IN JUST three weeks’ time, the East Lothian Courier will celebrate the people who make such a positive difference to the lives of others and our communities.

Our Community Champion Awards night takes place at Haddington Corn Exchange on Thursday, May 30, when we will reveal the winners in categories covering everything from sport to business, and teaching to charities.

East Lothian Courier: East Lothian Courier Community Champion Awards logo

Last month, our judging panel had the difficult task of deciding the finalists for our awards, and the task of choosing the winners was no easier.

Now we can’t wait to recognise the people who make our communities a better place – every one of our finalists certainly does that.

Courier editor Robbie Scott said: “There are so many people in our towns and villages who, week after week, year after year, step up to help those less fortunate than themselves, giving their time and efforts to make other people’s lives better.

“We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to submit a nomination, as well as everyone who was nominated for everything they do for their communities, and we’re excited to highlight the great efforts of all our finalists. I’d also like to give a special mention to our awards sponsors, without whom none of this would be possible.”

The Community Champion Awards are generously sponsored by East Coast Buses; PureMalt; SSE Renewables; and Sustainable Facilities Management.

East Lothian Courier: The East Lothian Courier Community Champion Awards are sponsored by East Coast Buses, PureMalt, SSE Renewables Berwick Bank Wind Farm, and Sustainable Facilities Management

Tickets for the awards evening, hosted by TV and radio personality Bryan Burnett, can be purchased online via:

Here’s a look at all the finalists for the Sporting Champion of the Year award:

Jack Gordon

East Lothian Courier: Jack Gordon

JACK is the captain of Preston Lodge RFC and guided his hometown team to the National League Division Three title and promotion, losing just one league game all season.

The side had been relegated the season prior after a last-day defeat to Berwick.

Under Jack’s captaincy the side responded spectacularly, securing promotion at the first time of asking.

Jack, a sports development officer, described the side’s journey this season as “a bit of a redemption” and he is now looking froward to the challenge of Division Two next season.

Ross Muir

East Lothian Courier: Ross Muir

A PROFESSIONAL snooker player from Musselburgh, Ross regained his World Snooker Tour card after five years by winning the European Championships and recently defeated former seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry.

In February, he won the Italian Open in style, winning all seven matches without dropping a frame.

Then in April, Ross had his sights on a place in the World Championships but was unsuccessful as he lost narrowly to He Guoqiang in the second qualifying round in Sheffield.

Preston Lodge RFC

East Lothian Courier: Preston Lodge RFC received the National League Division Three trophy after defeating Dumfries Saints in horrible conditions

PRESTON Lodge RFC has been at the heart of the local community in Prestonpans for generations.

In the 2022/23 season, the club suffered the setback of being relegated to National League Division Three, but they have bounced straight back this year, winning the title and promotion to National League Division Two.

The team also enjoyed a fine run in the National League Cup, losing in the quarter-finals.

The club’s success has created great excitement and positivity in Prestonpans and encouraged more people, including young people, to take an active interest in the club and rugby more generally.

With eyes on Division Two next season, the side’s future continues to look bright.

Lewis Rollo

East Lothian Courier: Lewis Rollo

LEWIS is a motorbike racer from Gifford who came back from a serious back injury to enjoy a successful 2023 season and has now moved up to British Superbikes for the first time in 2024.

Lewis, 24, has been on a bike since he was just three before starting schoolboy motocross just two years later.

Since then, he has been racing at circuits up and down the country for many years, and returning home with a string of podium finishes and race wins.

Lewis made his British Superbikes debut last month at the Circuito de Navarra in northern Spain, taking to the track alongside some of the world’s best riders.