Dedicated Fort coach wins national award

Rebecca Maclean travels 650 miles a week to coach in the Judo Girls Rock programme. Photograph: Margaret Ann Mckenna

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Fort William judo coach Rebecca Maclean was celebrating this week after being named Young Coach of the Year at the sportscotland Year of Young People Awards on Friday night.

The 26-year-old, who travels up to 650 miles per week from Fort William to coach in the Judo Girls Rock programme in Springburn, Whiteinch and the east end of Glasgow, received the accolade for her tremendous dedication to her coaching work.

She was delighted to receive the award and says her love for the sport makes everything worthwhile.

She said: ‘It was such a surprise to be nominated so it’s amazing to have won.

‘I absolutely love what I do at Judo Girls Rock, which is why I keep doing it. I’ve grown such a bond with the girls and the project.

‘To see the difference in the girls while I’ve been working with them is so satisfying, that is the key to it. To see other girls enjoying judo like I did when I was younger is brilliant. I’ve gained so much experience out of the programme, as well.’

Sportscotland, the national agency for sport, teamed up with Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) to kick off 2018 in style with the sportscotland Year of Young People 2018 Awards at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow.

The inspirational event showcased how sport can be used for positive social change and celebrated the incredible dedication of the young people who give selflessly to sport in their local communities.

Ten awards were handed out to honour the contribution of the young people who engage in sport through SSF and those who have supported them throughout the year.

The event was planned, delivered and hosted by young people, providing a perfect start to the Year of Young People in 2018, a year-long programme of events, activities and ideas which will give young people in Scotland the opportunity to show the world what they are made of and to celebrate the amazing young personalities, talents and achievers across the country.

SSF is a charity which has changed lives through sport. Over the past 17 years its work has supported communities where people are vulnerable or at risk, with local and national programmes providing tailored pathways to positive destinations, enabling young people to fulfil their potential and widening opportunities for all.

Mel Young, who chairs sportscotland, said: ‘We were delighted to team up with Scottish Sports Futures to celebrate the fantastic work being done through their initiatives up and down the country.

‘Congratulations to all the winners and nominees. There were some truly inspirational stories shared on the night. Through the hard work and dedication, these young people have shown how sport can be used for positive social change within their communities.

‘Sportscotland is committed to delivering sporting opportunities within communities to help young participants and athletes develop and learn. We continue to develop young leaders in sport through our young people’s sport panel and Young Ambassadors programmes.’

Minister for Public Health and Sport Aileen Campbell added: ‘I was delighted to attend the sportscotland Year of Young People 2018 Awards, and what a fantastic evening it was. Congratulations to those who won an award and to those who were nominated. The calibre of this year’s nominees was exceptional. It’s great to see such dedication, commitment and camaraderie from young people across Scotland.’

Pam Hunter, CEO of SSF, said: ‘We were delighted to be able to showcase our dedicated young people and their work on what was a spectacular event. It is a great honour for us to be lead-sponsored by sportscotland and we look forward to working in partnership with them in future.’