An Edinburgh coach who volunteers his time to mentor across three sports has had his hard work and dedication recognised after being named sportscotland Coach Developer of the Year.
Bob Easson has excelled in several roles across a range of sports over the years and currently works in squash, rugby and basketball.
He is performance director on the board of Scottish Squash, mentors and helps executives, coaches and players at all levels at Basketball Scotland and also plays the role of director of rugby at Edinburgh Academical Football Club, the oldest rugby club in Scotland.
Despite his wide-ranging remit, what drives Bob remains the same as when he started out as a PE teacher in the 1960s - the desire to see young people develop.
He said: “I became a PE teacher in the mid-60s because I wanted to work with young people and I am really keen to see young people develop.
“I’ve been involved in teaching, coaching and mentoring for a long time working with young coaches.
"The proud moments are seeing someone improve, I get a buzz out of that, to see young coaches get better and move on.
“Coaches and athletes have to have many people who help them out throughout their careers and it’s brilliant to be able to be part of that journey.”
Praise for Bob
Bob has helped with several changes at Scottish Squash in recent years, proving influential for the players, coaches and executive team during this time by raising awareness of what is required to succeed in sport on the world stage and helping players to take responsibility for their own development.
Scotland’s squash players have had some great results, including the first medals on the world stage in 17 years with Alan Clyne and Greg Lobban winning men's doubles gold in the 2017 World Championships and silver in 2018.
Paul Bell, national coach at Scottish Squash, explained: “Bob has mentored me through my time as national coach and his guidance and advice have been invaluable to me making the impact I have made in the sport.”
Derek O’Riordan, head coach at Edinburgh Academicals, added: “I think Bob is the best coach and mentor in the UK.
"He has contributed so much across so many sports and made an outstanding contribution to the success of sport in Scotland.”
Bob picked up his 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.
He won praise from Stewart Harris, sportscotland chief executive, who said: “Bob has given so much to all the sports he has worked in, the clubs and of course the players and coaches he has guided over the years.
"This award is truly fitting for a lifetime of hard work and dedication.”
About the COV Awards
The sportscotland Coaching Officiating and Volunteer Awards 2018 were held at Glasgow City Chambers on Thursday, 15 November and were a celebration of many of the unsung heroes who support and develop sport in Scotland.
Stewart Harris added: “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.
“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