Janice Hendrie, pictured right, of Inverclyde Athletic Club (IAC) has been nominated in the Heart of Gold category by athlete Leah Cameron.
Janice, 61, of Greenock, has received a string of awards in recent years and was chosen to carry the Olympic torch in 2012 and the Queen’s Baton for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Leah said: “Janice has coached many athletes over the years who have moved on to great things. She is well known not only across Scotland but across England for her work. She doesn’t care if you are the next Mo Farah or if you only do it to keep fit, she will push you as far as you need to be pushed.
“She is a role model to all IAC members and is like a second mum to her athletes.”
The former Notre Dame High PE teacher has been named Participation Coach of the Year twice by the sport’s governing body, Scottish Athletics, and was also awarded the BBC Sports Scotland Unsung Hero of the Year Award in 2013. Janice and her late father, Jim Owens, were both awarded the British Empire Medal for their contributions to sport – Janice for services to sport and wellbeing in Inverclyde and Jim for services to badminton coaching.
Speaking today about her nomination as a Tele community champion, Janice said: “I’m taken aback. I really appreciate the effort anyone makes to nominate people for awards. I’m delighted to put BE forward for the Heart of Gold award.” Janice and her husband, Dougie, have a 28-year-old son, Neil, and 23-year-old daughter, Erin.
Leah said in her nomination: “As a member of Janice’s group, I think she is an inspirational woman. Hundreds of people have benefited from her help.
“She has had athletes compete for Team GB, Scotland and West Scotland, and she has also helped people to lose weight and stay out of trouble.”
An athletics coach since 1986, Janice has helped thousands of youngsters to enjoy athletics through initiatives which have been adopted throughout Scottish Athletics.
She volunteers for up to 15 hours a week at her club with the 10–17 year old age group, and regularly has more than 120 athletes attending her training sessions. Asked what motivates her, Janice said: “You see the smiling faces of the children and their happiness at doing athletics – and it’s brilliant to watch their progress.” IAC president Gerry Gaffney, said her work in developing young athletes had been a key factor in the club receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2009. Gerry said: “She has made athletics so much fun in the Inverclyde community. “Janice is very modest, but she’s had one single objective during her long career, and that is to simply ensure the youngsters of Inverclyde have the opportunity to be the very best they can be in athletics.”
There is still time to nominate your Community Champion. View all 10 categories at the event website at
www. newsquestscotlandevents.com/events/greenockcommchamp