Vote now for your Fife Free Press Sports Personality of the Year

The nominees for The Fife Free Press Group Sports Personality of the Year, from left, Jonny Adam, Todd Dutiaume, Connor Wood and Rory Butcher.
The nominees for The Fife Free Press Group Sports Personality of the Year, from left, Jonny Adam, Todd Dutiaume, Connor Wood and Rory Butcher.

The countdown is on to the 2018 Kirkcaldy & Central Fife Sports Council awards.

The annual awards, supported by The Fife Free Press Group, is the largest celebration of sport in the Kingdom.

The event, which is now in its 11th year, pays tribute to the achievements of amateur sportsmen, women and children from the Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes and Levenmouth catchment areas.

An additional award, The Fife Free Press Group Sports Personality of the Year, also includes the region’s top sports professionals.

A shortlist has been created for this prestigious title, previously won by UFC star Steven ‘Braveheart’ Ray, Hibernian FC footballer Lewis Stevenson, and last year, by Craig Easton, the title-winning Raith Rovers youth coach.

The winner will be decided by our readers via our online poll above, which will be refreshed daily so you can vote more than once, to ensure your sporting choice gets the recognition they fully deserve.

This year's nominees are Connor Wood, player of the year at league winners Kirkcaldy Rugby; Todd Dutiaume, Fife Flyers' long-serving head coach; Jonny Adam, the British GT racing champion, and Rory Butcher, who competed in the British Touring Car Championships.

For more information on each nominee, scroll down the page. Voting closes on Wednesday, January 16, 2019.

Nominations are also open for the other eight award categories – open only to local individuals and clubs with amateur status – and the winners will be decided by a judging panel in the new year.

The categories are: Junior Award, Youth Award, Senior Award, Coach of the Year, Junior/Youth Team Award, Senior Team Award, Service to Sport.

For more information or to nominate a team or individual for an award visit the Kirkcaldy & Central Fife Sports Council website.

All winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in Fife College’s St Brycedale campus on Thursday, March 7 next year.

FIFE FREE PRESS SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR NOMINEES

Connor Wood, Kirkcaldy Rugby

Connor was player of the year at Kirkcaldy Rugby last season as the club lifted the National Division Two title.

He has been an outstanding product of the Kirkcaldy youth system, making his senior debut as a 17-year-old against Morgan in 2012.

Although born in Inverness in 1995 he has spent almost all of his life in Kirkcaldy and attended Balwearie High School.

Standing 6ft 4in tall and weighing 18 stones 7lbs he has a formidable presence in the second row and is the Blues main line-out jumper.

He is one of Kirkcaldy’s best performers and last season’s winner of the Star Check award.

He spent a season at Dundee High where he quickly cemented a place in their top side and was voted their most improved player of the 2015-16 season.

He returned to the Blues where he enjoys playing with fellow first XV players with whom he grew up playing in the various youth teams.

Connor is a butcher at the Buffalo Farm.

Todd Dutiaume, Fife Flyers

Todd, who hails from Winnipeg in Canada, is the long-serving head coach of Fife Flyers and earlier this year he led the club to its first ever title in the Elite League.

In his 20th year with the team, having initially joined as a player back in 1998, the 45-year-old secured the Gardiner Conference championship, a trophy which effectively declared his Fife side as top dogs in Scotland.

He also masterminded a remarkable comeback in the EIHL Play-offs as Flyers fought back from a 4-1 quarter-final home leg defeat to Manchester Storm, winning a remarkable away leg 1-5 to progress to the finals weekend in Nottingham for the third time in five years.

Under Todd’s continued stewardship Flyers have made a storming start to the current season, sitting near the top of the table, meaning that in the seven years since the club joined the EIHL, he has taken them from rock bottom to league challengers.

The adopted Fifer has overcome huge adversity, as well as some doubters, to become one of the most respected coaches in UK ice hockey.

Jonny Adam, Aston Martin Racing

Jonny is nominated for the FFP Sports Personality award for a fourth straight year, and with his remarkable record of success in motorsport, it’s clear to see why.

After winning the Le Mans 24 in 2017 – a career-defining moment for the Kirkcaldy driver – Jonny continued to scale new heights over the past year.

The Aston Martin ace made history once again in the British GT Championship by winning the title for a third time, making him the most successful driver in the UK-based endurance racing series.

Alongside co-driver Flick Haigh, who is the first woman to be outright British GT champion, Jonny is the only driver ever to win the championship three times, with different team-mates on each occasion, adding to his 2015 and 2016 titles.

As well as competing in another Le Mans 24 this year, Jonny has also been featuring at the highest level of endurance racing, the FIA World Endurance Championship, where he is representing Aston Martin at venues such as Spa, Shanghai and Abu Dhabi.

Rory Butcher, British Touring Cars

After stepping in at short notice for an injured driver halfway through the 2017 season, Rory made an instant impact in the British Touring Cars Championship.

In his debut round, which happened to be at his home track of Knockhill, the Kirkcaldy driver claimed two top ten finishes, a front row start and the top rookie trophy in race three.

That led into a full-time BTCC deal with the AMD Tuning MG team for the 2018 season, which firmly established Rory in a series which is considered by many to be the very pinnacle of British motorsport.

The season has not been without its troubles but he consistently scored points, securing ten top 10 finishes and some really cracking races, in a car that many people had written off at the start of the year. His achievements led to him being named as one of Autosport’s top 10 BTCC drivers of the year.

After a 2018 to be proud of, Rory is positive about building on his experience and securing a drive with the team again next year.