ClubGolf on look-out for RBS Award winners

Children and volunteers from Strathendrick, the 2012/13 RBS Junior Club of the Year, gathered on the ‘Bonnie Banks’ of Loch Lomond to launch this year’s RBS Junior Golf Awards.

RBS Awards launch

ClubGolf, supported by RBS, has begun its search for clubs and individuals who have gone beyond the call of duty to further the game and is inviting nominations before the closing date of 14 January 2014.
 
Presented annually at the star-studded Scottish Golf Awards, the RBS Junior Club of the Year and RBS Volunteer of the Year accolades reward the commitment and innovative work being done at grassroots level to get more kids into golf.

A prize of £1,500 will go to the winning club for investment into its junior section while the country's leading volunteer will receive £500 for their home club, plus £100 to use personally.

RBS Group Head of Sponsorship Bruce Cook is delighted to once again support the positive work being done across Scotland to preserve the health of the game.

"We are honoured to be a part of these special awards," he said.

"The hard work of clubs to grow the junior game and the selfless contribution of so many volunteers across Scotland is vital to the future of golf and the success of so many clubs.

"The always strong pool of worthy candidates makes for a difficult decision but it's indicative of the strength of the game and the good work of Scottish Golf. We certainly look forward to the process."

Strathendrick Junior Convener David Hood was on-hand to pick up the RBS Junior Club of the Year prize at the 2013 Scottish Golf Awards, alongside golfing luminaries Sandy Lyle and Stephen Gallacher.

He was amazed by the impact winning such a prestigious accolade has made at the Stirlingshire venue.

He said: "The club was ecstatic to win the RBS Junior Club of the Year award and we have seen some phenomenal results. This year, our numbers grew dramatically and we now have 74 junior members. This time last year we finished the season with 42 children, so it has been remarkable.

"With our prize money, we purchased more equipment and are investing the remainder in building a new junior training area within the club. Without the support of RBS, we would not have been able to do this.

"The award has meant everything to all of those involved. It recognised the fantastic support we get from our juniors, parents and our superb team of volunteers."

While facing a strong challenge from three other dedicated helpers, indeed one of whom was Strathendrick's very own Jean Leitch, Torvean Junior Convener Shirley Murray collected the RBS Volunteer of the Year honour.

Murray, whose influence at Torvean has been described as 'revolutionary', looks forward to passing on the baton to one of her fellow volunteers, who will receive their award alongside guest of honour Bernard Gallacher OBE at the 2014 Scottish Golf Awards.

Now on his road to recovery after his recent health scare, Gallacher will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for his service to the sport, which encompasses eight appearances in the Ryder Cup and one as a victorious captain in 1995.

"I was absolutely gobsmacked to win the RBS Volunteer of the Year award last year," said Murray. "I was thrilled to bits. I had worked hard but to get the reward was the icing on the cake, and it has opened a good few doors for the club itself.

"We were able to invite a local pro from Inverness to come to the club once a month from April to October and he has developed a very good relationship with the children. It has most definitely had an impact on their standard of play.

"I won't be sad to give up my Volunteer of the Year title because, if the person who gets it in 2014 is as enthusiastic about kids' golf as I am, then good luck to them. I hope they have as much success as I have had."

The RBS Junior Club of the Year Award is open to more than 300 Scottish golf clubs currently delivering ClubGolf, while nominations for the RBS Volunteer of the Year will be invited from Scotland's network of volunteer coaches.

Nominations for both awards will be reviewed by a panel of judges against the following criteria: Exceptional Performance; New and Innovative Ideas; Demonstration of Increased Participation; and Community Engagement/Benefits to the Club. 

ClubGolf Manager, Jackie Davidson, is hopeful that, with so much positive work being done across Scottish golf clubs, the judging panel will have their work cut out in choosing their winners.

"We are always delighted to receive many nominations from volunteers and clubs who all are worthy of recognition," said Davidson.

"It is terrific to be able to reward those outstanding candidates at the Scottish Golf Awards each year and would like to thank RBS for their continued support of this great cause."

To nominate a club or volunteer for the 2013/2014 RBS Junior Golf Awards, visit www.clubgolfscotland.com/rbsawards. All nominations must be received by 14 January 2014.

To read case studies about the good work of last year's shortlisted clubs and volunteers, log-on to www.clubgolfscotland.com/case-studies

You can book tickets for the 2014 Scottish Golf Awards, now established as one of the highlights of the golfing calendar, by calling the ticket hotline on 01334 466477 or visiting www.scottishgolf.org

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