Athletics: Sophie Allan of Dunfermline Track and Field wins Scottish Women in Sport Award
BEING the person who pushes young people to “stay in sport forever” is what motivates track and field volunteer Sophie Allan to spend “crazy” hours.
The 21-year-old, who is a development officer at Dunfermline Track and Field Club, was named Kubenet Volunteer of the Year at the Scottish Women in Sport Awards in November.
The event, in which Olympic swimmer Kathleen Dawson was named Sportswoman of the Year ahead of fellow Olympians Laura Muir and Katie Archibald, saw Sophie celebrated for her work as a coach and official.
In addition to her work with Dunfermline Track and Field, with whom she also coaches, and with Active Schools in Clackmannanshire, Sophie officiates in Scottish and British athletics; serves on the board of the Scottish Schools Athletics Association; volunteers with Pitreavie AAC; and was named to the Scottish Athletics Youth Forum, as was fellow Dunfermline athletics member Darcie Black.
Speaking to Press Sport after receiving her award, Sophie, who has volunteered in sport since the age of 13, said: “It still doesn’t look real! I don’t know if it will ever sink in properly.
“Even when I got to the awards night and was the only nominee at my sponsor’s table, I thought it couldn’t be, they had to be somewhere else!
I was excited and mortified but most of all excited and very grateful for it. It was intimidating but in the best possible way, if that makes sense. All these people coming in and being top athletes, or sports celebrities as I would call them, I was just like, “Oh my God! ”
All night long I found this really stimulating and felt that we really can do it. You can get a lot more women involved in sport.
“The people who nominated me kind of joked about it a little while ago and I thought, ‘Oh they’re kidding’ and then I got the email from Scottish Women in Sport. . It actually went to my junk folder and it just said that you were preselected.
“It was a quick turnaround because it was something like three weeks before the event, so it was a total shock!
“I think it was something crazy like 1000 hours (she volunteered) last year which, when I think about it, is crazy because it’s 19 and a half hours a week ! It just sounds crazy but I do it without realizing it, I think.
“The main reason I’m here is because I love it so much. Everyone has this experience, especially the athletes.
“I like to officiate at all levels – running, jumping and all the way up – but for me it’s the U11s who are in their very first competition and you are the person who makes their day, and you are the person who drives them to stay in the sport forever.
“That’s what keeps me there. ”