Marion Levett and Gary Richardson have been named the first joint winners of the Clackmannanshire Citizen of the Year award.
On Thursday (6 March) Marion received the accolade for dedicating herself to community projects, including the Women4Women group, providing confidential support for women dealing with issues such as addiction and abuse.
She said, “I’m absolutely overwhelmed. I was surprised to even be nominated, so can’t believe I’ve won. I just do what I do every day without thinking about recognition.” Marion, from Alloa, has helped many local women, improving their confidence by providing volunteer opportunities at the charity shop in Alva she helps run, as well as volunteering and fundraising for a number of local organisations.
At Women4Women, Marion has helped to ensure that there is someone for women and families to turn to when they need support and advice due to issues like alcohol, drugs or bereavement.
She has worked hard to find funding to keep the group operating, and is available as a support to clients and her colleagues around the clock.
Gary Richardson was honoured for the hard work and purpose he has demonstrated to maintain and improve the environment of his local area.
Gary, from Alloa, works with organisations such as Keep Scotland Beautiful to clean up the local area, organising and taking part in many litter picks. He has also worked to secure funding for woodland walks to help improve access for local people.
Gary has actively engaged local groups and businesses, encouraging them to do their part in collecting litter, and has previously been named Hero of the Month by the Keep Scotland Beautiful campaign. He has also been actively involved in helping ensure that the Alloa Park development was built as approved and continues to be well maintained.
Gary said, “I am pleased to accept this award on behalf of my fellow committee members in Alloa Park Residents’ Association. I think community groups have to work closely with the council, businesses, the Third Sector and others to help to make Clackmannanshire better. And I’m looking forward to continuing that work.” On the same evening, Kristy McQuater from Tullibody was named Young Citizen of the Year.
Kristy combines school, family responsibilities and working with volunteering her time for a number of local organisations, including Brownies and The Food Bank.
She is training to help assist her Brown Owl at Brownies, and has also led dance groups to help local children grow in confidence and have fun. Kristy also gives interactive talks to school pupils of all ages to help them develop interview skills and make healthy snacks.
Kristy said, “I’m pleased, but speechless. I’m very surprised and didn’t expect to win.” The winner of the Junior Sports Award sponsored by Munro Greenhouses was swimmer Duncan Scott.
He won gold for Team GB in the 200m Individual Medley and silver in the 400m at the European Youth Olympic festival and won six golds at the British Youth Swimming Championships.
Rugby player Grant Gilchrist won the Senior Sports Award, sponsored by the Alloa Advertiser.
Grant started playing rugby at Alloa before moving to Stirling County and now plays professionally for Edinburgh.
He made his first senior start for Scotland against France and has now been capped as an international player four times.
Swimmer Gavin Miller won the Disability Sports Award, sponsored by Machin Associates. He won three golds at the 2013 Special Olympics and has won numerous other medals in regional and national events. Gavin is also involved in a number of other sports.
Winner of the Enid Barton Coach of the Year Award was Diane Donaldson.
Diane was involved with setting up the Right on Target Boccia Club and supports the athletes to develop skills and techniques and raise confidence by supporting them in competition. Diane also assisted the head coach at the Special Olympics in 2013.
Strathdevon P6 Girls Sports Team won the Judy Collier Trophy for School Team of the Year.
They won the Clackmannanshire schools cross country leagues and the schools championship, and the relay team won gold at the schools swimming gala. The basketball team won the local tournament which allowed them to take part in the Jump To It tournament at the Emirates Arena - where they reached the final and finished runners up.
Alloa & District Rifle Club were awarded the Team of the Year, sponsored by Russel & Aitken.
At the Scottish NSRA meeting they won all five of the major trophies shooting against teams from all over GB, which has never been achieved by any other team in Great Britain.
They hold the record for the highest score in the NSRA National 50m, and three members were selected to shoot for GB against America at Camp Perry in Ohio USA.
The Young Leader/Volunteer Award sponsored by Steven Campbell was won by Meg Bannerman. She is a young ambassador at Alva Academy and promotes and inspires her peers to take part in sports and physical activity.
Meg has set up and runs new sports at school and volunteers to coach within the local primary supporting the running club.
For his services to cricket, David Henderson was awarded the Services to Sport sponsored by the Scottish Association of Local Sports Councils. He has been a junior player, first XI captain, President and groundsman of Clackmannanshire County Cricket Club for over 50 years. He inspires club members with his dedication and selflessness and has been a role model for many cricketers, and is a highly respected ambassador for his club and community.
Colin McLaren and Alan Harper were joint winners of the Lifetime Contribution to Sport Award, sponsored by Provost Tina Murphy.
Both Colin and Alan have represented Tullibody Wrestling Club for over 35 years as competitors, coaches and trainers and running the club.
They have produced international wrestlers and provide guidance, support, encouragement and discipline in a safe and friendly environment. They have given the community a sporting venue that gives a format of sport for all ages, genders and in some cases disabilities.
Colin has been appointed the Wrestling team Manager for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Provost Tina Murphy said, “It was a privilege to pay tribute to these amazing people who have contributed so much to Clackmannanshire, and who give their time and energies to make our community such a special place to live in. Hearing about the difference they continue to make to others is an inspiration to us all.”