COMMONWEALTH Games hero Eilish McColgan was the recipient of this year’s International Sports Person Award at the legendary Dundee Sports Dinner charity event.
Middle and long-distance runner Eilish, 31, from Dundee, has had a remarkable year, setting a new British record over 5km on the roads and beating Paula Radcliffe’s 21-year-old British half marathon record.
She took the longstanding European and UK 10km record at the Great Manchester Run and won a Commonwealth gold medal – 36 years after her mum Liz – as well as a silver in Birmingham.
Eilish continued her outstanding season securing two additional medals at the European Championships in Munich, with a silver in the 10,000 metres and bronze for the 5000. She is now the first British distance runner to compete in six championship outdoor finals in the same season.
The athletics superstar’s dad, Peter, accepted her award on her behalf last week at the annual Dundee Sports Dinner.
One of the city’s most successful and well-established charity events, Dundee Sports Dinner, which is sponsored by Thorntons Solicitors, Brewin Dolphin, DWK and FreshJet marked its full physical return following pandemic restrictions. It was also the 30th anniversary of its establishment.
The keynote speaker was Celtic, Arsenal and Scotland international footballer Charlie Nicholas, with Scot Squad actor and ‘Third Murray Brother’ Chris Forbes also on the bill.
The main aim of the dinner is to raise much needed funds for local sports clubs and groups to help provide kit, equipment, training facilities and transport. Since the dinner launched in 1992 it has raised more than £400,000 for clubs and individuals.
Other big winners included 14-year-old ice hockey goalkeeper Evelyn Brown, who received the Junior Award.
Evelyn has had an outstanding career since returning to the ice after the pandemic, being selected to represent Scotland at under 15 age level and becoming the youngest girl to compete for the Great Britain ladies under 16 squad. The teenager is also the goalie for Dundee Stars Juniors under 14 team, currently the most successful in its age group in Scotland and received the Headmasters award for S2 pupils at Baldragon Academy.
The coveted Lifetime Achievement Award went to hockey coach Charlotte Jones, who has been a member of Grove Menzieshill Hockey club since it formed in 2010 when Grove Ladies HC and Menzieshill HC merged to establish one of the biggest and successful clubs in the country.
A former goalkeeper who competed to international level, Charlotte has given almost 40 years of her life to supporting and developing her club, the sport, and hockey players, both male and female.
Sandy McDonald, Organising Committee Chair, said: “We are incredibly proud of our three key award winners, who have each shown an overwhelming passion and commitment to their individual sports. Eilish has had a fantastic season, but she is also a wonderful role model to budding track stars and more. She is a shining example of what can be accomplished through sheer determination and grit, as well as her natural talent.
“Teenager Evelyn Brown has a very promising career ahead of her, and I have no doubt we will be hearing about her achievements for many years to come.
“Charlotte Jones is another highly deserving winner. Described by her club as ‘one of a kind’, she has given her life to playing, supporting and coaching hockey, inspiring those around her with her strong spirit and work ethic.”