at all levels of sport in Scotland, three inspiring individuals have been named as finalists for Volunteer of the Year at the Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards on Thursday 13 September. Kamil Cybulski (Basketball), Janice Eaglesham (Disability Sport) and Jim Hay (Squash) comprise a strong shortlist for the prestigious award supported by QTV Sports.

Kamil Cybulski, at the age of just 18, has taken the initiative to do something to help his community, starting up the Glasgow Devils Basketball Club and running the entire club on his own for the first six months. His leadership and enthusiasm inspired people and attracted enough players for two teams, one of which competed in the league and took 3rd place. Kamil also delivers four basketball and fitness sessions per week at the University of Glasgow, and helped implement their first ever strength and conditioning programme on top of two league games per week, his Glasgow Devils commitments, a full time HND course in Sports Coaching and part time job. He has also twice volunteered as a Sparta Camp team leader in Estonia, where his leadership skills and positive attitude helped his team win the overall competition on both occasions.

Delighted to be a finalist, Kamil said: “Being shortlisted for this award makes my work feel recognised and it’s an indication of making positive impact through sport on the communities I work within.”

Janice Eaglesham epitomises the spirit of volunteering and her dedication, commitment and generosity of time and effort to sport at a local and national over three decades is inspiring. Her introduction to volunteering was in 1977 as a guide runner to a visually impaired athlete and by 1985 she was volunteering at Special Olympics events. In 1990 Janice, with her husband Ian, developed the Red Star Athletics Club for athletes with a disability. Janice has coached twice a week since its inception as well as fulfilling many other vital roles within the club’s administration and management. In 2010, she became a board member of Scottish Disability Sport and in 2014, she became the Chair.

Janice has taken on diverse roles and responsibilities within sport which demonstrates her skills, knowledge and expertise as a volunteer and her determination and enthusiasm to make a difference to participants with a disability. The sport of Race Running made its debut at the WPA European Games held just last week and Janice was at the forefront as coach and team manager as Scottish athletes claimed multiple medals.

“It is an honour and privilege to be nominated for this award,” said Janice.  “The profile of sport for participants and performers with a disability continues to grow and I would like to pay tribute to all the athletes I have had the pleasure of working with over the years.”

Jim Hay has led the sport of Squash for five years, working long hours and investing a great deal of his own resource to drive a new and positive culture with a focus on teamwork, respect and partnership working. During this time Scottish Squash achieved its first medals for 17 years including World Doubles gold and silver, European Team Bronze and this year Scotland’s women also won promotion to the top flight of European Competition. Jim has been selected to work on the World Squash Federation Ethics Committee, ensuring best practice and quality delivery at the highest level of the sport and has also driven a campaign to attract new referees into the sport and train, support and mentor them using the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham 2022 as an inspiration. Under Jim’s leadership Scottish Squash has enhanced its Governance structures, achieved new sponsorship, built new partnerships and are now respected at World and European level as well as nationally.

“I am surprised but honoured to be nominated,” said Jim. “I feel privileged to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award.”

Congratulating the three finalists, Paul Bush OBE, Chairman, Commonwealth Games Scotland said: “Scottish sport relies on countless hours dedicated by volunteers, from local initiatives right up to the international level. Our three finalists show the true diversity of work carried out by these selfless individuals across the country and their outstanding commitment to helping others reach their goals deserves recognition. Through the positive change they have delivered, they have inspired not just the people they work with but also the wider sporting community in Scotland.”

The Volunteer of the Year Award is sponsored by QTV Sports, one of the UK’s leading producers of sports content. Working with over fifty rights-holders in 25 countries, they deliver a range of production and digital content services, with partners including over a dozen international federations including cricket, hockey, archery, bowls and curling. They also pursue a local ambition to diversify coverage of Scottish sport and are well established as a broadcast and digital media partner in many Scottish sports, including badminton, cricket, football, hockey, netball, rugby, swimming, and tennis.

Winners across all award categories will be crowned at the Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards in a star-studded celebration of Scottish sport on 13 September at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

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