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Local rugby heroes recognised in Scottish Rugby awards

Community champion Grant Skene
Community champion Grant Skene

A number of north rugby personnel have been honoured in Scottish Rugby’s Community Recognition Awards for the Caledonia North region.

This year’s awards focused on the off-field efforts of clubs and individuals across the country during the pandemic.

Turriff RFC co-president John and Lyndsey Hester won the Inspiration Award.

The husband and wife helped establish the club in 2018 and were praised for “absolutely extraordinary efforts” to keep club members engaged, informed and safe during the pandemic.

Turriff RFC’s John Hester, centre front row, and Lyndsey Hester, front row right

Garioch’s growth rewarded

Stuart Corsar, Anna Newsome and Courtni Fritts from Garioch RFC scooped the Diversity and Inclusion Award.

In less than a year the Inverurie outfit have gone from offering training to just three girls to now having over 20 training on a regular basis at Kellands Park.

The development of the programme has been led by Corsar, who is Garioch senior women’s coach.

He then recruited two lead coaches, Newsome and Fritts, who both play for Garioch Ladies.

Skene is community champion

Aberdeen Taexali’s Grant Skene claimed the Community Champion Award.

The club was formed in 2018 and is one of four inclusive rugby teams in Scotland recognised by International Gay Rugby.

Skene initially joined as a coach but has worked to support recruitment campaigns to help grow the club’s membership and help Aberdeen Taexali win their first silverware with the Antinous Cup in Newcastle.

Club chairman Joe Burnett said: “Grant has been with the club from day one and has not stopped putting the club first.

“His vision for how to develop people within the club, along with how we can reach out to the community around us is amazing.”

Baronet’s commitment to island club

Shetland RFC’s Trevor Baronet won the Charity Fundraiser award.

Over many years he has fundraised for the club to help with travel costs and allow boys and girls to travel outwith the Shetland Isles to play rugby.

Teenager’s dedication rewarded

Euan Hamilton, 17, was the recipient of the Young Person’s Award.

The Highland Rugby Club player is a volunteer coach supporting over 60 children in the club’s Micros section.

Hamilton is also a sport ambassador at Millburn Academy, Inverness and one of 20 ambassadors for sportscotland’s young people’s sports panel.

Euan Hamilton, Young Person’s Award winner

Highland Rugby secretary Andrew Russell said: “I have known Euan since I was a coach to our Micro players.

“It has been a pleasure to see his development into a young man with a desire make sport more accessible through his club, school and the wider community.”

Beck’s year of service recognised

Ross Sutherland RFC’s Carl Beck won the Lifetime Achievement Award.

In over 40 years with the Invergordon outfit he has served in a number of roles including coach and president.

Ross Sutherland club President John Scott said: “Carl to this date is still a committee member and his wealth of experience in invaluable to the club and the community.

“In the past couple of years, Carl has run a couple of sub committees including putting the plans in place to create a sports hub for the club to get more sports clubs up and running for our local community.”

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