THERE is no better feeling than telling someone that after 20 months of hardship, their efforts have been recognised and they are in the running for an award.

I had that pleasure this week as we announced our finalists for the Scottish Women in Sport gala dinner on November 26. This year we have 11 categories, so in total 33 deserving finalists.

Women in sport have suffered much from the pandemic, with less professional, money-backed sport options, and a lot of sports games taking place indoors. It has taken some time to pull ourselves back into prime position, ready to take on the challenges thrown at us, but we are ready.

There are some big names in the frame for an award, Catriona Matthew, Laura Muir, Kathleen Dawson and Katie Archibald – each one of them an inspiration to the younger generation, showing that hard work pays off.

READ MORE: We’re still a way off from gender balanced leadership in sport

Cricket, rugby, netball, athletics, cart-racing, broadcasting, para-athletes as well as coaches, volunteers and representatives from the sport for change agenda will make up our illustrious audience and provide us with winners on the night. A name I am sure you will all know is Rose Reilly, voted the world’s best female footballer in 1983.

She is our special guest and – if you haven’t heard her story yet – prepare to be amazed by her tales of cutting her hair short and changing her name to Ross to allow her to play football with her local boys’ team.

Years later, she played for her adopted home country of Italy, captained the team and scored one of the goals as the Azzurri defeated the USA to lift the Women’s World Cup in front of a 90,000 crowd at China’s National Stadium. It’s stuff you would have read years ago in a boys’ comic, but Rose’s story at that time wasn’t really being told.

I am so pleased she is now receiving the recognition she deserves.

That is what we hope to achieve by celebrating all these wonderful people at our awards: recognition.

I am so looking forward to seeing everyone on the night and I am sure we will all have some fun with the SW/S quiz as well as an opportunity to meet new people and network.

There are still some tables available – for tickets contact