TWO sports coaches from Ayr were recognised and honoured at a recent awards ceremony.

They were rewarded at the 2022 sportscotland Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering (COV) Awards on October 4, where Ayr resident Aimee Pollock was named Young Coach of the Year, recognising the significant impact she has had as a football coach.

John Daily picked up the Active Schools Volunteer Deliverer of the Year award for his dedication to using sport and physical activity to develop young people at Ayr's Forehill Primary School.

The sportscotland COV Awards celebrate "all those who break down barriers, inspire and enhance the lives of others through sport, and recognise the commitment of those who apply their own time and effort to make sport accessible to all".

Ayr Advertiser: Aimee Pollock with her awardAimee Pollock with her award (Image: sportscotland)

Aimee Pollock has already enjoyed a vibrant sporting career – graduating from the South Ayrshire Coaching Academy, she went onto complete a Modern Apprenticeship with the region’s Active Schools team, and is now working towards her HND in Sports Coaching at Ayrshire College.

At just 21 years old, the COACH dedicates over 30 hours a week to coaching young people in local schools, Whitletts Victoria Football Club and the wider community, and has dedicated many hours to training courses to further develop her own skills as a coach.

A positive role model for many youngsters, Aimee was commended for the positive and thoughtful approach she takes to coaching and for the strong relationships she has built up in the area.

Aimee said: “As a sportscotland Young Ambassador I got involved with Active Schools and started promoting the benefits of sport, which then progressed into coaching. I always loved playing sports and once I started coaching things just clicked – watching the kids progress every week and each of their characters is so rewarding.

“Showing the people you coach that you care about them is so important.

"By doing that, they’re more likely to participate in your session and you’ll get more out of them.

"It’s about showing youngsters a positive role model and giving them somewhere they feel safe to come and participate in sports and feel they aren’t going to be judged.”

Active Schools Volunteer Deliverer of the Year John Daily has been an Active Schools volunteer at Forehill Primary School for more than 10 years, playing a significant role in promoting sport and physical activity among pupils and parents.

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Over the last year alone he has positively impacted over 100 pupils and their families, encouraging young people to participate and succeed in sport regardless of their ability.

Alongside regular running and football sessions, John established a new family activity programme at the school.

His efforts have resulted in more than 30 families participating in activities they may not have previously had access to.

John said: “What I enjoy most about being an Active Schools volunteer is seeing the children participate, not just in competitive sports – but seeing children’s with less confidence come out of their shells and take part and progress more and more.

“I would encourage other people to volunteer because it’s a great way to develop yourself and the more volunteers we get, the more children we can get into sport. I get to take part in sports and see the children happy – what more could you want.”

Ayr Advertiser: John DailyJohn Daily (Image: sportscotland)

Mel Young, Chair of sportscotland, said: “Our Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards give us a chance to celebrate the great sporting achievements and moments that are taking place every day and congratulate those who are making an incredible commitment to Scottish sport.

“Across Scotland, there are thousands of sporting enthusiasts who recognise the impact that sport and teamwork can have on our lives.

"The people we are celebrating have taken that recognition and turned it into a life-changing force for good.

"Individuals like Aimee and John have dedicated their time to helping others realise their sporting potential and shown the far-reaching benefits of community spirit and participation.”

This year sees the awards return for the first time since 2019, with sportscotland receiving 320 nominations covering 30 different sports across 31 local authorities.

People keen to recognise the contributions of coaches, officials and volunteers working across a range of sports across the country submitted their nominations earlier in the year.

The COV winners were invited to attend a presentation ceremony at Glasgow City Chambers as a thank you for their continued work and dedication.