Sports Leader of the Year Finalists Announced

September 13, 2016

Three individuals, whose leadership has inspired change in Scottish sport, have been named as finalists for Sports Leader of the Year at the Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards on 28 September. Ian Beattie (scottishathletics), Richard Thomas (Boxing Scotland) and Maureen McGonigle (Scottish Women in Sport) comprise the strong shortlist for the prestigious award, sponsored by Brand Oath.

As Chair of Scottish Athletics Ltd, Ian Beattie has led the organisation in a quite remarkable year across all sections of the business. Working closely with the Board, staff team and sport as a whole, he has provided clear leadership to refocus the organisation, implementing his brainchild ‘Perform When It Counts’ national strategy across the sport. Encompassing not just athletes but also coaches, officials, volunteers, parents and staff members, the past year has seen a massive growthin the sport with numerous successes from participation numbers, across club and coaching initiatives, to athlete performances including record numbers selected for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Also shortlisted for leading change at the helm of a Scottish governing body is the late RichardThomas. Prior to Richard’s appointment, Boxing Scotland was in turmoil, deemed ‘unfit for purpose’ and its key funding withheld. As Organisational Director and then as Chairman, he restructured the governing body which brought, not only international success in the ring for its elite boxers, but also a huge and much needed improvement in the sport’s standards of governance. As a result Boxing Scotland received the biggest funding increase of any Commonwealth sport for the 2015–2019 cycle as the sport continues to enjoy record growth and success. Prior to his sudden passing in March 2016, Richard’s input oversaw a total renaissance of the sport and laid the foundations that will see it prosper for many years to come.

Maureen McGonigle is the founder and CEO of Scottish Women in Sport. An organisation set up to educate the Scottish public, media and commercial investors on the role of sport in driving gender equality, SWIS specifically looks to increase the number of women who participate, coach and lead sport in Scotland. The International Women’s Day social media campaign #pledgeforparity and the second Scottish Women in Sport Conference, attended by over 150 leaders from local authorities, schools, clubs, businesses, politics and governing bodies, were highlights in 2016. Maureen has established SWIS as a lead organisation with policy makers, opinion formers and decision makers, bringing gender equality solutions to prominence.

Congratulating the finalists, Paul Bush OBE, Chair, Commonwealth Games Scotland said: “From an incredibly strong list of nominees our three finalists stood out for the positive impact they have made in their respective positions, leading transformative change and altering perceptions. This award highlights people whose unwavering commitment may otherwise go unnoticed but who are crucial role models of good leadership within Scottish sport. We’re proud to celebrate these inspirational leaders and the platform they have afforded to others to realise their ambitions.”

Category sponsor Brand Oath is a branding agency specialising in the design and production of high value, bespoke tender and bid documents for commercial organisations, particularly in the sports sector. The company’s impressive resume includes producing campaigns and materials for the successful London 2012 Olympic Games and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games bids and recently were behind the development of the new Team Scotland brand.

Winners across all twelve categories will be crowned at the Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards in a star-studded celebration of Scottish sport on 28 September at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

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