One of Scotland’s leading curling volunteers has had her years of dedication and contribution to the sport recognised with a Lifetime Achievement in Volunteering award from sportscotland.
Kirsty Letton, 77, from Ayrshire has dedicated her life to curling in Scotland and has no intention of retiring any time soon.
In her 40 years of volunteering on the rink, Kirsty has inspired hundreds of others to get involved in the sport. Since 2014 she has been a driving force behind the Try Curling, Beginners, Improvers and Curling’s Cool programmes in Ayr, which have seen the number of active coaches delivering sessions increase from five to 26.
Kirsty's professional and positive approach has motivated South Ayrshire primary school pupils to have fun on the ice, with 269 youngsters participating in her taster sessions last season.
As well as inspiring the stars of tomorrow, Kirsty instigated the establishment of the strongly contested World Senior Curling Championships in 2000. She also set up the Glynhill Lades Curling International event, which attracts world-class teams to compete in Scotland.
She said: “Without curling I wouldn’t have had so many opportunities or challenges and I wouldn’t have had as much pleasure as I have had. I don’t know where I would be without curling; it has been a huge part of my life for 40 years.
“At the end of the day I still enjoy playing the game and I enjoy the challenges of coaching.
"The sport is so enjoyable for me, so it’s good to see so many others enjoy it because they are playing better and achieving more.”
Praise for Kirsty
Kirsty was nominated by the Royal Caledonian Curling Club’s head of development Judith McCleary, who said: “Kirsty truly demonstrates and encompasses what volunteering is all about. She is modest, hard working and passionate about developing curling in the community and asks for nothing in return.”
Kirsty 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 in 2017.
The prestigious sportscotland Coaching Officiating and Volunteering Awards 2017 were held on 8 November at Stirling Court Hotel where leading athletes congratulated the winners and thanked them for their work in supporting and developing sport in Scotland.
Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland, 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.
“Kirsty has dedicated her life to curling in Scotland, inspiring many to take up the sport and help the nation perform on the world stage. In her incredible 40 years as a volunteer she has helped make curling more accessible for hundreds of youngsters and encouraged people of all ages to be the best players they can be. Kirsty is a credit to the sport and volunteering.
“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. I hope that many more people are inspired by our winners’ stories and recognise the opportunities that exist to get involved in sport at every level from volunteering at your local club or school to coaching or officiating on the world stage.”
At the event, hosted by BBC Scotland’s Bryan Burnett, coaches, officials and volunteers involved in swimming, athletics, lawn bowls, tennis, football, rowing, shinty and curling were recognised for the many hours they dedicate to helping others compete at the best level they can.
Find out more
Be inspired by the stories of all the 2017 winners.
Visit the sportscotland website for information about the COV Awards.