British Curling’s Head Paralympic Coach Sheila Swan has won Scottish Women in Sport’s Coach of the Year award at their 10th anniversary dinner.
The award recognises the contribution of individuals at any level who impart knowledge and expertise within their chosen sport, ensuring fair play at all times.
However Swan, who became a World Champion curler in 2002 as part of Team Lockhart, was swift to credit those who have facilitated and supported her own development since she made the transition into coaching.
“I've been really fortunate throughout my playing and coaching career to have been inspired by some incredible women,” said Swan who steered the Scotland team to bronze medal success at this year’s World Wheelchair Curling Championships.
“If I go as far back as my school days I would single out Betty Loudon who provided extra coaching sessions for girls outwith the normal school and junior club sessions. Mairi Milne steered us through the junior years, I'm pretty sure that was a really tough gig!!
“Cate Brewster was instrumental for many years working across junior and national programs and guiding me through my early years as a coach, and Isobel Hannen was an integral part in the success of Team Lockhart.
“They have all played a huge part in shaping my coaching philosophy and I still use their words of wisdom on a regular basis.
“It would be remiss of me not to mention the formidable females who were the driving force of introducing and developing wheelchair curling in Scotland... The sport would not be where it is without the tireless work of Kate Caithness, Ena Stevenson, Jane Sanderson and Judy MacKenzie throughout the years.
“There are so many women who have inspired me throughout the years. Coaches, colleagues, teammates, opponents, athletes, umpires, volunteers, administrators, friends... I could name many more, there are so many wonderful women in this sport.”
Jo Butterfield, who is among the players that Swan has been working with in recent years since she switched to curling from athletics in which she had won a Paralympic gold medal in 2016, was meanwhile short-listed for Para athlete of the year, missing out to her Rio teammate Samantha Kinghorn.