COWDENBEATH athletics star Jack Lawrie was named as West Fife's top sports star for 2017 during a glittering awards ceremony last week.

The former Beath High School pupil, who races for Pitreavie Amateur Athletics Club, was named as the Sports Person of the Year at Dunfermline and West Fife Sports Council's annual event on Thursday.

Held for the 40th time, the annual prizegiving celebrates the very best of talented sports men and women from across the area, with the top accolade presented being the Sign Plus Sports Person of the Year.

Given to an "outstanding" sports person who is either a resident of, or trains in Dunfermline and West Fife, or who is a current member of a local club and who has achieved consistently high over the past 12 months, 400 metres hurdler Lawrie narrowly missed out on the 2016 award to Paralympic Games silver medallist Alison Patrick.

But the 22-year-old got his hands on the trophy this year after he was chosen ahead of club-mate, and Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) athlete Bethany McAndrew, from Kelty; CYG judo silver medallist Fiona Todman; and Commonwealth champion powerlifter Rowan Hendry-Horne.

Although he narrowly missed out on achieving the qualifying time for April's Commonwealth Games, Lawrie's success in 2017 included winning gold medals in the 400m hurdles at the Scottish Athletics Senior and Under-17 National Championships, and in the 4x400m at the National Relay Championships; a silver medal whilst running for Scotland at the Manchester International; and representing Great Britain at the European Under-23 Championships in Poland, where he reached the 400m hurdles final and finish seventh.

Work commitments prevented Lawrie from attending the ceremony but his coach, Roy Buchanan, accepted the award on his behalf.

He said: "He's worked hard all year and, plus working shifts, it's tough for him.

"He's dedicated, has stuck in and I'm expecting a lot from him this year. He's got a few targets to aim for after missing out on the Commonwealth Games.

"The Commonwealth Games qualifying time was pretty tough for his event. He missed out a couple of tenths (of a second), so he was a wee bit unfortunate. I'm expecting him to go well this year again.

"He'll be delighted. You saw the youngsters that were there; there were a lot of good athletes over a lot of sports."

A further 11 awards were handed out on the night and there was delight for Meedies Bike Club, who were named as the Active Schools Fife Junior Team of the Year.

Formed in 2009 following the success of a variety of community-based cycling projects run by the West Fife Detached Youth Work Team with support from Outdoor Education Fife, the Lochore Meadows based club have continued to grow from strength-to-strength, with its membership continuing to increase.

The club have also hosted a number of regional and national bike competitions and, speaking on behalf of the club, Jim McKenzie said: "It feels fantastic and it's nice to be nominated and to win something.

"It's brilliant to see the kids all happy riding their bikes, and it's great to get a wee bit of recognition for it.

"In the last year or so, we've really become much bigger and it's quite impressive to see the growth we've had.

"Trying to get kids interested and involved can be hard sometimes, but they seem to enjoy it.

"We weren't expecting to win, so this is a nice surprise."

Blairadam adminton player Calum Flockhart was one of 12 nominees for the Redmayne Bentley Young Sports Person of the Year – for individuals aged 16 or under – which was jointly won by CYG silver medal winning judoka Emma Forrest, and Scottish, British and European Kuk Sool Won marital arts champion Skye Jolly.

The recently appointed head coach of Kelty Hearts' women's team, Chris Laird, missed out on the Club Coach of the Year prize but, along with several members of his new team, were awarded the Benny Hutton Team Award as part of Bayside Ladies FC's Scottish Women's Football League (SWFL) Division Two East title win in 2017.

Cardenden's Michael Mellon, who won a silver and a bronze medal in volleyball and wheelchair basketball at the Invictus Games, was a nominee for the East Kilbride Sports Council award for athletes with a disability, while Cowdenbeath Bowling Club's 2014 Commonwealth Games competitor Billy Allan was pipped to the Centenary Masters Award for individuals aged 35 or over by aeromodeller Jim Arnott.

Beath High School's Tyler Moffat, and Lochgelly's Jamie Lee Harris, were nominated for the Timbershack Schools Ambassador of the Year prize, which was won by Inverkeithing's Olivia Ballantyne for her work in promoting netball at her school.

Paying tribute to those nominated for awards, Fife Provost Jim Leishman added: "Well done to all the kids taking part; you've got to go out and take part, whether you win the race or not.

"The commitment from all the volunteers is great and it's amazing the time that they put in. It's fantastic.

"I'm very proud of all of you."