Chirnside coaches up for Scottish Athletics award

Chirnside Chasers' coaches Leeanne and Stephen Ross.
Chirnside Chasers' coaches Leeanne and Stephen Ross.

Chirnside athletics coaches Leeann and Stephen Ross have been short-listed for a national award by Scottish Athletics.

The husband and wife team, who are at the heart of all the good work done by Chirnside Chasers, have been shortlisted for the ‘Children’s Coach of the Year’ award.

Scottish Athletics announced the short-lists for their awards in the Coach of the Year category at a recent coaching conference held at the Emirates Arena.

The ‘Coach of the Year’ awards are split into three categories, taking in performance, development and children’s coach. The others short-listed for ‘Children’s Coach’ of the Year are Eric Fisher (Edinburgh AC) and James Joy (Aberdeen AAC).

Rodger Harkins, director of coaching for Scottish Athletics said: “It has been a spectacular year for a number of athletes at various ages and stages – and of course that reflects on the great work being done by their coaches.

“We’ve seen a big impact by Scots competing with GB teams across the disciplines; from track and field to cross country to hill and ultra. I think I am right in saying there have been around 40 athletes represent GB in 2015. So, while we were looking in the main at those in the Performance category, what’s happening just below that level is so important, too.

“I think rising standards in coaching in Scotland are reflected in these short-lists and I congratulate all those mentioned and who came under consideration.”

The awards will be held at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow on October 31, where the guest of honour will be Steve Cram.

It promises to be a really special night with the middle distance legend and BBC athletics commentator Cram the headline act as main speaker. He will be joined on stage by Allison Curbishley, who won a silver medal for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in 1998.

The ‘Scottish Athlete of the Year’ will also be announced at the event.

Leeann and Stephen said they were “humbled and honoured” to be shortlisted for the award.

Stephen said: “We are delighted to be recognised for this award, and very proud when you consider how many coaches there are all over Scotland. To be recognised amongst so many other coaches from well over 300 clubs from all over Scotland, including the biggest clubs in the central belt area is truly remarkable and testament to the hard work and commitment of all those at Chirnside Chasers.”

Leeann added: “Huge thanks and credit must go to all the coaches, helpers and committee whose commitment over the year has been fantastic and invaluable.”

Chirnside Chasers was formed as a Jog Scotland group at the end 2011 by around a dozen like-minded runners keen to share their enthusiasm for running and to encourage new participants into the sport. The club won the 2013 Jog Scotland Group of the year and soon after became a fully affiliated club with Scottish Athletics.

In the last two years the club has continued their progression. In early 2015 the club achieved the foundation mark through Scottish Athletics signifying the club’s commitment to being a safe, effective and child friendly athletics club. Then, in April 2015, the club received three year funding through Sports Scotland allowing the club to create the role of a development officer who is now employed part-time by Scottish Athletics with the remit to develop athletics right across the Berwickshire area and now works closely with the local schools.