In the year of it's 70th anniversary the Scottish Highland Games Association enjoyed probably it's most successful ever annual Awards Dinner. Competitors and their families, coaches, spectators SHGA and member games officials travelled from every corner of the country to be in attendance at the event held in the Gilvenbank Hotel in Glenrothes, Fife.
It was refreshing to see so many main award as well as league prize winners in attendance. Once again the Gilvenbank provided an excellent venue and meal.
Guest speaker for the evening was Scottish Lib Dem leader and well known games competitor Willie Rennie. In his speech he was full of praise for the SHGA and it's members for providing such excellent entertainment at the various events throughout the summer. He also said the games were a huge tourist attaction.
Willie, who also presented all the prizes said his athletic claim to fame was finishing runner up in the World Coal Carrying Championship. He also announced he has accepted the position of Chieftain at the 2018 Cupar Highland Games.
The innovation of announcing each award winner up with a note of their achievments as well as a post presentation interview has also proved to be a great success.
In his winners speech, SHGA Athlete of the Year, Tony Daffurn spoke eloquently and articulately about the excellent season he enjoyed on the circuit dedicating his award to father and coach Thomas who was unable to attend. He also expressed warm approval and admiration of the work done by the SHGA and it's members and indicated he hoped to attend even more games in 2018. On the competitng front he stated he would strive to improve performance to a level where he can maybe challenge the SHGA Scottish triple jump record.
Here is the achievment notes for the athletes in attendance who received awards.
ROUBENS THOMSON – ABERDEEN
He may be one of the smallest competitors among the youth cycling fraternity but as many witnessed during the season he has the heart and leg-power of a lion.
Roubens recorded wins in Fife at St Andrews and along the road from here at Markinch. He finished runner three times at Helmsdale then went on to finish the season in some style. Over the final three weekends he was 1st and 2nd at both Blairgowrie and Pitlochry and was runner three times at Invercharron. I'm quite sure you'll agree this a young cyclist with a bright future.
CYCLIST OF THE YEAR
CHARLES FLETCHER – GRANTOWN ON SPEY
2017 was another exceptional year on the grass tracks for Cairngorm CC rider Charles Fletcher. Up and down the country he recorded 43 wins which helped him amass an impressive total of 243 points in the league, 74 clear of his nearest rival. There was many highlights including SHGA Championship wins at Markinch, Ceres and Alva. His biggest win of the summer probably came outwith the games circuit when on the last Saturday in July he was crowned British National grass track 800 metres champion following his win at the Heckington Show in Lincolnshire. On a more personal note, one of his more pleasing successes came at his home games at Grantown on Spey where he won all six races on the card to the delight of the home crowd to whom he is a bit of a local hero.
EDOUARD LECRIVAIN – ABERDEEN
There couldn't have been a more deserved winner of this award than Edouard. A total of 107 pts saw him win both the Up to 400mts and Over 400 mts leagues for Youths, a feat he replicated in the equivalent Fife leagues. Wins in the up to 400 league came at Strathmore and Stirling as well a a double at Braemar. In the over 400 league he racked up an amazing 11 wins. At the beginning of the season one wondeed if he would ever be beat as he won every youth 800 or 1600 metres race he contested at Blackford, Markinch, Helensburh, Strathmore and Newburgh. At Pitlochry he shared the SHGA Junior Jumps title.
His achievments were all the more remarkable when you consider he missed the whole of July owing to being on holiday in his native France where he is just now.
Hannah Steel – Lothian Running Club
The Lothian athlete has been the most consistent female youth this year with 3rd place finishes in both the over-400 mts SHGA and Fife leagues and was also the highest placed girl in the up to 400mts league. In only her second year on the games circuit Hannah won seven races, finished runner up three times and 3rd twice. 200 mts wins were recorded at both Newburgh and Alva but it was in 800 mts she excelled coming home first at Cupar, St Andrews, Bridge of Allan, Blairgowrie and Pitlochry. She was also awarded the prize for Youth athlete of the day at Alva. Hannah's participation at highland games has also contributed to her breaking her 800 mts PB 4 times in mainstream athletics this summer and will be hoping in the future to emulate her clubmate Sarah Inglis who won this award as a 14 year old 12 years ago before going on to represent GB & Scotland.
