COCKENZIE & Port Seton Community Council’s Achievement Awards honoured three worthy recipients.

The awards ceremony took place in the Port Seton Centre and saw Jaime Sutherland and James Johnstone named the joint winners of the youth award while retired fisherman Archie Johnston picked up the 2019 Achievement Award.

James Johnstone, 18, studies electrical engineering at Borders College and plays hooker for Preston Lodge RFC.

This year he played rugby for Scotland’s under 18s in their Six Nations Championship and he hopes to play for the full Scotland team one day.

He said: “I owe my sporting achievements to Preston Lodge RFC but mostly my coach and now club president Frank Gallagher.

“Preston Lodge RFC have supported me and provided a stable platform for me to learn and grow all the while having fun with the sport in our rugby family.”

On winning the youth award, he added: “When my name was called as joint winner with Jaime Sutherland, I was honoured and filled with pride.

“Rugby has taught me some very valuable life lessons of respect, camaraderie and overall solidarity. Rugby brings people of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds and beliefs together.

“I am very honoured that my community have awarded me the Youth Achievement Award and will forever be grateful of their support.”

Jaime Sutherland, 16, is in her sixth year at Preston Lodge High School. She has been volunteering since she was 13 and frequently raises money for charity.

Most recently she abseiled down the Forth Bridge in memory of her dad, who sadly passed away aged 56 after a heart attack.

She raised more than £2,500 for Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland. On her win, Jaime said: “I was really shocked to hear I was a joint winner of the youth award – there were so many amazing people that were nominated. To hear my name called out was a real surprise.

“I knew I was nominated and was told I was going along to the awards evening, but I didn’t expect to win at all.”

Archie Johnston, 82, retired from fishing in larger boats 20 years ago but still fishes for lobsters on a small boat part-time.

On being presented with his award, he told the Courier: “It was a shock; I was really surprised. I knew I was getting an award, but I didn’t think it was the big one.

“I do have to say I put a lot of time into the Box Meetings [the celebrations of our fishing heritage]. The people who have helped run the meetings have been a very great help.”

Community council chair Bryan Hickman said of the gathering: “It went very, very well and was well attended. About 60 people were there just for the awards, we had more turn up for the Port Seton Centre 25th anniversary celebrations who stayed to watch the awards as well.”

The awards are held bi-annually and this year saw an increased number of nominations.

The last Achievement Awards, in 2017, saw 13 nominations submitted, this year there were 23.

The judging committee gave out certificates of achievement to the nominees who did not win an award.

Mr Hickman added: “The awards really recognises the level of work that goes on in the village and the people who have volunteered, and thanks them for their support.

“It is up to the public to nominate people for an award.”