Voting open for the Falkirk Sports Council awards

Slamannan boxer Stevie Beattie had a good year
Slamannan boxer Stevie Beattie had a good year

The countdown is on to the 2015 Falkirk Sports Council awards.

The annual awards, supported by The Falkirk Herald, is the largest celebration of sport in Falkirk.

This year, for the first time, we include our top sports professionals as we introduce the new Falkirk Sports Star of the Year award.

A shortlist has been produced for this prestigious award, with the winner to be decided by a text vote in The Falkirk Herald.

Vote for your favourite now using our text service (details below) to ensure your choice gets the recognition they deserve.

Nominations closed on December 31, 2015 for the other 12 amateur award categories – including the Wilkinson Sword currently held by Grant Plenderleith – and the winners will be decided by a judging panel.

All winners will be announced at the ceremony in Falkirk Town Hall in March.

Here’s the names on the professional shortlist:

Stevie Beattie (Boxing)

Winning what’s been referred to as ‘The Champions League of Boxing’ - The Haringey Cup at Alexandra Palace - was Slamannan scrapper Stevie Beattie’s final act as an amateur boxer. He signed up for Spain-based MGM Scotland promotions in October and is eyeing a professional debut in early 2016. Training infrequently at the famous Wildcard gym in Los Angeles he has developed from rookie at Grangemouth ABC to the pro ranks but is still taking time to bring through the next batch of boxers from Central Scotland by dropping in on his old gym in Kilsyth - Golden Gloves. As adept at running as he was boxing in his early days, Beattie still often trains on foot in the Braes alongside brother and prized runner Ryan to maintain his peak condition.

To vote for Stevie text Falkirksport01

followed by your name and address to 65550

Craig Sibbald (Football)

What a year Craig Sibbald has had.

From Academy star full of potential to local hero in one header, or so it seemed. Heading Falkirk into the Scottish Cup final with the winning goal against Hibs in the semi-final was just one moment of an excellent year for the midfielder, who honed his game in the fields around his farmhouse home dreaming of playing in the navy blue with the Bairns.

The Scottish Cup saw him perform on the biggest stage and he also ended Hearts’ unbeaten run in last season’s league with a moment of individual brilliance at Tynecastle.

Since then, Sibbald has laid on countless goals for Falkirk in the second half of last season and the first half of this season as the Bairns charged on to the play-off positions in the SPFL Championship.

All this aged just 20 years old. The next big question is will he hit 200 games for the Bairns or turn 21 first? A great year, and a great future ahead.

To Vote for craig text Falkirksport04

followed by your name and address to 65550

Christie Doran (Motorsport)

Christie Doran may be small but she loves a big challenge. She is a girl in the male-dominated world of motorsport.

The 20-year-old from Carron came second in class in the Scottish Classics at Knockhill in 2012 then became the first female to win silverware in the history of the VAG Trophy in 2014.

For 2015, the challenge got bigger. She had a new car in her first full UK series, a new team and had to learn new tracks. She was up against former champions and guys with years of experience - all at speeds of up to 130mph.

Christie picked up three VAG Trophy class podiums in seven meetings and finished fourth in the B Class championship. Motorsport station, Downforce Radio, even selected her as one of their 10 drivers to watch in 2015.

Chasing the racing dream is expensive and Christie had to find her own sponsors. She also combined her racing with Good Egg Drivers, a road safety campaign that visits UK schools and uses motorsport to warn of the dangers of speeding on the road.

To vote for christie text Falkirksport03

followed by your name and address to 65550

Finn Russell (Rugby)

Scottish rugby has Falkirk Rugby Club to thank for the country’s new talisman.

Finn Russell established himself as Scotland’s first-choice number 10 this year with a sterling show in the Six Nations and then the World Cup. Indeed after only a handful of national appearances his absence was felt when Russell was suspended for the trip to Italy in February. However he returned to the team and was central as Scotland marched to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in the summer - and it should have been so much more. Leaving the reserves of Stirling County for Falkirk was the making of Russell and he quickly moved from Bob Wyllie’s team to Ayr and onto Glasgow Warriors to achieve his current superstardom.

Had he not moved to Sunnyside who knows where he’d be... still a stonemason perhaps?

to Vote for Finn text Falkirksport02

followed by your name and address to 65550

Award categories

Nominations are now being closed for the 2015 SPORTS AWARDS.

While the professional award - Sports Star of the Year - has been put to the public vote but there are 12 more categories up for grabs at the prize ceremony at Falkirk Town Hall in March.

The categories are:

CADET AWARD

(13 years of age or under by 31st December 2015) made to an individual who has achieved a consistently high level of performance over the past year ( Scottish or British representative )

JUNIOR AWARD

(15, 16, 17 years of age by 31st December 2015 ) - made to an individual who has achieved a consistently high level of performance over the past year ( Scottish or British representative )

SENIOR AWARD

(18 years of age and over on 1st January 2015) - made to an individual who has achieved a consistently high level of performance over the past year. ( Scottish or British representative )

VETERAN AWARD

(Considered a veteran by the national governing body of their sport) - made to an individual who has achieved a consistently high level of performance over the past year.

DISABILITY 
INDIVIDUAL AWARD

Made to an individual with a disability who has excelled by achieving consistently high levels of performance over the past year.

DISABILITY TEAM AWARD

Made to an team with disabilities who have excelled by achieving consistently high levels of performance during the past year.

DORA CRUDGE MEMORIAL TROPHY YOUNG COACH OF 
THE YEAR

Recognises the coaching achievements of a young coach on attaining coaching/ judging qualifications during the past year and who has made a contribution to the performance of their club members.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Recognises the coaching achievements of an individual who has made an outstanding

contribution to the performance of their club members.

CLUB OF THE YEAR

Made to a club who have had significant achievements at National or International

Events in the past year.

CLUB TEAM OF THE YEAR

Made to a team who have had a significant achievement in their sport over the

past year and have shown consistently high levels of enthusiasm.

LOCAL SERVICE TO 
SPORT AWARD

Made to an individual (coach, official or administrator) for their voluntary contribution to sport over at least a 10 year period and by doing so helped to develop sport locally.

(This Form must be countersigned by the club secretary )

NATIONAL SERVICE TO SPORT AWARD

Made to an individual (coach, official or administrator) for their voluntary contribution to sport over at least a 20 year period and by doing so helped to develop sport locally. (This Form must be countersigned by the club secretary).