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RBS Junior Club and Volunteer of the Year Revealed

7th February 2013
2012 RBS Volunteer of the Year, Iain Holt, from Turnhouse GC and Jim Cowper of RBS Junior Club of the Year Dundas Parks GC launch the 2013 awards with kids from each club under the Forth Rail Bridge.

The shortlists of candidates nominated for the 2013 RBS Junior Club of the Year and Volunteer of the Year have been announced, featuring the clubs and individuals from across Scotland that have demonstrated excellence in promoting golf for young people in the past 12 months.

Winners in each category will be presented at the high-profile 2013 Scottish Golf Awards alongside some of the sport's biggest names, including two-time major winner Sandy Lyle who is set to receive a lifetime achievement award.

Operated in association with Scotland's national junior programme, ClubGolf, the RBS Junior Club of the Year, which offers an increased prize fund of £3,000 for return investment into junior golf at the recipients' club or facility, will be contested between Durness (Highlands and Islands) Falkirk, Strathendrick (both Central) and The Whitecraigs (West).

Last year, South Queensferry club Dundas Parks topped the vote, which was cast by an independent panel of judges, and was awarded a prize of £1,000. This has since been put to good use to enlist the help of a PGA Professional in the delivery of Stages 2 and 3 of their ClubGolf programme.

Commenting on the effect that such a prestigious distinction has made at Dundas Parks, club captain James Cowper said: “This was a great honour for a nine-hole community club and we were naturally elated to win.

“I have been busy dealing with the spin-off resulting from the extensive media coverage. Junior membership has doubled, our high school coaching is now in its second year and we have also recruited five extra coaches for 2013.

“In winning the award and engaging our partners in Active Schools, supported by our ClubGolf Regional Manager, we have raised the profile of the club and sport beyond all recognition in the local community. This is the real reward.”

This 2013 winner will benefit from an even greater first prize of £1,500 with £500 going to each of the three runners-up. 

A total of £600, meanwhile, is on offer for the individual named the RBS Volunteer of the Year, which is open to those who have selflessly contributed time and effort at their respective club and had wider input into Scottish club golf.

The majority of this figure (£500) has been earmarked for reinvestment into the winner's home club, while they are free to spend the remaining £100 as they please.

Ian Holt from Turnhouse was the judges' chosen recipient in 2012 and has since been delighted by the effect his achievement has had at the club.

He said: “The award has given the club and my fellow volunteers a big lift as being recognised in this way shows that the work we are doing is important and essential to bring young people into the game.

“Whether you are a club or know of an individual involved in delivering the ClubGolf programme to young people, then this is the perfect opportunity to shout out and let people know what you are doing and achieving.”

In the running for the honour this year are Elgin's Louise Marshall (Grampian), Jean Leitch from RBS Club of the Year contenders Strathendrick, Thornton member Keith Renton (Tayside and Fife) and Shirley Murray of Torvean (Highlands and Islands).

Two representatives from each aforementioned club will attend the Hilton Glasgow on 1 March to see the victorious club or facility and individual crowned during the glitzy 2013 Scottish Golf Awards.

Applications for the RBS Volunteer of the Year were invited from all volunteers involved in golf in Scotland, while the club prize is reserved for those clubs and facilities currently affiliated with ClubGolf.

ClubGolf Manager Jackie Davidson was pleased that the hard work being done for junior golf at club level is being recognised for the sixth consecutive year at the annual event.

She said: “Everyone at ClubGolf takes great delight in seeing all of the efforts of Scotland's most engaged junior clubs and individuals recognised at such a high-profile event as the Scottish Golf Awards.

“All of those shortlisted represent the terrific work that's being done at the grass roots of the game to attract as many young people as possible to pick up the game of golf .

“We owe a great deal of gratitude to all of these people and rewarding them with the RBS Junior Club and Volunteer of the Year awards are just a small token of this thanks.”

The Royal Bank of Scotland launched a three-and-a-half year sponsorship of the ClubGolf programme in the summer of 2011, to support the development of golf in the community and encourage children to stay in the game.

On their backing of the 2013 awards, RBS' Head of Group Sponsorship, Bruce Cook, said: “RBS is delighted to support the 2013 Junior Club and Volunteer of the Year awards, which highlight the hard work being done in the Scottish golfing community to grow the game.

“Without the dedication of people like this year's nominees, the strength of junior golf in Scotland as it is would be impossible to achieve.

“We hope this programme helps to provide more youngsters with the opportunity to take up this great game and we look forward to following their success in the future.”

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