The Access Awards were first introduced to Disability Sport Fife (DSF) in 1985 by a member of Cupar Round Table who was impressed at the time by the work of DSF and its vision for the future. They are the oldest of the DSF Awards and have been presented on almost sixty occasions to individual athletes and teams who have made their mark within the Association. More recently those nominated and selected have made a significant contribution to the DSF family and are recognised for their personality, commitment to sport and attitude to others. The list of previous winners identifies over 30 years of DSF “personalities”.
The members of the Order of St John Fife have been passionate supporters of DSF for almost the same length of time as the Awards have been presented and have raised tens of thousands of pounds to support DSF individuals and teams. Present at the 2017 DSF Awards Evening were Order committee members Findlay McCrae and Elizabeth Laing who joined Jim Thomson, past Chairman of Scottish Disability Sport to present the 2017 Access Awards to Mark Walker from East Fife Community Support Services and Kenny Richards from West Fife Community Support Services. Widely regarded as two of the most popular, active and charismatic members of DSF, the decision to recognise these two fine athletes this year was very well received by attendees at the Awards Evening. Each has a history of representing their CSS in sports as wide ranging as football, bowls, athletics, swimming etc. Most importantly they are two of the Association’s longest serving and most popular members.
In recent years DSF has strengthened its links with the three Local Sports Councils and more DSF members that ever before receive recognition for their contribution to sport and/or their local community through one of the three Local Sports Councils Awards Ceremonies. Ken White and Greig Hopcroft from Kirkcaldy and Central Fife SC joined Jim Thomson past chair of Scottish Disability Sport and Carolyn Clunie DSF General Management Committee member, to present four special achievement awards in memory of the late Ian Cowper, a past staff member at St Clair Centre in Kirkcaldy. The four deserving recipients were:
Robert Anderson – all round sportsman excelling in swimming, athletics football, bowls and badminton. Now a DSF peer mentor and very committed volunteer.
Jaz McNeill – particularly interested in racquet sports excelling in table tennis and badminton. A key member of the DSF badminton squad.
Nicola Eccles – all round sportswoman and key member of the East Fife CSS sports team excelling in athletics and unihoc in particular. (unable to attend the presentation)
Matthew Blissett – all round sportsman excelling in bowls and swimming in particular. Key member of numerous DSF teams at national events.
All athletes are very committed DSF members and have made significant progress in their chosen sports in the last 12 months.
Richard Brickley MBE
President, Disability Sport Fife