Grassroots heroes John Frame, Elaine McKenna, Derek Patterson, Doug Johnston and David Ramage have been named winners of the Scottish FA's South East region's Best Volunteer in Schools, Disability, Youth, Girls’ and Women’s and Adult Football Award respectively, in the 2012 Scottish FA Grassroots Awards, presented by McDonald’s and the Sunday Mail.
The Grassroots Awards celebrate those young players, coaches and volunteers in the six Scottish FA regions, who dedicate their time to supporting grassroots football in their local community.
Elaine has been involved in disability football for 18 years. She is the driving force behind the football section of Lothian Special Olympics (LSO) and not only attends every National Event with a number of teams, she takes Lothian Special Olympics (Lothian Hibernian) to events across Britain, Europe and the World.
She attended the Special Olympics Summer World Games held in Athens 2011 as a GB football coach, taking with her 5 Lothian players who had been selected as part of the GB teams.
There are currently 50 players training each week at the Lothian Special Olympics coaching sessions and Elaine has been the inspiration and key player in linking Lothian Special Olympics football with the Hibernian Community Trust.
She has a huge passion and commitment to the programme and to the players involved and works tirelessly in an effort to make sure every player with a learning disability has the opportunity to reach their potential.
Without Elaine and her dedication, LSO football would not be the success story it is today.
John, 55, puts in a tremendous amount of hours ensuring that the pupils in the Lothian’s are able to participate in a safe, encouraging, football environment.
John has been a major driving force in the organisation and running of schools football in the Lothian area for about 30 years. He has for many years organised school football in EMSFA (East and Midlothian) for all age-groups and also for Lothian Schools FA at Under 16 and senior level.
John is the driving force behind the progress of Newbattle Community HS, where he is a full-time member of the History Department, as well as running five teams per year for many years.
His commitment to school football is second to none, and he is richly deserving of the award of Best Volunteer in Schools Football.
Derek Patterson, from Kelso, has been named winner of the South East FA’s Volunteer in Youth Football Award.
Derek created the youth set up at Kelso Football Club nearly ten years ago, with the formation of an under-9s team.
The under-9s squad has grown under Derek’s leadership and is now the club’s under-17s, while Kelso FC has grown and developed teams across all age ranges.
Derek works tirelessly for the kids and the club – helping to organise the twice-weekly training sessions, while also ensuring that coaches are in place for every age group and can help provide any training required.
Derek also takes primary school aged children every Friday evening as part of the Scottish FA Soccer Centres and his roles in football in the community is appreciated by parents, teachers and coaches from across the area.
Doug Johnston has used his huge enthusiasm for football to develop new opportunities for girls’ in Linlithgow to become involved in a community club that now offers teams at multiple age groups, all representing Linlithgow Rose Community FC.
He commits an amazing amount of time and effort to running the girls section of the club and is a fantastic ambassador for the game.
His enthusiasm for the game can be seen by everyone who knows him and his passion for all things related to football, especially at grassroots level, is incredible.
David Ramage has been involved with amateur football for over 4 decades as a player, manager, treasurer and now secretary of one of the largest amateur associations in the Country, Lothian and Edinburgh Amateur Football Association.
His administration in the governance of the Association has led to many successful campaigns for league and cup tournaments for the thousands of Amateur players across the Region.
His input into the new Regional Committee structure will help other areas of our game and football in Scotland has a great debt of gratitude for his contribution.
As winners of regional awards, all 5 will now be included in the national shortlist, with the National Award winners being announced at a special ceremony at Hampden Park on Thursday September 27th.
David Drummond, regional manager for the South East, said: “John, Elaine, Derek, Doug and David are legends of the game in our eyes and it is right that we take the time, not just to recognise their dedication to the game, but also to say thank you for the enthusiasm and time that they give up."
"Without the 1000s of volunteers, like our 5 winners, dedicating their time and effort passing on their skills to others, grassroots football in local communities simply wouldn’t happen.
"I want to wish them the best of luck in the national awards later this year, and we look forward to hearing the results.”
Follow the awards on twitter: @2012Grassroots /#grassrootsheroes