THE driving force of all things sport in Tweeddale turned out on Friday night for the annual regional ClubSport Awards held at Peebles Golf Club.

Hosted by ClubSport Tweeddale chairman, Adrian Lucas, the evening was a true celebration of success for sports men and women of all ages and abilities.

Peebles golfer Craig Howie drove off with the 2018 Sports Personality of the Year award following a season which saw him reach the top spot in the Pro Golf Tour rankings in only his first year as a professional golfer.

Since his step up from the amateur ranks last winter the 24-year-old has claimed a win, three runner-up spots and four other top ten finishes during his debut season. Craig won the Pro Golf Tour Order of Merit to secure both a mighty trophy and gain promotion to the 2019 European Challenge Tour, just one level below the European Tour.

“I have played golf since I was seven and from the age of 13, when I realised my golf was better than my football, it’s all I have really wanted to do,” he told us.

“I have been so lucky with the support I have had from my home town and am thrilled to have been given this trophy tonight.”

Golf was also to the fore in the Coach of the Year Category with Peebles Golf Club Junior Convenor David Tait taking the honours. David took on the club’s Junior Convenor role this year and has helped to take the junior section to new levels with and an increasing number who are playing competitive golf.

Working with club captain Ross Duncan, David has also helped run the Odd Shaped Ball Golf Day for the past three years, raising more than £5,000 for the club’s junior section, including £1,700 this year with 154 players taking part.

Howie added: “My success is just the tip of the iceberg as far as Peebles Golf Club is concerned. There is so much more going on there and David’s success with the young guys underlines that.”

Athletics also continued to thrive in Tweeddale in 2018 and those achievements were recognised when Cardrona long jumper Ellie O’Hara collected the Junior Sports Personality of the Year trophy and her Peebles High School Girls Track and Field squad took the Team of the Year title.

Among her achievements this year Ellie can boast eight Championship wins, six International vests, being shortlisted for Scottish Athletics Under 17 Athlete of the Year whilst ending her season as the 4th ranked 15- year-old in the World 2018 ranking.

“I’m so pleased to have won this award,” she said.

“It really means a lot to know that the people who supported me from such a young age are still behind me.”

2018 has been an unprecedented year of success for Peebles High School in track and field athletics, culminating in the Girls team winning the Scottish Schools' Athletics Association's Paisley Trophy for the top school in the girls' medal table across all the various Scottish Schools Track and Field Championships. It is the first time this has been achieved by a Borders school since the trophy was introduced in 1955.

Ellie added: “It’s great that the high school and athletics in and around Peebles is getting so much recognition now. A lot of that is down to the Nicholson duo (Gregor and Linda) who put so much of their time into coaching and mentoring us so a huge thanks to them.”

Swimming sensation Amy Mackay, a member of the Borders Barracudas Squad and Peebles Swimming Club, was named Disability Sports Personality of the Year.

Earlier this summer Amy was selected to attend Live Borders Sports Academy as part of the inclusive swimming squad and was one of three invited Barracudas contingent. Having moved up to the Performance section of the Barracudas she has achieved numerous successes and achievements including Gold, Silver and Bronze winning performances at the Scottish Disability Sport National Championships earlier this month.

West Linton’s Sophie Walpole was named Junior Coach of the Year.

Part of the Young Coach Academy, run by the Live Borders Active Schools Team, the sixth-year Peebles High School pupil is part of the Live Borders Young Coach and over the past year has gained her UKCC Level 1 in rugby, an athletics leaders award, first aid qualification and completed the Safeguarding and Protecting Children module. She also undertook a minimum of 50 volunteering hours within both school and community sport.

In addition to this, Sophie has volunteered at a variety of Active Schools festivals and regularly helps deliver weekly after-school multi-sport sessions. She’s currently involved in coaching a P5-P7 cluster basketball club at the Gytes and coaches netball at West Linton Primary School.

Providing a place within the community for all age groups, including the elderly, to stay safe and actively participate in a fun sport, earned Tweed Valley Pentanque Club this year’s Club of the Year title.

Based at the beautiful Kailzie Gardens the club has an annual charity day, collecting for a different, local charity every year and has also been happy to open its doors to external fundraisers such as Macmillan and to local organisations and schools.

Led by chairman, Tommy Quinn, the club is an active part of the community and is always looking to reach out to people to engage in the sport and to become part of a bigger friendship group.

This year’s Scottish Association of Local Sports Councils Award for Service to Local Sport went to prolific distance runner Susan Ridley.

Susan's own running background and her high-level performances make her a fabulous role model and an inspiration. As well as volunteering with Kingsland Primary School running club, Susan has also volunteered for the last 10 years with Peebles Players, an organisation offering music and drama for disabled youths and adults, she also regularly helps out with school’s sports days and any events being run by the clubs that her children attend.


Junior Coach of the Year – Sophie Walpole (multi sports)

Coach of the Year – David Tait (golf)

Team of the Year sponsored by The Trophy Guy – Peebles High School Girls Track & Field Athletics Team

Club of the Year sponsored by the Tontine Hotel – Tweed Valley Pentanque Club

SALSC Service to Sport – Susan Ridley (running)

Disability Award – Amy Mackay (swimming)

Junior Sports Personality of the Year sponsored by Peebles Community Centre – Ellie O’Hara (athletics)

Sports Personality of the Year sponsored by the Tontine Hotel – Craig Howie (golf)