Following an outstanding season that saw her become the first British woman ever to win an individual ISSF World Championship title, Seonaid McIntosh added to her accolades, becoming the first shooter ever to lift the Emirates Lonsdale Trophy as 2019 Scottish Sportsperson of the Year, at the Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards.
With ‘Celebrating Our Past, Building Our Future’ the theme of the night, the room was packed with Scottish sporting stars from across the generations and World, Olympic and Commonwealth champions rubbed shoulders with the stars of tomorrow. The evening was an inspirational celebration of their outstanding achievements, as well as the success of individuals, schools, clubs and teams across the whole of Scottish sport.
After being named Female Athlete of the Year, Seonaid then put her name on the Emirates Lonsdale Trophy alongside past winners such as Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Andy Murray and Dame Katherine Grainger. She made history last September by taking World Championships gold with a perfect last shot of 10.9 in the 50m Rifle Prone final, anchored Britain to their first ever team medal in this event and secured a Tokyo 2020 Olympic Quota Place for Team GB in the Rifle 3 Positions. At World Cups this year she won first ever medals for a British female athlete including silver and gold in 50m Rifle 3 Positions and silver in the 10m Air Rifle. A subsequent world record and rise to World and European No. 1 in the most recent rankings has capped a fantastic year.
Seonaid’s success came on a superb night for the McIntosh family, as Seonaid’s father and coach Donald McIntosh took the Coach of the Year award. Alongside Seonaid’s phenomenal record, Donald also coached elder daughter Jen to a fitting farewell performance as she won World Championships bronze in the Women’s Rifle Prone team event alongside Seonaid and Zoe Bruce before announcing her retirement from top level competition.
Emirates Lonsdale winner in 2018, Duncan Scott had another sensational year, which saw him claim World Championships bronze in the 200m Freestyle, making a strong anti-doping stand at the medal ceremony, before following up with the second fastest freestyle relay split of all time in the 4 x 100m Medley Relay. His incredible swim to come from over a second behind to anchor Great Britain to gold in European record time gave him the nod for Male Athlete of the Year. He topped an extremely strong shortlist, which included Boxing World Champion Josh Taylor and European Mountain Running Champion Jacob Adkin.
Cycling had a hugely successful night, boasting the winners of both Para-Sport Athlete and Young Athlete of the Year. Neil Fachie MBE, with pilot Matt Rotherham, took the Para-Sport award for the second year in succession after winning gold and silver at the World Para-Cycling Championships, despite a spectacular crash on the final bend of the Tandem B Sprint event. Their Sprint victory gave Neil an incredible 13th World Championship title.
In contrast, at the start of his sporting career, Charlie Aldridge was the winner of the Sir Peter Heatly Trophy as Young Athlete of the Year following his historic win at the World Junior Mountain Bike Championships. The first British male athlete ever to win gold and the rainbow jersey in the cross-country event, his journey back from major shoulder surgery to top the World Championships podium marked him out as a future star.
There were huge receptions for Josh Taylor and Lawn Bowls duo Alex Marshall MBE and Paul Foster MBE, popular winners of Sporting Moment of the Year and Team of the Year respectively. Josh’s brilliant win over previously unbeaten Ivan Baranchyk to lift the IBC World Super-Lightweight title, was the moment that captured the heart of the nation and majority of the public vote. Marshall and Foster’s World Indoor Championships gold and a strong showing at the Atlantic Rim Championships gave them the nod over Scotland Women’s Football and Scottish Wheelchair Curling for Team of the Year.
Olympic champion in 1956, Dick McTaggart MBE was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of an outstanding Boxing career. His overall record was phenomenal, winning 610 of 634 amateur bouts, and encompassed Olympic gold and bronze, Commonwealth gold and silver and the European title. He remains Scotland’s only Olympic Boxing champion to date and has inspired countless others in the sport.
With beneficiary of the fundraising effort on the evening, the Team Scotland Youth Trust, celebrating its 30th birthday, it was fitting that Team Scot of the Year was awarded to Paul Morron MBE, whose incredibly generous contributions over the years have supported over 90 athlete financial awards across 18 sports. A remarkably humble man who has kept a low profile, the only benefit he has sought is the knowledge that he has helped each young person develop their potential.
Individuals and organisations driving success at all levels of Scottish sport were also honoured, with Scottish Athletics winning Sport Governing Body of the Year for the third time in four years and Bill Morrison Gardiner named as Volunteer of the Year for his fantastic work with LEAP Sports, while Dundee Dragons Wheelchair Sports Club took Community Hub, Club or School of the Year.
Paul Bush OBE, Chair of Commonwealth Games Scotland, said: “This has been a fantastic celebration of what has been and continues to be a golden year for Scottish sport, as well as a chance to look back and recognise the inspirational achievements of previous generations who paved the way for today’s stars.
“A huge thank you to our partners and sponsors, whose support has made this fantastic event possible and enables us to properly recognise the achievements of the individuals, teams and organisations that help to put Scotland on the sporting map.
“There is much to look forward to before 2019 ends, not least Glasgow playing host to the European Short Course Swimming Championships in December, and of course in 2020 the eyes of the world will turn to Tokyo as it plays host to the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. I am quite sure we will be celebrating our athletes’ achievements at these and other major events this time next year.”
Over 500 people joined the celebrations at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, where the evening was hosted by highly respected TV presenters Amy Irons and Dougie Vipond, with funds raised for the Team Scotland Youth Trust.
2019 AWARD WINNERS
Scottish Sportsperson of the Year – Emirates Lonsdale Trophy: Seonaid McIntosh, Shooting
Male Athlete of the Year – sponsored by Commonwealth Games Scotland: Duncan Scott, Swimming
Female Athlete of the Year – sponsored by QTV Sports: Seonaid McIntosh, Shooting
Para-Sport Athlete of the Year – sponsored by sportscotland: Neil Fachie MBE with Matt Rotherham, Para-Cycling
Young Athlete of the Year – Sir Peter Heatly Trophy, sponsored by The Park Practice: Charlie Aldridge, Cycling
Team of the Year – sponsored by PSL Team Sports: Alex Marshall MBE & Paul Foster MBE, Lawn Bowls
Coach of the Year – sponsored by EICC: Donald McIntosh, Shooting
Sporting Moment of the Year – sponsored by Aberdeen Standard Investments:
Volunteer of the Year – sponsored by J Thomson Colour Printers: Bill Morrison Gardiner, LEAP Sports
Governing Body of the Year – sponsored by Eden Mill: Scottish Athletics
Community Hub, Club or School of the Year – sponsored by Active Scotland: Dundee Dragons Wheelchair Sports Club
Lifetime Achievement – sponsored by Commonwealth Games Scotland: Dick McTaggart MBE, Boxing
Team Scot of the Year – sponsored by Commonwealth Games Scotland: Paul Morron MBE