EAC Athlete Awards 2023 53

East Ayrshire Sports Council Awards success

East Ayrshire’s most talented athletes, sports clubs and volunteers have been celebrated and recognised for their sporting success and contribution to sport at the East Ayrshire Sports Council and Talented Athlete Awards.

This year saw over 40 athletes being supported through the Talented Athlete Support Programme with all athletes either National or International Champions, or representing their country in their chosen sport. 

During the 14 years since the Talented Athlete Support Programme began, there have been some notable achievements that have put East Ayrshire on the sporting map, not only nationally, but internationally. To date, the programme has supported over 700 local athletes, including six Special Olympians, from a diverse range of sports to achieve:

  •  Olympic Games representation for Team GB
  • 2 Commonwealth Games Medals – 1 Silver, 1 Bronze
  • 27 World Champions
  • 9 World Championship Runners-up
  • 13 European Champions
  • 66 British Champions
  • 258 Scottish National Champions
  • 78 Scottish National Silver Medals
  • 64 International Football Caps
  • 69 International Rugby Caps
  • 33 Special Olympic Medals – 15 Gold, 10 Silver, 8 Bronze

Joan O’Sullivan, Chair of the East Ayrshire Sports Council, said: “We are committed to supporting our athletes to fulfil their potential and excel in their chosen sports both nationally and internationally. With so many athletes being supported, it really does demonstrate that East Ayrshire has produced and will continue to produce top class athletes through their hard work, determination and commitment.”

Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council, added: “This has been another inspiring event and I am incredibly proud of how much success our athletes gain and bring back to East Ayrshire. The successes that we have had from national and international events from our athletes and clubs make East Ayrshire the envy of a number of larger authorities across the country.

“Volunteers really are the backbone to community and grassroots sport and fully deserve to be recognised for their time and efforts. It’s great to see East Ayrshire at the forefront of competitive sport as well as providing so many recreational opportunities from pre-school and grassroots through to over 80s Walking Football and social running clubs.

“For one of the smaller localities we really do punch above our weight with amazing talented athletes, clubs and volunteers who all ensure that sport in East Ayrshire is thriving.”

The East Ayrshire Sports Council is currently seeking investment through sponsorship of the programme to support future elite level athletes to compete at the highest levels of their respective sports around the world.

In addition to a host of personal recognition accolades, the following main awards were presented:

  • Disabled Sports Person of the Year 2023
  • - Winner: Daniel McLaughlin
  • - Finalist: Ewan Muir
  • - Finalist: David McLaughlin
  • Jim Higgins Youth Sport Personality of the Year 2023
  • - Winner: Abbey Kennedy
  • - Finalist: Logan Mitchell
  • - Finalist: Rhian Mitchell
  • Individual Performance of the Year 2023
  • - Winner: Adam Hall
  • - Finalist: Laura Haggarty
  • - Finalist: Logan Mitchell
  • Team Performance of the Year 2023
  • - Winner: Kilmarnock Harriers Girls Under 15s Relay Team
  • - Finalist: Bonnyton Thistle 2010s
  • - Finalist: Cumnock Juniors Walking Football Team
  • Inspiring Females in Sport Award 2023
  • - Winner: Laura Haggarty
  • - Finalist: Maryjane Torrie
  • - Finalist: Carmel McHattie
  • East Ayrshire Sports Council Club of the Year 2023
  • - Winner: Kilmarnock Harriers
  • - Finalist: Ayrshire Gymnastics
  • - Finalist: Kilmarnock Acro Gymnastics Club
  • Service to Sport 2023
  • - Winner: Billy Fulton (Hurlford Badminton Club)
  • - Finalist: Billy Roberton (Kilmarnock Harriers)
  • - Finalist: Ross McCulloch (Craigmark Youth Football Club)

The awards evening also paid tribute to ‘Service to Sport’ winner Billy Fulton who sadly and unexpectedly passed away in July this year. Billy was innovative, passionate and determined to improve sporting opportunities across East Ayrshire by promoting equity and inclusion. As well as being the founder and head coach of Hurlford Badminton Club, he was also the Scottish national coach for a period of time. He coached some of the most successful badminton players that this country has had, with many of them still currently competing at the very top level.

For more information about the Talented Athlete Support Programme or the East Ayrshire Sports Council, please contact EASC@east-ayrshire.gov.uk

See all photos from the night at: Sports Council Awards 30.11.23 | Flickr