More than 50 Scottish Olympians and Paralympians from the 2016 Games in Rio descended upon the city of Edinburgh last night in the name of honoring individual and team achievements over the course of the past year. Athletes and coaches alike were in attendance, as winners from categories of Top Male Athlete, Top Female Athlete and Team of the Year, among others, were announced.
The sport of swimming was up for three awards last night, including the prestigious Coach of the Year. That honor was bestowed upon University of Stirling coaches, Ben Higson and Steven Tigg.
At just 30 years of age, Higson has an impressive portfolio of athletes under his tutelage at Stirling, including Olympic medalist Robbie Renwick, European Champion Ross Murdoch and European Open Water Champion Danielle Huskisson.
For Coach Tigg’s part, his most accomplished athlete to date is teen star Duncan Scott, the youngster for whom Tigg has provided guidance since Scott just 7 years old. Flashforward to this past summer, where now-19-year-old Scott wowed the world as an integral member of the Scottish squad’s silver medal-winning 4x200m freestyle relay. Scott was also a member of the men’s silver medal-winning 4x100m medley relay, a powerful foursome that included World Record Holder Adam Peaty. Scott turned heads yet again in Rio by making his very first Oympic final in the men’s 100m freestyle.
Scott was last year’s Sir Peter Heatly Trophy for the Young Athlete of the Year and was up for Team Scotland’s Male Athlete of the Year last night. Tennis Champion Andy Murray won that honor last night in Edinburgh, however.
The 4×200 men’s freestyle relay was also nominated for both the Team of the Year Award, as well as the Sporting Moment of the Year Award, but fell short of winning the trophy at last night’s ceremony.
Of the night honoring Team Scotland’s best, Chair of Commonwealth Games Scotland, Paul Bush OBE stated, “2016 has proved beyond doubt that Scottish sport is truly in a golden age. The individuals and teams shortlisted represent the absolute pinnacle of achievement in sport and I look forward to celebrating with them on what will be a memorable and inspirational night.”