THREE dedicated and enthusiastic sports coaches from Whit- horn were honoured last Friday by Dumfries and Galloway Council when they received awards for their contribution to sport in their area.
Wullie Martin and Tom Jolly were both named “performance coach of the year” and John Kiltie received the “participation coach of the year” award.
A council spokesperson said: “Wullie and Tom give up three nights of their week on a voluntary basis to train young boxers (not including the many weekends away coaching the boxers at major competitions). They work with over 40 members at present and coach them in the sport of boxing, with the ambition that they will then be able to enter competitions and prosper in the sport they love.
“Within the boxing team both these coaches have coached three boxers who now train and box for the Scottish team, they have won major Scottish championships and also competed in Great Britain championships, where they picked up a silver and two bronze medals.
“None of this would have been possible without the massive support, guidance and coaching given to the members by Wullie and Tom. They put 100 per cent commitment into the club and are a positive role model to all members, which has been recognised recently by the local authority who held a civic reception for them last month, to congratulate and recognise all the achievements of the club. Since then the membership has risen and seen a big increase in junior membership, which is very positive for the future success of the club.
“John Kiltie is a voluntary coach who coaches football within the ‘free community use’ time, provided by leisure and sport at Whithorn Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) to all age groups and abilities in Whithorn. This provides the youths in Whithorn, which is a very rural town and has very few activities, the opportunity of a regular football session within their own town that they can attend each week free of charge.
“John gives up his time each Thursday night to go to the MUGA in Whithorn to coach football, where more than 15 youths turn up each night to play.
“As a football coach, John provides the youths with an excellent coaching session each night, thereby developing each individual’s potential and, as previously stated, Whithorn is a very rural town so many youths may not have the opportunity to travel or even the cost to participate within regular football training so this session may only be their opportunity.
“The participants who attend this session are also given the opportunity through John’s voluntary session to develop as a player and excel and John has developed youths who now attend Galloway Thistle Football.”
The Dumfries and Galloway Coaching Awards, in partnership with sportscotland, provide the opportunity to thank coaches for their dedication to their chosen sport and recognise their achievements. The aim of the awards is to celebrate and raise the profile of the fantastic work being done within Dumfries and Galloway and recognise the contribution and value of these coaches and volunteers.