CRAIG BELL – FORFAR
Craig Bell has been around the games circuit for more years than most in here tonight and is no stranger to picking up awards. Twice a winner of the main SHGA Athlete of the Year award, first time way back in 1991 and then again 19 years later in 2010 in which he was also the veteran of the year, the prize he collects tonight.2nd or 3rd places at Newburgh, Burntisland, Blairgowrie, Ceres, Cupar, Airth and Crieff plus wins at Oban and Birnam all contributed to Craig enjoying his best season for a number of years. Craig was delighted to be joined on the circuit this summer by daughter Angela who finished just outside the prizes in the womens league.
REBECCA BURNS – EDINBURGH AC
It's fair to say Rebecca enjoyed the most successful season by any female athlete in the history of highland games. Her total of 49 pts saw her dominate the Women's league and would probably have placed her well up in the Open leagues as well. Rebecca excelled in 800 metres and 1600 mtrs handicaps winning races at Ceres, Alva, Airth, St Andrews, Bridge of Allan and a double at Stirling. She also placed 2nd twice and 3rd on 4 occasions.
SHGA & SCOTTISH NATIVE HEAVY
LUKASZ WENTA – EAST KILBRIDE
No one travels to compete at more highland games in a season than Lukasz Wenta. 931 league points is some justification of that. Lukasz has enjoyed another great year in which he also won the Grampian league for the first time to add to his SHGA crown. It was a season when the affable Pole also won the World Championship at Loch Lomond as well as setting a new World record for the 56LB Weight over the Bar at Inveraray
YOUNG HEAVY EVENT ATHLETE AWARD
MURDO MASTERSON- DUNBEG
It was a record breaking season for Murdo who broke four Under-20 records as well as claiming the Grampian Under-25 league title.
JIMMY MURRAY TOW Trophy
Jamie McCormack - Moffat Builders
This years winner has given almost 40
years service to tug of war, he started out with Goblin Ha
and about 1980 a team was formed with three teams from the
East Lothian area and the Moffat Builders was formed. From
the start of his career he took an active roll in
encouraging new members and was involved in training which
due to his involvement with junior football his teams were
one of the fittest on the circuit. In the early years they
were to come up against some formidable sides namely The
Young Bells,Forfar, Strathbogie,Square Inn, and Elgin to
name a few. But this Moffat team had believe in there
strategy finally reaching the top winning every competition
around the nineties. The winner of this trophy can only be
described as one determined puller, and has done more than
anybody to encourage Tug Of War and keep his beloved Moffat
Builders competing on the circuit. So the 2017 winner of The
Jimmy Murray trophy is Jamie McCormack
ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
TONY DAFFURN -WISHAW
An indoor triple jump PB of 15.24 in February augured well for a good mainstream season for Tony. It was not to be with the Harrow AC athlete choosing to focus his intentions on a season competing the length and breadth of the country on the Highland Games circuit.
327 points later in running and jumping I don't think anyone can argue with his decision.
In a memorable season, Tony won the jumps league with a massive 253 points which included winning 50 individual events. At many games he did the clean sweep of all sprint and jump competitions recording on occasions 8 or 9 wins over a weekend. Ground records were broken week in week out along the way. Tony was involved in a couple of intriguing contests with 2016 athlete of the year Allan Hamilton, at the Scottish Light Field Championship on Mull Allan held the edge to retain his title, however in a re-match at Braemar it was Tony's turn to come out on top. Going back to the indoor PB in February, such was the quality of the jump Tony sits in 3rd place in the 2017 Scottish Athletics rankings.
YOUTHS UP TO 400 MTS
3rd Louis Whyte-Leithenburn
The youth runners from Leithenburn made freqent trips up from the Borders to compete at the Highland games and rarely returned home without a share of the prizes. One of the most successful was Louis Whyte. A 1st & 2nd at Thornton was followed by 2nd places at both Bridge of Allan and Birnam. He finished the season in style with another 1st & 2nd at Blairgowrie before leading home a big field at Pitlochry to win the 400 metres to clinch 3rd spot in the league.
1st Edouard Lecrivain,-Aberdeen.
YOUTHS 0VER 400MTS
3rd Hannah Steel,Lothian Running Club
2nd Gaspard Lecrivain - Aberdeen
Amazingly Gaspard amassed a total of 36 pts without actually winning a race. In 14 races he finished 2nd 5 times and 3rd on no fewer than 9 occasions. Ironically he spent most of the season observing a rear view of his brother Edouard whom he chased home in many of his races. His runner up spot was all the more remarkable when you consider he missed a month of the season owing to being in his native France on holiday.
