THE great and good of Borders sport were recognised at the Ettrick and Lauderdale Awards Evening on Friday evening.

Groups and individuals gathered at Gala Rugby Club as accolades were dished out to celebrate their achievements over the past year.

This year's Sports Personality of the Year award was won by Galashiels canoeist Alice Haining after being crowned British Champion earlier this year at the London Olympics white water course at Lee Valley.

Former European champion Fiona Pennie had recorded the fastest time by around five seconds in the competition.

But she was hit with a 50 second penalty after being adjudged to have missed a gate in the semi-finals, leaving the door open for the former Gala Academy pupil to take advantage.

The 23-year-old, who is a member of Selkirk Canoe Club, has since moved to Nottingham to further her career.

Also among the winners on Friday night was young Galashiels swimming star Beth Johnson, who won the Junior Sports Personality award after winning double gold at the School Games National Finals in September.

Scotland sevens coach John Dalziel, who kicked off his career in Galashiels, picked up the Coach of the Year accolade, as he prepares his squad to compete in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games next April and the World Cup in San Francisco.

Galashiels Academy Head Girl Kerry Waddell was named Junior Coach of the Year for volunteering with the P.H.D FUNdamentals (gymnastics and trampoline club). She now coaches at the club for eight hours a week in Galashiels and Peebles; as well as running a non-competitive dance session at school.

Running club Gala Harriers Juniors were presented with the Team of the Year award having enjoyed much success.

Members have been called up to represent Team Borders in both the East of Scotland cross country league and the Forth Valley track league over the past year.

And in January, members Gregor Collins, Katie Rourke, Faisal Khursheed and Callum Tharme competed the Inter District Championships in Holyrood representing East Scotland. Both Collins and Khursheed were in the gold medal winning East teams.

Next up was the Club of the Year award, which went to Gala Cricket Club.
The club has raised money throughout the past year through its ‘sixes tournaments’ as well as running community events including the Rowan Boland Memorial Run and a sponsored dog walk with charity Borders Pet Rescue.

Earlston swimmer Kirsty Gibb was granted this year’s Disability Award.
She has been involved with the Borders Barracudas Squad – the regional squad for swimmers with a disability – for more than a year and has achieved podium finishes in the Scottish Disability Sport National Championships.

The final accolade, the SALSC (Scottish Association of Local Sports Councils) Service to Sport Award, was presented to Gala Rugby stalwart Johnny Gray.

He has been involved with the club since 1956 when he was persuaded by the late George Cathbert and Jake Cockburn to move from football and play for Gala Red Triangle.

He went on to captain Gala for over three seasons and led the club to win the Border League in 1967.

Johnny has also enjoyed a successful coaching career in senior rugby as well as in primary schools.

In 2015 he was made Life Member of Gala Rugby Football Club and still lends a hand there today, helping to tidy the grounds and making the car park ready for match days.