Above: jogscotland Hazlehead were Group of the Year 2015
Every year, we gather together to celebrate the very best of jogscotland at our Annual Awards.
This year’s Awards Dinner will be held at the Hilton Hotel, Glasgow on 29 October, as part of the scottishathletics Annual Awards. Special guest will be Derek Redmond, and some of Scotland’s Rio 2016 Olympians and Paralympians will also be in attendance on what promises to be an inspiring and enjoyable evening. For those attending, arrival time is 7 for 7.30pm
The nominations are as follows:
jogscotland Achiever of the Year
Ann Duthie (Fraserburgh jogscotland)
In July 2012, Ann was diagnosed with both ovarian and tonsil cancer in the same week, resulting in major surgery to her neck and throat, followed by a full hysterectomy. This also involved a bowel resection, when it was discovered that her ovarian tumour was attached to the bowel.
Despite gruelling rounds of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, Ann decided to return to running and yoga within six weeks of finishing chemo. She has since undergone further surgery and chemotherapy, but has made a conscious decision to run at least once a week for as long as she can manage during treatment.
Despite the many challenges she has had to overcome, Ann still turns up to jogging sessions with a smile and a positive attitude.
Her nomination praised her as “an amazing lady who shows true determination and grace, and is a source of encouragement to everyone who knows her.”
Allison Smith (Jog Stewarton)
Allison is a Jog Leader with Jog Stewarton, who always puts others’ running goals before her own. Nonetheless, her own running has reached new heights this year as she tackled her first ultramarathons.
A major achievement for Allison this year has been the decision to speak out about her own survival of child abuse. The personal strength she has gained from running gave her the courage to tell her family and friends, report the abuse and receive support to help her deal with her experiences, and identify as a survivor. She is now using running to help others in her position find hope – despite being hampered by injuries, often brought on by stress, she completed River Ayr Way ultramarathon to raise funds for Break the Silence, the charity which has supported her.
John Stewart (North Ayrshire Athletics Club jogscotland)
John took early retirement from his role as a secondary teacher due to issues with depression and severe anxiety.
He started with North Ayrshire Athletics Club jogscotland group a little over a year ago, and has not only come out of his shell and started to interact with other joggers, he has begun taking an active role in running of both the group and the parent club.
Running has helped improve John’s mental health so much that he now regularly volunteers at club events helping young athletes and complies the press reports – two roles he wouldn’t have dreamed of undertaking merely two years ago.
John’s story is a prime example of how the social side of jogscotland can have an even more positive impact on an individual’s mental health than their physical wellbeing.
He is praised as “a credit to the club and a shining example for anyone thinking of taking up running”.
jogscotland Leader of the Year
Debbie Aitken (Edinburgh Frontrunners)
Debbie was one of Edinburgh Frontrunners’ first Jog Leaders. She integrated their Learn to Run programme into the group, and also helped jogscotland trial our new walking programme, resulting in a great range of abilities being supported by the group.
As club president, she has been a tireless promoter of the group within wider LGBT circles, encouraging others to come along to their first session, and describing herself as EFR’s “perpetual beginner,” as she encourages others to take their first steps into physical activity.
She has achieved all this while managing chronic flare-ups of Crohn’s disease. In July, she completed a 5k race after weeks of being on a liquid and baby food diet, but remains determined to participate, no matter what.
She is praised as “endlessly encouraging, accepting and enabling.”
Neil Nairn (Glasgow Dental Hospital and School Runners)
Neil is 100% committed to this workplace group – and has even been known to come into work on his days off so that members don’t miss a run.
He gives incredible levels of encouragement to everyone, at every level, from jogging alongside complete beginners at their first session, to giving up his own races to accompany members and help them achieve PBs.
He is a very positive leader and never fails to give members’ achievements a mention and a clap at each session.
His motto of “we leave together and come back together” sums up his enthusiasm for getting everyone involved.
Neil Scott (JogScotland Haddington)
Neil is the ‘heart’ of JogScotland Haddington, which he founded six years ago. One of his nominators said: “He just simply believes you can do it, which often means people achieve much more than they think they are capable of.”
His dedication also demonstrates just how well jogscotland can support the wider running community – the group has helped reinvigorate a long-standing local running club by the addition of a large number of new jogscotland members, most of whom would never previously have considered joining a ‘proper’ running club.
One nominator said Neil had helped him go from a complete beginner to completing ultras including the Hoka Highland Fling and The Devil o’the Highlands.
He is described as “encouraging, knowledgeable and selfless.”
jogscotland Group of the Year
JogScotland Kintore was establish around two years ago, and is run by Jog Leaders Tammy Wilson and Stephen Simpson.
Many of those who nominated the group praised it as being not just a jog group, but a huge, happy family, whose members support and motivate each other. The leaders see the potential in everyone, from those jogging for 30 seconds to people planning their first marathon.
With up to 90 joggers each week, the group has transformed not only the lives of its members but also the community in the small town of Kintore.
Sessions are both challenging and enjoyable, with an atmosphere of encouragment, belief and spirit.
It is praised as a group that “makes dreams possible.”
Kemnay jogscotland only started a year ago with around 15 members, but has already grown to 60 members, with 12 trained Jog leaders covering every level from beginner to advanced.
Sessions are always buzzing with excitement, with members enjoying fantastic scenery and interesting routes scouted out by jog leaders in their own time.
Nominators varied from a new mum who had lost her confidence, to a 60-year-old returning to running after a 20 year break.
Members particularly benefit from the humour, kindness and effective encouragement provided by founders Laura Kirkland and Sally Wilkinson.
STAART (St Andrews Adventure Running Team)
STAART fosters health and ability, with spirit of genuine support and encouragement that often extends into members’ lives outside the club.
As well as having outstanding leaders, STAART is a genuinely caring community. One nominator recalled that at their first ever race, the event was won by one member of STAART, but the entire group waited to cheer in the last member, who finished 20 minutes behind the rest of the team – having been supported the whole way round by another member. They described the group as “the most inclusive team I have ever seen”.