Disability Sport Fife (DSF) is proud of the quality and quantity of coaches and volunteers it can call upon to support members of the Fife high performance, performance and development squads. At the 2017 DSF Awards Evening held at the Michael Woods Sports and Leisure Centre, many were recognised within different categories for the critical role they play throughout the year with DSF members. Past Chair of Scottish Disability Sport, Jim Thomson, led the presentations with support from DSF key personnel.
Ron Morrison from Fife AC was awarded the Coach of the Year Award and in his absence Paralympian Derek Rae accepted the award on his behalf. Derek is coached by Ron and under his influence and guidance he has improved his marathon times in three successive London Marathons. In London this year Derek won his first international medal when he was placed third in the T46 IPC Marathon World Championship. Ron also coaches young Sam Fernando from Fife AC who is now established as the leading Under 20 year old T20 middle distance and distance athlete. The award is presented in the name of Eddie Campbell who coached up to nine Paralympic swimmers when he was coach at Glenrothes Swimming Club.
Jim also presented awards to a group of inclusive coaches who have contributed significantly to many DSF members over the past 12 months and more. Jenn Mann is the Lead Coach at Enigma Gymnastics Club and with her support and leadership a successful development programme has been introduced within the club for gymnasts with Down Syndrome in particular. International badminton player and coach Julie Hogg from Dunfermline has joined the DSF coaching team and spearheaded a DSF badminton initiative at Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre. Nigel Walker, Eric McMillan and Bob Dick also received awards for their significant contribution to the development of Para Bowls at national level and in support of Fife Para Bowlers. This section of the awards acknowledges the sporting excellence of past Paralympian Ann Swann.
DSF values enormously its links with schools staff and volunteers. Jim Thomson and DSF secretary Maureen McSeveney presented awards to Gayle Sloan who has progressed from parent helper to Level 2 athletics coach within a very short period. Gayle is now one of the most fully committed DSF volunteers by supporting sessions and contributing to training sessions for teachers, athletes and leaders. The links DSF now enjoys with schools are very important and three Education Services staff were recognised for the role they play in encouraging and organising their pupils for DSF events, Festivals, Sports Academies and managing Fife teams at national events. Awards were presented to Jakki O’Neill (Woodmill HS), Fiona Stewart (Bell Baxter HS) and Brian Sim (Lochgelly HS) for their great contributions to junior sports.
Richard Brickley MBE
President, Disability Sport Fife