SPORTSMEN and women from the Forres area featured in nine of the 13 available sections at a Moray-wide sports recognition awards ceremony.
Findhorn’s Campbell Ross (curling), Gillies Munro and Daniel Harris (sailing) along with Jamie Paterson (powerboating), Daniel Breerton (football) from Forres, Andrew Barr (orienteering) from Dyke, and Anna MacFadyen (tetrathlon) from Roseisle went a step further, winning six categories at the SportMoray Recognition Awards held in the Alexander Graham Bell Suite at Moray College, Elgin.
"It just shows the wealth of talent that is around Forres covering all age groups in a variety of sports," said local leisure attendant and co-nominee, Douglas Cowie.
"Many of the local nominees competed at national or international level which shows, regardless of age, what can be achieved with effort and dedication."
SportMoray’s Ann Rossiter presented the ‘Coach Award’ and congratulated the winners.
"I hope their success inspires other clubs and community members," she said, "allowing continued development and progression throughout Moray that will create a Legacy for our future generations."
The awards were introduced in 1999 to recognise individuals and teams who have contributed or achieved a great deal in their chosen sport at recreational, regional, national or international level.
Twelve of the thirteen categories were nominated for by the public. One category comprised the winners of several others to identify the overall winner.
Local nominees who narrowly missed out on awards were: Forres and Longmorn cyclists, Callum Finlayson and Peter Ettles as ‘Veteran Sports Athlete’; Forres Academy Badminton Team for the ‘Intermediate Team Award’; Forres Harriers Masters Team as ‘Senior Team’ of the year; and orienteer Kathryn Barr of Dyke, for the Heather Stanning Award (Intermediate Sportswoman).
Powerboat driver and Kinloss Primary pupil, Jamie Paterson (11) of Findhorn won the Junior Sports Athlete Award.
Jamie won gold in the 8-12 age group at the national finals of the Royal Yacht Association Honda Youth Challenge. The event was the result of 15 regional finals bringing together the top placed participants at the Southampton Boat Show. Jamie’s win for Scotland was a first in its history.
"We couldn’t be prouder of him," said his mum, Katrina Paterson.
"Jamie is constantly on the go - he practiced very hard for the championship, spending his afternoons after school practicing in the bay.
"He really deserves the recognition for his hard work."
Gillies Munro (18) and Daniel Harris (18) from Findhorn won the Senior Team Award, having continued to make progress in UK sailing this season, the highlight being qualification for the 29er World Championships in Kingston, Canada where they took 7th place overall.
"Receiving the Sport Moray Award was great for us," said Gillies.
"It is awesome to be recognised in your local area for sporting efforts - we are really chuffed."
Campbell Ross (62) of Findhorn was joint winner of the Coach Award for his involvement in local curling.
Campbell has been the lead coach for Moray Junior Curling Club since its inception and helped make it one of the biggest junior clubs in Scotland.
"We are very lucky to have a super bunch of youngsters who enjoy the sport," he said.
"They are a joy to work with and it is great to see them competing with - and beating - some of the adults.
"It is also great to see some of them competing at national level."
Daniel Breerton (17) of Forres won the Special Achievement Award for outstanding personal achievement in sport while overcoming adversity.
Daniel undertakes local voluntary work while assisting in the running of Forres Area Soccer 7s.
This season, he was an assistant coach and referee but only because he is too old to play himself! He has cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus but this did not deterred him from playing football over the last seven years.
Daniel felt "privileged to accept the award, given the vast array of accolades and achievements that the nominees collected in a diverse range of sports and disciplines."
"To even have been considered was a real honour," he said.
Young orienteer, Andrew Barr (17) of Dyke, took home the Intermediate (14-17) Sportsman Award.
This year, he represented Great Britain at the European Youth Championships in Macedonia and the Junior European Cup in Belgium, in addition to regular appearances in the Scotland team for Regional and Home International Championships.
He is aiming to be selected for the Junior World championships next year so his training is focused to peak for the main selection races in early 2015.
However, Andrew is currently enjoying his local recognition.
"I’m overjoyed with receiving the Sportman Award," he said. "It was a nice surprise as there was very good competition."
Tetrathlon athlete and Forres Academy pupil, Anna MacFadyen (15) of Roseisle won the Intermediate Sportswoman Award.
In the Scottish Tetrathlon Winter Series, she took two 1sts and a 3rd place. She came 1st overall in the Moray and Nairn Pony Club Tetrathlon then participated in the Royal Windsor Horse Show Tetrathlon as part of the winning Scottish Team. Anna came 4th overall as 1st placed girl.
At the Scottish Tetrathlon Championships, she was individual winner from Area 1 and crowned Scottish Champion.
To top her year off, she was individual overall winner of the Pony Club Tetrathlon Championships in Yorkshire and crowned British Junior Tetrathlon Champion.
"Anna has had a great year," said her mum Susan.
"We were very proud as there were some fantastic young athletes nominated - it was lovely to see Anna’s efforts rewarded.
"She trains incredibly hard with lots of help from Forres harriers, Forres bluefins, the local pony club and Mark from Forres shooting club.
"Many thanks are due to them - we are just the taxi drivers!"