Queensferry-based volleyball coach Ian Brownlee has been recognised with a Lifetime Achievement in Coaching award.
The 46-year-old stalwart of the City of Edinburgh Volleyball Club was given the prestigious accolade at the ClubSport Edinburgh Sports Awards.
Ian founded the club in 1995, when it was just one single team of under-18 boys and the club had less than 10 members. Since then Brownlee’s coaching career has been instrumental in growing the club to become one of the most successful in Scottish and British volleyball history.
The club has men’s and women’s teams in the Scottish Volleyball Premier League, where they have won both men’s and women’s Premier League titles, Scottish Cup and John Syer Grand Prix titles, and both men’s and women’s teams have played in CEV European Cup competitions.
Brownlee’s most significant contribution has been setting up and growing the club’s youth academy at Queensferry High School and the surrounding primary schools. Most of the club’s top players have come up through the ranks at the club to play in the top Scottish volleyball leagues and to represent Scotland at junior and senior international level.
He has also established a leading coach development, education and mentoring program in South Queensferry which has seen many young athletes at the club, who have experience of international volleyball competitions, coaching the next generation of volleyball hopefuls in the local primary schools and high schools.
He said: “At 46 I don’t feel old enough for a lifetime achievement award.
“But it is nice to receive the award on behalf of all of the coaches and volunteers at City of Edinburgh Volleyball who do so much work behind the scenes to give boys and girls of all ages and abilities so many opportunities to develop as volleyball players, coaches and leaders in our community.”
Ian has also played an important role in encouraging parents of athletes at the club to take on crucial roles as team managers and committee members.