Hard work pays off for Ellon rugby coach

COACH OF THE YEAR: Mike Avis' services to rugby in Ellon were recognised by the Sportscotland award.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Mike Avis' services to rugby in Ellon were recognised by the Sportscotland award.

ELLON head coach Mike Avis has scooped a major award for his services to the game of rugby in the North-east.

Sportscotland named the Mr Avis ‘Scotland Young Person’s Coach of the Year’, beating 130 other candidates from a range of sports for the honour.

“It’s a great privilege to have been selected from coaches from a wide range of sports,” he said. “I am honoured to have helped put the club on the map, but there are others who have helped me who are equally worthy of recognition at the Meadows,”

Mr Avis not only coaches the National League 1 side, but leads the coaching teams for the under-15’s, 16 and 18 age groups. He is also a community coach working with schools in Aberdeenshire to promote the game, and Grampian Police on its street rugby initiative.

Club president Colin Tennant expressed his delight and said: “Mike has been a great asset. In particular his work with young squads has been fantastic, away and above the call of duty. His efforts will hopefully bear fruit in the future. The award reflects well on the club.”

The award comes at a time when the East Gordon side’s National League 1 team is struggling, though Tennant believes the promotion of youth rugby will serve the club well in the longer term. “These are not easy times, but with all the development going on I’m sure we’ll get back to former glories. In the meantime Mike has my total support.” said Tennant.