a sporting chance

Image credited to Guillem Casanova

PUBLISHED: 22 January 2019

Shortlist for Best Sporting Event at Scottish Thistle Awards unveiled

FOUR of Scotland’s major sporting events have been shortlisted for a national award at Scotland’s tourism Oscars.

Musselburgh Racecourse Ladies Day, Salomon Skyline Scotland™, the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and Stirling Scottish Marathon will battle it out to be crowned Best Sporting Event at this year’s Scottish Thistle Awards National Final to be held on 14 March at the EICC.

The category which was launched as a national category for the first time this year celebrates the importance of sporting events in providing a platform for Scotland to show off its greatest assets.

The four finalists for Best Sporting Event are:

  • Musselburgh Racecourse Ladies Day – held in June, the event attracts a non-traditional audience to the race track and has a significant impact on the local economy, raising the profile of the town and surrounding area. Judges praised the event for its focus on sustainability and accessibility as well as their successful collaboration with Rogue Village to improve the spectator offer.
  • Salomon Skyline Scotland ™ is an annual set of four skyrunning races which take place on consecutive days in the mountains around Kinlochleven in Lochaber. The year-on-year development of the event culminated in the World Championship in 2018 which attracted more than 2,000 runners from 60 countries. Judges praised the sheer sporting excellence of all the athletes competing in this location as well as the good community engagement and strong media profile.
  • Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open attracted more than 60,000 visitors when it was held at Gullane in 2018, as well as global media coverage. Judges praised the event’s engagement programme and the diverse range of activities on offer to attract a broad range of audiences.
  • Stirling Scottish Marathon invites participants to Run through History by taking in a number of historic locations in the local area. Judges noted that the event has been a game-changer for Stirling and its ambition to host major events. The event attracts more than 6,000 participants to take part in the half and full marathon.

The Scottish Thistle Awards celebrate success, innovation and excellence in Scotland’s tourism and hospitality industry. The Best Sporting Event category is open to any recurring sporting event involving a sporting activity whether a participating or spectator event which inspires and involves all guests, whether local or visiting.

VisitScotland Director of Events Paul Bush OBE said: “We are delighted with the strong calibre of sporting events shortlisted for this award, which is a reflection of the excellence and innovation that makes Scotland the perfect stage for Sporting Events.

“This category is a chance to celebrate the contribution that sporting events make to the national economy and recognise the important role they play in providing a platform for Scotland to show off its greatest features to audiences around the world.”

Rebecca Brooks, Chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards Industry Panel, said: “On behalf of the panel, I’d like to congratulate all of those sporting events shortlisted for the national final. The Scottish Thistle Awards let us recognise the unsung heroes of our industry who show real dedication and enthusiasm for Scotland’s tourism industry and we look forward to celebrating another fantastic year of excellence, innovation and best practice with all our wonderful national finalists in March.”

The Scottish Thistle Awards are led by a panel of industry experts from several organisations including VisitScotland, Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards, Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards, the Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland, Scotland Food and Drink, Scottish Tourism Alliance, the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA) and the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, sportscotland and Wild Scotland.


Scottish Thistle Awards
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Edinburgh EH6 6JH
0131 472 2228


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