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Today the UK’s leading convenience store group, SPAR UK, announced Patricia Sutherland founder of Highland District Netball in Scotland as a regional winner of £2,000 for the People’s Podium, which is designed to support community sport across the country.

Building on the popular success of its 2018 campaign, SPAR’s People’s Podium invited people from across the
nation to nominate their local sporting heroes who had a positive impact on their community.

Patricia was surprised during a training session on Monday 30th September by SPAR staff who also presented her with a cheque for £2,000 and an award. It was a real celebration with the whole community coming together to celebrate what Patricia has done for the players involved with the club. She was nominated and awarded the People’s Podium prize for her contribution to sport in the local area. Access to sports in the Highlands is sparse, particularly females players. Thanks to Patricia’s tireless efforts, a group of teens, previously held back by their remote locations, have been given the opportunity to receive coaching, play in tournaments around the county and excel in their sport.

Patricia Sutherland said “We have three hour training sessions once a month because they travel so far. It's just about getting as many girls involved as we can. If we raise the profile, hopefully more schools will teach and hopefully it'll just gradually build here. The money is just fantastic. It’s going to give us so many opportunities to not only develop further but give us an identity — to make it even more special for the girls to belong to this group.”

Paula Middleton, Marketing Manager from CJ Lang, SPAR distribution centre for Scotland added; “We were delighted to see Patricia and Highlands Netball Club win this award and more importantly the funding of £2,000.  We know this is a region within the UK that faces huge challenges due to its geography and this funding will go a long way to supporting the club’s future. We’re also pleased to announce that we will be continuing our support of this club at a local level and more details on that will follow.”

The People’s Podium campaign demonstrates SPAR’s local community credentials and its commitment to always be there for local people and their communities.