The dedication of West Lothian athletes, coaches and volunteers was recognised at West Lothian Council's Celebrating Sport 2018 awards.

The flagship event took place at Linlithgow Burgh Halls, with over 90 guests from community sports clubs, partner organisations and schools attending to support the worthy finalists, who were all nominated by the public.

 
Depute Leader of the Council Kirsteen Sullivan officially welcomed everyone to the event, which was MC'd by Michael Stewart, Principal Teacher for Scottish Attainment Challenge in West Lothian.
 
The guest speaker was Craig McLean, an international swimmer who attended Deans Community High School and is a former Excellence in School Sport Programme (ESSP) pupil.  Craig spoke about his path to elite performance, the problems he's encountered along the way, and achieving his goal of representing Scotland at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Great Britain at the recent European Championships.   
 
Leader of the Council, Lawrence Fitzpatrick, said: "Celebrating Sport 2018 provides us with the opportunity to honour the dedication and commitment of our local athletes, clubs, coaches and volunteers in West Lothian.  
 
"Congratulations to everyone who was nominated and to all the finalists who have shown such a high level of talent and dedication to sport."
 
Archer James Tocher from Inveralmond Community High School in Livingston was on target to take home the prestigious Sports Person of the Year award, with Livingston Athletic Club's Sandra Hardacre clinching the Coach of the Year trophy.
 
Other winners included: St Kentigern's Academy pupil Chelsea Bishop, who was presented with the Contribution to School Sport award; cricketer Jim Wilson in the Local Service to Sport category; and Livingston Athletics Club, who were crowned Club of the Year.
 
A fantastic 12 Gold School Sport awards were also presented in the night, in recognition of a school's outstanding achievement of putting quality physical education and school sport at the heart of their planning, practice and ethos. A total of 69 West Lothian schools now hold a Bronze, Silver or Gold School Sport Award, one of highest participation rates for any local authority, and equates to over 10% of all awards across Scotland.  
 
Andrew Baptie from sportscotland presented Gold awards to Addiewell, Carmondean, Dedridge, Knightsridge, Livingston Village, Simpson, Springfield, St Mary's (Polbeth), St Nicholas' and St Ninian's primaries and Deans Community High School. 
 
Provost Tom Kerr closed the event with a vote of thanks, acknowledging the hundreds of volunteers in clubs and organisations who provide all levels of sport across West Lothian week in week out. He also thanked council staff in both the Active Schools & Community Sport team and Linlithgow Burgh Halls for delivering such a successful event.

List of finalists in full

Contribution to School Sport Finalists: Michael Stewart (Principal Teacher for Scottish Attainment Challenge in West Lothian); Alistair Paton (volunteer at Linlithgow Bridge PS); Chelsea Bishop (St Kentigern's Academy pupil)
Winner - Chelsea Bishop presented by Jim Cameron, Head of Education

Local Service To Sport Finalists: Tracey McCardle (Netball & Swimming); Jim Wilson (Cricket); Graeme Lawson (Athletics)
Winner - Jim Wilson presented by Rick Kenney, SALSC Board Member

Club of the Year Finalists: Livingston Athletics Club; Bathgate Amateur Swim Club; West Lothian Clarion Cycling Club 
Winner - Livingston Athletics Club presented by Elaine Cook, Depute Chief Executive

Coach of the year Finalists: Maxine McLoughlin (Swimming); Sandra Hardacre (Athletics); Matthew Ball (Cycling)
Winner - Sandra Hardacre presented by Paul Stark, Active Schools & Community Sport Manager

Sports Person of the Year: James Tocher (Archery); Shannon Archer (Gymnastics); Isla Calvert (Athletics)
Winner - James Tocher presented by Craig McLean