1st Edouard Lecrivain – Aberdeen
Consisted of points won in all events.
3rd Sarah Ross – Pitreavie AC
Sarah got her season off to a great start with 800 mts wins at both Blackford and Markinch and a 2nd place at Strathmore. A mid season injury saw her off the track for most of July before returning in August to pick up points at both Crieff and Blairgorie to secure 3rd spot in the league.
OPEN 1600M – 3200M
4th= Colin Welsh – Kelso
This was a season when Colin was much travelled, he had more success in the 400/800mts league but also did well in distance events with wins at Rosneath,Inveraray,Oban and Pitlochry. With his win in the latter being the SHGA 1600 mts Scottish Championship.
3rd Dean Whiteford – Innerleithen
Dean has been a consistent performer over the years regularly travelling up from his Borders base in Innerleithen, 2017 was no different. Following 2nd places at Helensburgh, Ceres and Thornton, Dean went on to win at Oban and land a double at Blairgowrie.
1st Tyler White – Aberdeen/Pitreavie
Despite missing the latter stages Tyler enjoyed his best ever season on the games circuit. His first win of the campaign actually came in the 90mts at Newburgh where he also was placed in the 1600mts. Further places followed at Strathmore and Cupar before his season took off in July with wins at Thornton, Burntisland, Alva and Airth. His winning tally might well have been more but for coming up against one of Scotland's top endurance runners Luke Traynor whom he chased home at Loch Lomond and twice at St Andrews.
OPEN 400 – 800MTS
4th Dean Whiteford – Innerleithen
Wins at Ceres,Helensburgh, Thornton,Kenmore and Blairgowrie with the latter being part of a treble on the day.
3rd Willie Bates – Tullibody
As in previous seasons the bulk of Willie's points came in the second half of the campaign. After notching up a 1st and 2nd place at Newburgh he then went on a frustrating run of finishing runner up on six occasions. He ended that run in style at Bridge of Allan with victory in one of the top 800 mts races on the circuit. Further success then followed with wins at both Stirling and Pitlochry.
2nd Colin Welsh – Kelso
Colin who is the only athlete to win the SHGA Athlete of the Year award on three occasions recorded most of his wins in the Highlands & Islands at the likes of Rosneath, Inveraray, Mull, Skye, Oban and Ballater. He also found success at Aboyne in the 800 mts which was the SHGA Scottish Championship.
1st Ewan Bradley – Inverness
Ewan had an exceptional season picking up points in four different leagues. None more so however than in the 400/800 mts one where he amassed an unheard of before 145 points. He travelled the country in his quest for the title and picked up points at 29 different games. Outwith his own Highland and Grampian area where he had huge success he also ventured south and broke tapes [when the officials bothered to put one up!] at Blackford, Markinch, Alva, Kenmore, Crieff and Pitlochry. Ewan also triumphed in one of the big non SHGA events with victory in the 800 mts at the City of Edinburgh Running Festival. He was also on the short list for the SHGA Athlete of the Year.
3rd David Allan – Balloch
David was a regular attender and a consistent performer on the circuit this summer and was rewarded with a 3rd place finish in the sprints league. He registered wins at Newburgh, Lorne, Kenmore and Balloch and finished the season in style with a treble at the Bogle's Field in Blairgowrie.
2nd Tony Daffurn – Wishaw
1st Stewart Clark – Stonehaven
Broadening his horizons paid off for Stewart by claiming the top spot in the sprints league. In previous seasons he would stick to competitng solely in the Grampian and Highland games but spread his wings this summer and competed at the likes of Strathmore, Markinch, Luss, Cupar, Mull and Skye. He picked up points for wins and places at 21 different games. He also finished runner up in the jumps league and 5th in the 400/800 league and was another candidate for Athlete of the Year.
TUG O WAR
Strathardle tug o war team 2017 season
The 2017 open season has been without doubt our best season ever. It kicked off in Blackford where
we won the Scottish eight man championship and this was followed by a string of victories in both 5
and eight man format. Notable results would include the five man Sco!sh championship at Luss
and best of all the British eight man title at Pitlochry.
When we could we attended the Grampian league and achieved a very respectable 3
rd place in it.
Training was the hardest it has ever been and its attendance the best ever, this was bolstered by
Aberfeldy joining us on training nights
We have a team of 12 regular pullers average age of around 28 if you add me I take average up to 31.
Published: 2017-10-24 13:11:52