INVERCLYDE Athletic Club coach Janice Hendrie was presented with honorary life membership of Scottish Athletics at their recent annual awards dinner held at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow.

Scottish Athletics awarded Janice this most prestigious award in recognition of all her time spent in athletics at both a local and national level.

During her long career as a PE teacher and coach, Janice has personally helped more than two thousand youngsters to experience and enjoy the sport of athletics.

Starting out as a new PE teacher in 1977, Janice had the aim of raising the general health and wellbeing of the youngsters in the Inverclyde community through athletics as they prepared to become adults.

She did this through the Scottish Schools Athletics Association, coaching as a PE teacher and developing training methods and encouraging athletic competition.

Janice has continued her association with Scottish Schools and has acted as a team coach for the Scottish Schools Athletics Association teams for cross country and track and field since 1990 to the present day.

She convened the Track and Field Championship for over 10 years and was president of the Scottish Schools Athletics Association in 2013-14.

In 1986 the newly-formed Spango Valley club recognised that the outlet for girls and young women in the area had seriously declined and approached Janice to devise and deliver training sessions within the club.

She immediately undertook necessary BAF, SAL and UKA coach training and is still operating as a UKA Level 3 coach.

In 2000 Janice was instrumental in establishing initiatives such as the Run, Jump and Throw and Startrack programmes which were subsequently adopted nationally by Scottish Athletics. As an athletics coach she has acted in team coach and team manager roles for Scottish Athletics teams for track and field for many years.

Janice qualified as a coach education tutor in 2000 when new courses for Scottish Athletics, UKA and Sport Scotland were developed. Since the early 2000s Janice has inspired many other coaches through her teaching. One of these being Mark Pollard, the current head of performance for Scottish Athletics.

In recognition of her sporting achievements, Janice received the BBC Sports Scotland Unsung Hero of the Year Award in 2013 and was awarded the BEM in 2019.

When being interviewed while receiving her unsung hero award, the BBC Sports Scotland reporter asked Janice why she does all she does.

Typically, she replied: “When you see the smile on the kids’ faces – it’s all worth it."