At last night’s (Thursday December 6) Scottish Sports Awards, David Somerville, High Performance Coach of the sportscotland institute of sport judo programme, was named Coach/Manager of the Year for 2012.
The accolade was worthy recognition for his personal coaching of Sam Ingram to a silver medal at the London 2012 Paralympics.
As head coach of the Scottish judo programme he was responsible for 6 Scottish athletes making Team GB and ParalympicsGB from the home-grown programme at Ratho, in Edinburgh.
After picking up the award at the ceremony, which was held in Glasgow’s Thistle Hotel, David paid tribute to his coaching team, including Billy Cusack and others, who run the world-class programme in Edinburgh and constantly provide internationals at GB level at all ages.
He said: “This award was very unexpected and I am thrilled to accept it on behalf of everyone at Ratho who has worked so hard over the past several years to establish a world-class programme in Scotland. I know Sam Ingram was hoping for a gold, but his silver medal performance was a highlight for me in my coaching career.”
David, who first joined the institute in 2005, was promoted to head coach in 2009, when Graeme Randall MBE stepped down.
An Olympian himself, and silver medallist at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002, David is highly respected amongst his Scottish and British judo colleagues.
Since his appointment, he has worked hard to establish a close rapport with the British programme based in Dartford and is currently helping advise British Judo on its future plans as part of the Project Rio.
Mike Whittingham, Director of High Performance at the sportscotland institute of sport, said:
“We are delighted that David has been recognised for his personal coaching of Sam Ingram and also driving forward a very successful Scottish Performance Programme.
"An impressive 20 per cent of the Paralympic team came from Scotland and 35 per cent of the Olympic team were selected from the Ratho-based athletes, a fantastic achievement for JudoScotland and the institute.
"We are also hoping that with Euan Burton now joining the team as Assistant High Performance Coach, judo could repeat the medal success it had in Manchester at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.”
Dougie Bryce, CEO of JudoScotland, said:
“We have an extremely successful and highly-valued partnership with the sportscotland institute of sport, with all parties involved working hard to establish a world-class programme in Ratho.
"It is a real boost in an Olympic and Paralympic year for David, his support team, and Judo in Scotland to receive this award.
"We would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank David, and the whole wider support team behind him, for all their hard work and commitment in the months and years leading up to, and during, the Games themselves.
"With the continued support from our partners, and David’s undoubted expertise, we look forward to a bright future and more home-grown success at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.”