Larbert sports volunteer nets sportsScotland award

A sports enthusiast from Larbert landed the Volunteer of the Year title at the sportScotland awards last night (Wednesday).

Andrew Lauder (20) was recognised for his commitment to the Tryst Community Sports Club. Over the last five years, the student has been crucial to the club’s success and has become the face of the Holiday Camp.

Andrew Lauder was named volunteer of the year 2016 at last night's sportScotland awards. Pic by Michael Gillen

Andrew Lauder was named volunteer of the year 2016 at last night's sportScotland awards. Pic by Michael Gillen

As a ‘Young Hub Leader’ he helps run the camp, plus has a say in the running of the local sports facility based in and around Larbert High school, which gave him a route into TCSC.

“My role is as a Young Hub Leader. It’s meant to give young people a voice in running of the Community Sports Hub,” Andrew told The Falkirk Herald.

“The role I have can really be anything. There was criteria set out when I started but the role has outgrown it and progressed to suit the needs in the TCSC. I can be updating social media, visiting primary schools summer fayres to promote what we do, or taking classes (Andrew runs the muli-sport class at TCSC). It all varies.

“The nomination came as a surprise when I got the email through. It’s not something I ever imagined because I just enjoy what I’m doing. I get enjoyment from the tasks I have. That’s that’s why I give up my time – whatever spare time I have really – to do it.”

There’s not much spare time around either. When he’s not volunteering at TCSC he’s training to become a PE teacher on the Physcial Edication degree course at Edinburgh Univeristy and running the multi-sport classes for P1 to P3 children in the club. As a fan of Falkirk FC from a young age, Andrew also voluntarily assists the football team with home match media and is assistant kitman to the first team. He is also a Scout Leader where he is responsible for the day to day operations of the club. Keeping fit and active must help with a schedule like that.

But TCSC holds a special passion for Andrew since he got involved and as his role has evolved, so too has the club – and the 20-year-old wants that to continue to improve the sports offering in Larbert and Stenhousemuir.

“I was at Larbert High and did volunteering in S6 with the S1 football team and running the futsal team. I helped run clubs and the captain’s challenge with my friend Fraser Johnston – which also included the memorable visit of Sir Chris Hoy.

“I got to the end of S6 and didn’t want to end all the activities I’d been involved in and running, but this volunteering opportunity was there. At that point we didn’t know what the role was but we’ve made it grow.

“It’s a great facility we have here in Larbert on our doorstep. There’s a wide variety of clubs and there really is something for everyone, of all ages. It’s giving adults a place to exercise through the week, introducing young people to sport and giving the holiday camps too. There’s a lot going on.

“Having 70 kids in multi-sports shows there’s a demand for it and it’s well liked and we’re putting something out there that people want.

““But there’s great potential to be better. That’s what I have been speaking about and we can grow the holiday programme. It is doing well already, but it can be bigger and it can be better.

“I’m delighted to win the award, but as I said, I get my enjoyment from my tasks at Tryst.”

Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland praised Andrew and said: “Every year across the country, thousands of dedicated volunteers devote their time, knowledge and skills to help others achieve their sporting goals. It’s an honour that sportscotland has the opportunity to thank them for all that they’re doing to ensure Scotland’s sporting generation receives unrivalled coaching.

“Andrew is an inspiration to his generation; his driven, energetic attitude to sport is unrivalled. The commitment he has shown to his local sports club and football team illustrates his passion to make a difference in his sporting community.

“The future of Scottish sport is certainly safe in the hands of young adults like Andrew. I hope more youngsters who are as passionate as sport as he is are encouraged to follow suit. I wish Andrew all the best in his future endeavours and congratulate him on becoming sportscotland’s ‘Young Volunteer of the Year’ for 2016.”