THE best of the best were recognised at this year's Clackmannanshire Sports Council Awards.

Interviews by Ivan Prothero

The ceremony, which returned on March 31 following a pandemic induced hiatus, celebrated sporting achievements from across the county, recognising the dedication and commitment of people in the area.

There were more than a dozen awards handed out across the various categories to those who are helping to improve the quality of life in Clackmannanshire through sport.

Kenny Cook, active communities officer and secretary for Clackmannanshire Sports Council, said following the ceremony: “The awards went really well, considering that we still had to impose some restrictions when we started organising this in the beginning of January and we didn’t know what it would look like at the beginning of March, we had about 150 people in total in the hall.

“Other years we would have invited everybody along, but we had to keep people one metre apart.

“We’ve had a lot of good feedback from people that were there saying that they really enjoyed it.”

An important event in the annual sports calendar, having started in the 1980s, the sporting community looks forward to the awards each year.

“You especially hear a lot of the schools talking about it throughout the year, it also allows the clubs a bit of recognition as well”, added Kenny.

The Team of the Year award went to the gents at Alloa Bowling Club, who won the local cup last year along with a prestigious Top Ten Trophy.

A club representative said: “About 4-5 years ago a number of bowlers left other local clubs to join what was known locally as 'auld Alloa' due to the age demographics of the club.

“The new bowlers along with the existing bowlers all of a sudden became competitive and have had fantastic success.

“John has been a stalwart of the club for years and has worked with the local schools and the club has hosted the Clackmannanshire School Championship for bowls as well.

“He is an extremely nice person, so a very deserved, and to be honest unexpected award as we don’t normally get this recognition in bowls."

New this year was the Junior School Sports Award for young people who took part in school sport but don’t take part in club, county, national or international events.

The accolade went to Sophia Spence, running, from Craigbank PS.

Other young people were also recognised with Derry Furby, football, winning the Primary Young Leader Award while the Young Leader/Volunteer Award went to Emma Howatt for tennis.

Callum Kettles, fencing, won Junior Sports Personality of the Year, the Park PS P7 Rugby Team won Primary School of the Year while the Alva Academy Kayak Team scooped the same in the secondary school category.

There were to categories in the Triumph Over Adversity Award, one for competition and one for participation – the former went to Logan Castle Vine for martial arts while the latter was scooped by Ella McQueen for various sports.

Accomplished swimmer Duncan Scott, Alloa Swimming Club, won Senior Sports Personality of the Year, collected on his behalf by Lucas Keen.

The Coach of the Year Award was again split in a similar fashion Hamish McIntyre won the competition category for rugby while Keevan Brown won in the participation category for football.

Edward Bear won the Services to Sport Award for shooting while John Wright scooped the Lifetime Contribution to Sport Award for bowling.