A SELFLESS athletics official and volunteer has been named as the 2022 Young Official of the Year at the sportscotland Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering (COV) Awards.

Sophie Allan, who offers her time at Pitreavie AAC, picked up the accolade in recognition for her dedication and contribution to the sport, with nominees commenting on her positive presence that lifts coaches, officials and athletes around her.

The 21-year-old, who last year picked up the Kubenet Volunteer of the Year prize at the Scottish Women in Sport Awards, has attended more than 50 athletics events over the past decade, clocking up more than 450 hours of volunteer time at Pitreavie into the bargain, and is now the highest-qualified female athletics starter in Scotland.

After picking up her award at the ceremony, which was held at Glasgow City Chambers last Tuesday evening, Sophie said: “For me, the best part of the officiating role is the under-11s and 13s events, when it’s their first time on the track, and you know that you are planting the seed of athletics in their life – that’s what drives me to still be here.

“I think young people are the future of this sport and if we’ve got lots of athletes going through the programme, then we need people to officiate.

“I really enjoy officiating, and the best way to reach your potential is to start young.

“I like to make athletes and officials feel included at events by trying to be as non-judgemental as possible and treating everyone the same.

“It’s such an honour for my officiating to be recognised in this way and I would like to thank all of the officials, coaches and athletes I work with.”

Mel Young, chair of sportscotland, added: “The people we are celebrating have taken that recognition and turned it into life-changing ambition and a force for good.

“Individuals like Sophie have dedicated their time to helping others realise their sporting potential and shown the far-reaching benefits of participation.”