Three outstanding individuals have been named as finalists for Coach of the Year at the Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards, with Andy Young (Athletics), Ann Dickson (Swimming) and Donald McIntosh (Shooting) in the running for the prestigious award sponsored by the University of Stirling.
While Scotland’s star athletes thrill and inspire on the international stage, their success would not be possible without the dedication and expert knowledge of their coaches behind the scenes.
Andy is the personal coach to a host of Scottish and GB international athletes, with every athlete he has coached in the last three years improving their personal best performances – a phenomenal achievement in itself. Among his charges are record breakers Laura Muir and Jemma Reekie who between them have amassed three European titles and 19 European, Commonwealth, British & Scottish records this year.
Ann coaches at Perth Swimming Club where she trains swimmers from club through to international level. Most notably in 2017 she trained Stephen Milne to 2017 World Championship gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay and Scott McLay, who in the Bahamas became Team Scotland’s most successful ever Youth Games athlete with 3 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medal. All of Ann’s coaching success is achieved operating in a 25m pool.
As Scottish Smallbore Shooting, and until recently GB Rifle Coach, Donald’s most impressive success in 2017 has been with his daughters Seonaid and Jen McIntosh. Under Donald’s guidance they returned from the European Championships with an unprecedented three gold medals, each winning an individual European title before teaming up as two of the team of three that won the European Team event. Donald is a veteran of numerous Commonwealth Games for Team Scotland as both competitor and coach.
Congratulating the three finalists, Paul Bush OBE, Chairman, Commonwealth Games Scotland said: “Behind each of our international athletes is an outstanding coach, and our three finalists represent the pinnacle of achievement, guiding their athletes to some of the most memorable Scottish sporting moments of the year. Recognition at the Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards is just reward for their huge contribution and I look forward to celebrating with them on 21 September.”
Sponsor of the Coach of the Year award, the University of Stirling is numbered among the top 50 new universities in the world and is designated as Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence. With athletes and coaches in many disciplines, including swimming, golf, tennis, football and triathlon nurtured in the University’s unique environment, in preparation for Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth competition, the University is recognised internationally for innovative research and teaching in sport and for success in developing sporting talent and improving performance.
Winners across all award categories will be crowned at the Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards in a star-studded celebration of Scottish sport on 21 September at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.