A committed coach who works tirelessly to help young people thrive on the basketball court has had her dedication recognised after being named sportscotland Young Persons' Coach of the Year.
Mhairi Guthrie has gone beyond her work as a secondary school teacher and made an incredible impact coaching the Bridge of Don Academy basketball team and as head coach at local club Grampian Flyers.
Mhairi is always looking for ways to tailor her approach to give as many young people as possible the chance to enjoy basketball and improve their own game. Adapted sessions can include balloon basketball and walking basketball and Mhairi has learned how to use signs and symbols as visual supports to help those who need to communicate and express themselves in a different way.
By going above and beyond for the young people she has worked with and helping other coaches on their journey in sport, Mhairi has taken basketball forward in Aberdeen and Grampian in a way that few others could.
In her own words
Mhairi said: “For the young people it’s about having fun, we’re trying to encourage growth, refine motor skills and keep them active.
"For the older ones it becomes more about technique and making sure they achieve everything they can on the basketball court.
“It has to be their journey and their decisions, we try to make sure they have a voice in everything we’re doing.
"The best bit is when kids I’ve coached years ago tell me that they’re still playing and it’s still a part of their lives.”
Mhairi picked up her award at the sportscotland Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards 2019 at Glasgow City Chambers on 21 November.
Inspirational coaches, officials and volunteers from all over Scotland were recognised across 15 categories for their significant contribution to sport.
Hosted by BBC Scotland’s Bryan Burnett, the Awards celebrated coaches, officials and volunteers for their work in sports such as swimming, cycling, athletics, football, karate, wheelchair curling, basketball, boxing and canoeing.
Stewart Harris, sportscotland chief executive, said: “Every year across Scotland, thousands of dedicated sporting enthusiasts devote their time, knowledge and skills to afford others the chance to take part in sport, and experience all the benefits that come with sport participation.
“Our Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards give us a chance to celebrate the great sporting achievements that are taking place every day and congratulate those who are making an incredible commitment to Scottish sport.
“At sportscotland we are implementing a world-class sporting system at every level and that is only possible with the support of the many dedicated coaches, officials and volunteers.”
Find out more
Visit the sportscotland website for information about coaching, officiating and volunteering.