Forres man wins Moray Sports Personality of the Year
FROM taking part in no sport to winning Moray Sports Personality of the Year in just three years – it has been quite the journey to success for Forres triathlete Stephen Sharpe.
At sportMoray’s annual awards night at Elgin Town Hall on Wednesday, Mr Sharpe (45) picked up the Veteran Sports Athlete Award before scooping the main Moray Sports Personality of the Year Award at the end of the night.
Although he missed being presented with the award through illness, Stephen spoke of the pride he felt after being told he had won.
He said: “It was a total surprise. I’m totally honoured. It is amazing to think three years ago I wasn’t doing any sports and now I am sports personality of the year.
“It shows what hard work and dedication can do. It is nice to be able to show that to others and myself.”
Stephen’s journey towards sports personality success began after he started to jog to burn off his “Christmas excess”. In the summer of 2016, he started taking part in triathlons and has never looked back.
In 2018, Stephen qualified to represent Great Britain and, this year, he won a silver medal at the European Middle Distance Championships in Romania.
He said: “When I decide I’m going to do something I like to really go for it. I never looked back after the first triathlon.
“I’m quite lucky with my work as I am self employed and can fit in training. That got me to the point in 2018 where I qualified for Team GB.
“My first experience racing for Team GB I had no idea where I was going to be. I thought maybe I would come last but it didn’t matter. But it was amazing. It was a total surprise to finish second.”
Stephen, who works as a drumming instructor and teaches at local schools, added: “My work is all about inspiring kids through music and it’s lovely to be able to bring sport into that too.”
Stephen wasn’t the only award winner on the night – with a total of 14 awards handed out.
The Intermediate Team Award, sponsored by the Northern Scot, went to West End Primary’s badminton team, Inspiring Darts won the Community Engagement Award and the Senior Team Award went to Elgin Duellist Fencing Club.
Gareth Jenkins (Elgin) won the Local Service to Sport Award, Rona McCaig and Carol Campbell (Buckie) won the Club Level Award and Jane Hay (Fochabers) picked up the School Sport Volunteer Award.
Kate McLuckie (Elgin) won Junior Sports Athlete, Neal Anderson (Rothes) won the Coach Award and Senior Sports Athlete of the Year went to Henry Stephen (Forres).
Lonach Shaw (Aberlour) and Lucy Evans (Forres) were Intermediate Sportsman and Sportswoman respectively, while the Special Achievement Award was shared between Isla Pritchard (Kinloss) and David Taylor (Elgin).
Guest speaker on the night was Scotland Women’s national football team captain, Aberdonian Rachel Corsie.