Mhairi Lake from Clydesdale wins Community Coach of the Year award
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The sportscotland COV Awards celebrate all those who break down barriers, inspire and enhance the lives of others through sport, and recognise the commitment of those who apply their own time and effort to make sport accessible to all.
For the last four years, Mhairi has been responsible for getting the club off the ground and is now president and secretary at Clydesdale Netball Club.
She was integral in the introduction of the junior section which has continued to grow and grow, with the club now consisting of over 250 members – from minis (primary school) to seniors (18+).
As well as her work with the junior section, Mhairi led expansion to include a social section and walking netball, increasing accessibility to women and girls from the age of seven to 70 years old.
During her time at the club, she has put on leadership courses for schools and community groups, worked with local sports hubs to put on multi-sport programmes during holidays and has helped establish a new Clydesdale Cup, so local secondary schools could compete against each other in a range of sports.
The club competes in Central, Lanarkshire and Glasgow leagues, with many of the U18 teams achieving great success last season.
While delighted with her award win, a modest Mhairi praised others too.
She said: “I am so proud of everything we have achieved at Clydesdale Netball Club and this is down to the hard work and dedication of a fantastic team of coaches and an enthusiastic committee.
“We are able to provide so many opportunities for girls and women and have created a sense of family within the club where there is something for everyone, whether it be competitive, social, younger children just starting out or older women who try our more gentle version of walking netball.
“We are making a big impact in our community by linking closely with schools, community sports hub and other partners to promote the physical, mental and social well-being benefits of netball.
“I had fantastic mentors and coaches growing up who have helped shape who I am today.”
Mhairi is not content to rest on her laurels and has plans for the future too.
She added: “I now hope to be a positive role model and mentor for young coaches. My favourite part about coaching is getting to meet so many different people.
“It’s incredible seeing people grow in confidence, who come along and reignite that spark or find something they are newly passionate about.”