DEDICATED swimming instructor Lesley-Anne Aitken has been crowned the region’s junior coach of the year.
The 23-year old Hawick Amateur Swimming Club coach saw off stiff competition to lift the title at the annual James McLean Trust Celebration of Sport Awards, held at Kelso’s Cross Keys Hotel on Saturday night. And the glory for Hawick didn’t end there, with YM coach Jammy McFarlane scooping the coach of the year award.
In front of the great and the good of the sporting community, the achievements of the two Teries were revealed to be the best in their categories from the four local sports council areas.
Lesley-Anne, who has been coaching at Hawick ASC since the age of 15 and gives up her time four nights a week, had already won junior coach of the year at the Roxburgh Sports Council Awards two months ago. But the young coach, who was instrumental in the club becoming the first in the Borders to achieve the highly-acclaimed swiMark status, admitted to being gobsmacked on Saturday night. She said: “I didn’t expect to win at all. I never thought I’d have a chance up against winners from other areas, so it was a big surprise, but I’m absolutely delighted.”
And Hawick YM’s record-breaking undefeated run of 22 wins out of 22, which gained the Redskins promotion to National Division One, also earned McFarlane his second gong of the year after he, too, had received a Roxburgh award. He said: “I never expected to win, but it’s a reflection on how well the players, committee and my fellow coaches have done.
“It is a team effort.”