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South Lanarkshire Disability Sports Awards From left Ruairidh Brown, Anthony McCulloch and Elaine Rinn from Claremont Colts and Diane Gillan
East Kilbride celebrated a hat-trick of wins at the South Lanarkshire Disability Sports Awards earlier this month.
Whitehills badminton star Diane Gillan scooped the adult female prize, Lindsayfield cyclist Ruairidh Brown claimed the junior male award and football club Claremont Colts took home the prize for junior club of the year.
Twenty-six-year-old Diane was recognised for her performances in both badminton and athletics. She won gold and silver medals at the Four Nations Badminton Championships last year and also impressed at the Scottish Disability Athletics Championships where she claimed gold in the 100 metres, silver in the soft ball throw and bronze in the long jump.
Diane said, “I’m delighted to win this award, It was a great year for me but I couldn’t have done it without the help of all my family and coaches. I’d like to thank everyone at the Dollan Aqua Centre gym where I do my fitness training, my coaches David Gillespie and Bob Ullah as well as EK Disability Sports Club and Red Star Athletics Club.”
Meanwhile, 16-year-old Ruairidh won the junior prize after winning gold at the Special Olympics National Cycling competition and also winning two bronze medals at the Special Olympics European Summer Games in Belgium last year. The Sanderson High School pupil said: “It’s really nice to win this award and it’s an honour to be recognised by South Lanarkshire Disability Sport. I hope I can go on to the Special Olympics Summer Games in Los Angeles in July and win even more medals.”
East Kilbride’s final award at the ceremony in Hamilton Palace Sports Grounds went to Claremont Colts, a football club which has teams across various age groups from 12 years upwards.
Over the past year the Colts’ won tournaments in Annan and Dumbarton and finished runners-up at a national tournament in Stirling.
Elaine Rinn, who won administrator of the year at the East Kilbride Sports Personality of the Year Awards on May 9, collected the award on behalf of the club alongside coach Anthony McCulloch. "This is an amazing moment for our club and it’s recognition for all the boys’ hard work,” said Elaine from East Mains.
“I remember attending these awards last year and thinking this time next year our club will be up there winning a prize and I’m delighted that has become a reality. Everyone at Claremont has worked so hard and the support we’ve had has been great.”
Finally, Strathaven wheelchair curler and Paralympian Aileen Neilson was inducted into the South Lanarkshire Hall of Fame at the ceremony.