Edinburgh Eagles lead coach Celia Peerless has won Scotland’s BBC Unsung Hero Award for 2017, recognising many years of dedication working with athletes with and without disabilities.
The West Lothian based coach has been instrumental in the success of the Edinburgh Eagles Athletics Club, creating an environment for all young people to come along and hone their athletic skills while also building friendships and developing social skills. The club was established in partnership with Lothian Disability Sport and Scottish Athletics, aiming to provide an environment for young people with autism and/or a leaning or physical disability to try a run, jump and throw session – an introduction to the sport of athletics. The weekly session, held at Forrester HS on a Wednesday evening, has been a significant success and Celia has been at the heart of this, providing enthusiasm and dedication that has been key towards driving the club forward.
In addition to leading the Eagles, Celia has previously supported Para Sport Festivals and Multi Sport sessions that have been delivered across the East region while also playing a significant coaching role with West Lothian club, Livingston Athletics Club. Celia is currently coaching two athletes at Livingston AC who have progressed from the Edinburgh Eagles session, highlighting the key role she plays in helping athletes with a disability to develop through the sporting pathway.
The parent of one of these young people demonstrated the impact that Celia has had on her son’s athletic journey so far, stating: “As the parent of a young person with autism, my 18-year-old son, would not have achieved a successful transition to mainstream (athletics) if it had not been for Celia’s patient understanding and her belief that the sport can be for everyone.”
A truly well-deserved award. The video of Celia receiving her award can be found by following the link below –