There was double delight for Duns at last Friday’s Live Borders Celebration of Sport Awards held at Springwood Hall in Kelso.
At the gala occasion, attended by more than 200 people and ably compered by Radio Borders rugby pundit Stuart McFarlane, Keira Waddell won the Junior Sports Personality award (sponsored by (Fiona Scott Journalist & PR Services), while Cissy Redpath was honoured with the Service to Sport accolade.
After a very successful badminton career Keira (15) made the change to athletics and in particular the javelin event with Chirnside Chasers in 2015 and finished the year ranked fourth in the UK at the under-15 age group with a personal best of 32.73m.
However, following a great winter’s training with her coach Alex McGregor, she started the 2016 season in tremendous form.
Competing again at the under-15 age group, Keira broke her personal best at the first event throwing 33.25 and things really took off from there.
After winning a number of titles, Keira finished the year ranked as the best thrower at her age group in Scotland, with the next best thrower some 6.50m further back. She also finished up ranked No.2 in the United Kingdom and she has now joined Edinburgh AC.
Also thrilled to receive an award was Cissy, who has been playing tennis since she was 15 and her first stint lasted 10 years before she stopped playing to fulfil family commitments.
She returned to the sport 35 years ago and made both the ladies and mixed doubles teams at Duns Tennis Club, where she has remained ever since.
Cissy has helped many juniors improve their tennis skills over the years. She and her family were also responsible for securing an ambulance portacabin as a clubhouse and putting in electricity and water for the Duns Club.
Cissy and the Redpath family have made a massive contribution in sponsoring all types of sport, not only in Berwickshire, but also in Roxburghshire and North Northumberland.
The Redpath family have sponsored the Duns Junior Mixed Doubles U16s tournament for the last 20 years and the Reivers Week Adult Mixed Doubles for the last 35 years. Cissy has also been a keen curler over the years and has played for both Duns and Lammermuir.
The family have also sponsored many curling events in both the Borders and Glendale Leagues.
Some of the clubs in the area to benefit from the Redpaths’ generous sponsorship have been Duns Golf Club, Duns Mini Rugby Club and Duns Swimming Pool Annual Gala.
It was an awards evening where diversity and inclusion were also the big winners.
This was made evident by the many athletes of all ages and abilities in attendance and the wide range of sporting activities which were in line for honours.
A total of 12 awards were presented over the 11 categories, with Newcastleton’s Libby Clegg scooping two, matching her double gold medal success at last year’s Paralympic Games in Rio.
The 26-year-old visually impaired sprinter took the Disability Sport Award before pipping rugby 7s supremo Mark Robertson and mountain bike maestro Grant Ferguson to the GB Technologies Sports Personality of the Year Award, one of two public vote sections at this year’s awards.
The trio of nominees, along with Peebles Boccia player Patrick Wilson and Libby’s younger brother Steven, a swimmer of good repute, were jointly awarded the Inspirational Performance title following some impressive performances at the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Accepting the awards on behalf of Libby, Mark Gaffney, opportunities and events manager with Scottish Disability Sport, said: “The inclusive nature that comes from Borders sport is amazing.
“The area leads the way with regards to disability sport in many respects, from the work of the Borders Disability Sports Group, in partnership with Live Borders, to the many clubs out there who open their doors to athletes of all ages and abilities, and of course events such as these which recognise the achievements of athletes with disabilities alongside those of all other athletes. It’s absolutely fantastic to see.”
The second public vote award went to Peebles Hockey following a very closely fought contest with East of Scotland adversaries Kelso Hockey and the Gala Fairydean Disability Football Squad.
Speaking on behalf of her team, Peebles Hockey captain Sarah Glendinning said: “It is a great honour to be given this award tonight.”
“Our survival and subsequent success is very much down to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved at Peebles Hockey.” Sports Personality of the Year (sponsored by GB Technologies) – Libby Clegg
Junior Sports Personality (Fiona Scott Journalist & PR Services) – Keira Waddell
Coach of the Year (Primitive Media) – Ritchie Gray
Junior Coach of the Year – Millie Turton
Team of the Year (Border Embroideries) – Peebles Hockey
Club of the Year (Fantasy Prints) – Kelso Orchard Tennis Club
Event of the Year (Origin Fitness) – Kelso Races
Disability Sports Personality (Powertec) – Libby Clegg
Inspirational Performance (Astral Hygiene) – Team GB Rio Athletes
Service to Sport – Cissy Redpath
Hall of Fame (Endsleigh Insurance) – Bill Johnstone and Henry Maitland Macintosh