At the Commonwealth Games Dinner in Glasgow (29 October 2011), there was recognition for a number of the country's top sportsmen and women after an exciting and action packed year for Scottish sport. The dinner, organised in partnership with Glasgow 2014 looked back on the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games, as well as celebrating 1000 days to go until the 2014 Games comes to Glasgow.
Badminton player Imogen Bankier was the recipient of the top award of the evening, fighting off some tough opposition to be named the Scottish Sportsperson of 2011 and be awarded the ‘Lonsdale Trophy’. Along with the prestigious title, Imogen will receive a cheque for £1000. She is the first badminton player to win the trophy, and the third woman to win the trophy, following in the footsteps of Katherine Grainger (rowing) and Hannah Miley (swimming). The award is for performances between 17 October 2010 and 16 September 2011.
The badminton star was up against some strong competition for the award, with swimmer Hannah Miley and junior cyclist John Paul completing the shortlist. The two runners-up will both receive £500 in prize money.
2010 Lonsdale Trophy winner Hannah Miley continues to excel at the very top of world swimming, having won the silver medal in the 400m individual medley at the World Championships in July. She has been a permanent fixture in the top four of the world rankings for the past three years, and acts as the perfect role model for the younger athletes.
Announcing the award, Commonwealth Games Scotland Chairman Michael Cavanagh said: “2011 has been another hugely successful year for Scotland’s top sportspeople, which has made it tougher than ever to select one winner for this award. Imogen, Hannah and John are all deserving of their place on the shortlist, having delivered some incredible performances over the past 12 months.”
The Athlete of the Commonwealth Youth Games Award was also handed out, along with the Scottish Sports Aid Merit Awards and Junior Sportsperson of the Year.
Swimmer Craig Benson (17) was named Athlete of the Games, having collected three gold and one silver medal in the Isle of Man. Craig was on superb form in September, blowing the competition out of the water in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke.
He was also part of the men’s silver medal winning 4x100m medley relay team. The Commonwealth Games Scotland Athlete of the Month for July showed great character during the Games, and was on the shortlist for the team flag-bearer for the Opening Ceremony.
|Ashley Howard (CEO, Scottish Swimming)
with Laurel Bailey (Coach of Warrender Baths Club)
who collected Craig Benson's award on his behalf
Around 300 people from Scottish sport attended the event at Glasgow’s Radisson Blu hotel to join in the celebrations. Having looked back on a successful Commonwealth Youth Games in the Isle of Man, we will all now look forward to when Scotland becomes host of the next Games in Glasgow in 2014.
This article is courtesy of Commonwealth Games Scotland and can be read in full on their website: www.cgcs.org.uk