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Shetland Sports Awards 2016

Isles sporting success was celebrated with hundreds of folk at the Clickimin tonight with strongman Dhanni Moar lifting the Sportsperson of the Year award at the 10th annual Shetland Sports Awards.  Moar was given a standing ovation by the crowd and said he has his sights said on the world champion title.  This year returned from the SCL world championships in Finland, ranked seventh in the world – 11 places higher than he finished in the competition in 2015.  The Factory gym athlete was also crowned Britain’s Strongest Man for 2016 in the under 105kg category, as well as picking up a string of records and titles over the last 12 months, scooping both the North Isles Strongest man and Shetland Strongest Man gongs in the under-105kg section.  Moar said it was three Scottish records he’d broken this year, taking his total to eight Scottish and one British record “but who keeps count,” he smiled.  “It’s a lot of training; even more than the weighlifting is the mindset and continually wanting to do it,” he said.

Over 270 people attended the Shetland Sports Awards 2016. Photo: Kevin Jones

A remarkable rise for volleyball player Edward Oldbury saw him named Young Sportsperson of the Year. Oldbury received his first international cap with the Scottish men’s under-20 side at the European championship finals in Cyprus.  He pulled on the Scottish Jersey after only taking up the sport in 2014.  Oldbury said representing Scotland was a real highlight.  At the turn of the year Oldbury was selected for the 2016 UK School Games held at Loughborough university.  The Scotland East team came away with another bronze medal and Oldbury received individual honours – being selected as the best middle blocker of the tournament at under-17 level.  At the closing ceremony Oldbury received a final award. Out of 1,600 competitors he was selected to receive a “hundred per cent Spirit of the Games award”.  The award recognises determination, honesty, passion, respect, self belief and teamwork.  “I guess I couldn’t really do it with support of everyone; family,friends and the team here in Shetland helping me and telling me I could always do it,” he said.

Meanwhile Team of the Year went to the Shetland netball team, who twice tasted victory over Orkney in the inter-county with A and B team competitions.

Young Team of the Year went to Spurs FC under-15s, who dedicated their award to the late Jim Peterson.

After many, many years of service, Janice Johnston was given the lifetime endeavour award.  A well-known figure in Shetland sport she had dedicated much of her life supporting sport in the isles. Hockey, badminton, swimming, golf, the junior and senior inter counties have all benefitted from her love of sport.  Recently she has become a champion golfer, has been Shetland Ladies Golf Captain and has been involved in many inter counties as a player and organiser.

Janice Johnston after being presented with the Lifetime Endeavour Award by SIC councillor George Smith, pictured with Shetland Times editor Adam Civico. Photo: Kevin Jones.

Megan Hibbert was given the Young Volunteer of the Year award with Maisie Unsworth being named Volunteer of the Year.  Hibbert volunteers for the Shetland Hockey and Shetland Volleyball committees.  The audience heard how she had helped out by volunteering at fundraising events for the Shetland hockey team to help with travel costs for them to attend the Scottish District Cup.  Hibbert has also coached S1-2 girls and travelled away with the team to Aberdeen.  On the success of the trip the group has expanded and is now open for s1-4 girls with another trip being planned for spring 2017.  Unsworth is a Level 2 coach and helped set up the Shetland U15 district  netball squad.  Her achievements included playing a key role in managing the national pathway programme and volunteers on the junior and senior netball committees as vice chairwoman and fixtures secretary.

Technical Official of the Year went to dedicated hockey umpire Simon Skinner and Coach of the Year to Phil Hibbert.  Skinner’s commitment was described as “phenomenal”, regularly exceeding 10 hours a week and umpiring the majority of double matches on Monday and Thursday nights and additional training nights for the Shetland women’s team.  Hibbert has been head coach of the Shetland Fencing Club since 2014 and since then the club’s membership has grown year on year.  Hibbert spends up to 10 hours a week coaching at the club and provides after school fencing sessions all over Shetland.  He is also is a member of the newly created Shetland disability Sports Branch called Shetland Sport For All and is wanting to provide fencing opportunities to those with disabilities.

Guest speaker sportscotland chairman Mel Young, said it was fantastic to be in Shetland, having first visited as a teenager.  He said he had “a mythical and romantic view” of the isles – recounting fiddle tunes being played by Ali Bain in Sandy Bells when they were both living in Edinburgh.  During his visit Mr Young was given a tour around the new 60/40 indoor facility, which sportscotland has invested £500,000.  Mr Young said the thought the facilities in Shetland were superb, inspiring and the new facility was “absolutely fabulous”.  He was asked how sportscotland could help emerging athletes, given the difficulties of travelling away from the isles.  Mr Young said there was a partnership built between Shetland and sportscotland and it was keen to ensure good facilities were in place in Shetland so people did not have to go elsewhere.  “If there’s challenges… and there might be one about transport and travel and so on… we can have a look at that and work out was together that we can help,” he said.