A Perth swimming coach has had her years of dedication to sport recognised after winning sportscotland’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Coaching.
Ann Dickson, the Head Swimming Coach at Perth City Swim Club, has spent the last 25 years at the club mentoring the area’s young swimmers and helping some to Olympic and Commonwealth glory.
As a PE Teacher, Ann has always had a love of sport, but after being a competitive swimmer in her teens swimming was the sport she was most drawn to and her passion for it has shown no sign of wilting through the years, she coached swimming for a number of years in the Borders before moving to Perth.
Throughout her time as a coach she has managed to juggle extensive work commitments to ensure she was still there for her swimmers. In recent years Ann has guided Perth City to success at Scottish, British and International level.
She has consistently placed swimmers on Scottish and British Youth teams and latterly Scottish and British Senior teams most notably Commonwealth, European, World and Olympic medallist Stephen Milne, Gold Coast swimmer Scott McLay and Camilla Hattersley who competed at Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018.
Despite those high-profile successes, Ann says the biggest buzz she gets from the sport is to see her youngest club swimmers swim alongside the juniors and seniors at Perth City’s Club Championship.
She said: “When I started coaching I was just doing it for enjoyment, I wanted to put something back into a sport I’d had a lot of fun in. I just tried to make sure all the swimmers maximised their potential.
“Sometimes you get swimmers that are a bit special and it’s exciting to see them get to the highest levels. Recently I’ve been very lucky, I’ve had Stephen Milne, Camilla Hattersley and Scott McLay go to Commonwealth Games, that was special. I coached Camilla and Stephen from age 10 right through to 18, Stephen is 24 and is still swimming with me. To see him go on and win an Olympic medal was incredible.
“Scott, Stephen and Camilla are all ex-Perth City swimmers. That’s pretty special for a small age group club.
“But my favourite gala in the whole year is our club championships and all the little ones, from seven upwards all compete, and I always get a real buzz out of that. That’s what it is about, fun and enjoyment.
Ann picked up her award on an evening where inspirational coaches, officials and volunteers from all over Scotland were celebrated across 13 categories for their significant contribution to sport over the past 12 months.
About the COV Awards
The sportscotland Coaching Officiating and Volunteer Awards 2018, were held at Glasgow City Chambers on Thursday, November 15th where leading athletes congratulated the winners and thanked them for their work in supporting and developing sport in Scotland.
Stewart Harris, sportscotland Chief Executive, said: “Every year across Scotland, thousands of dedicated sporting enthusiasts devote their time, knowledge and skills to help others achieve their sporting goals. Our Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards provide us with a chance to celebrate the great sporting achievements that are taking place every day and congratulate individuals on their commitment to Scottish sport.
“Ann has given so much to the sport of swimming, her club and of course all of the swimmers she has worked with over the years. This award is truly fitting for a lifetime of hard work and dedication.”
“At sportscotland we are implementing a world-class sporting system at every level in Scotland and we can only do so with the support of the many dedicated coaches, officials and volunteers.”
At the event, hosted by BBC Scotland’s Bryan Burnett, coaches, officials and volunteers involved in squash, wheelchair basketball, para swimming, badminton, rugby, judo, lawn bowls, swimming, football, athletics and boccia were recognised for the many hours they dedicate to helping others compete at the best level they can.
Find out more
Visit the sportscotland website for information about the COV Awards