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Sports Dinner success

Around 140 people packed into the Volunteer Hall in Galashiels for an evening of sporting-themed entertainment last weekend.

Gala Cricket Club and charity Rowan Boland Memorial Trust’s Sports Dinner saw Paralympian Samantha Kinghorn, Grand National winning jockey Ryan Mania and top rugby and American football coach Richie Gray reflect on the highs and lows of their careers so far.

During a series of Question and Answer sessions with MC for the night Bruce Aitchison of the Happiness is Egg Shaped brand, all three spoke with honesty and humour to give an insight into their achievements.

Samantha who hails from Gordon discussed her career which has seen her become a double paralympic medalist and latterly presenter on BBC Countryfile.

Clovenfords’ Ryan reflected on his Grand National win in 2013, but also the lows of a serious injury the very next day, and then retiring from the sport, before returning to horse racing in 2019 where he now reached over 350 winners.

And Galashiels own Richie was in top form as usual, discussing how he went from being made redundant to founding his own business and the demands of being a coach with the South Africa rugby team, as well as working with the superstar athletes of the National Football League.

The night also heard music from the talented Singing Souters – aka father and son duo Tommy and Darren Knox – as well as a raffle and auction which raised money for both the Trust and Cricket Club.

A spokesperson for the organising committee said: “We must thank Samantha, Ryan and Richie and Tommy and Darren Knox for giving up their time to take part in the dinner, as well as Bruce Aitchison who was a superb MC during the whole night.

“Thanks also to Stuart Wilson for his work on the sound during the night, John Robertson and the team for the meals, GalaPate’s bar staff and waiters and waitresses, A&A Doyle for sponsoring the dinner programmes, everyone who provided auction and raffle prizes and everyone who donated.”

Sports Dinner focus – Singing Souters and Bruce Aitchison complete line up with final call for tickets

Our final Sports Dinner focus is on our MC for the evening Bruce Aitchison from Happiness is Egg Shaped and our musical entertainment, the Singing Souters – also known as Tommy and Darren Knox from Selkirk.

Anyone still thinking about attending is asked to please buy their ticket by this Saturday (30 March) to allow catering arrangements to be finalised – please contact [email protected], Scott Paterson (07834522358); Keith Irvine (07773142226) or Kenny Paterson (07913767871).


Bruce Aitchison hails from Stow and while a Hibs fan, rugby that has been the dominant sport in his life.

One of his early rugby achievements was captaining Gala Academy to a Scottish Schools Under 18 Final triumph over Dundee High School in 1997 by the narrowest of margins – eight points to seven. Only one other state school has claimed the cup since Gala Academy, highlighting what a remarkable feat it was for the young Braw Lads.

Bruce’s passion and commitment to all things rugby continued after he left school and he managed to play the sport across the world, from Gala and Watsonians to the wonderfully named Albany Knickbockers in New York to Kowloon in Hong Kong and Te Rapa in New Zealand.

The father of two then moved into coaching at various clubs such as Murrayfield Wanderers, Boroughmuir and Watsonians, alongside teaching in Hong Kong, secondary schools in Scotland and now as housemaster at Merchiston Castle School.

Inspired by a t-shirt presented to him by his brother, Bruce has also created the Happiness is Egg Shaped brand, which now includes a website, popular social media channel – including 36,000 Facebook followers – and podcast.

Under the brand name, Bruce writes blogs, carries out educational talks and after dinner speeches, MC roles and ‘other rugby related nonsense’ as he puts it.

Last year, he also completed his Breenge Tae The Borders challenge, to cycle 100 miles from Dundee to Galashiels and then Melrose, to raise money for My Name’5 Doddie Foundation in memory of his friend and hero, the late great Doddie Weir.

The Singing Souters – father and son duo Tommy and Darren Knox – will be our musical entertainment throughout the evening.

Tommy is a decorator to trade, having been self employed for 32 years and is married to Lynne from Galashiels.

A singer with local Selkirk folk group Gaelforce, Tommy also enjoys running with the Gala Harriers and cycling.

He recently completed a brilliant sponsored cycle ride to Italy with the Cycling Souters, helping to raise over £36,000 – and counting – for My Name’5 Doddie Foundation. You can still donate at

Darren works at the Border Physio Clinic in Gattonside, having previously lived in Glasgow for ten years.

It was in Scotland’s largest city he performed a number of gigs from pubs to weddings and functions.

He recently returned to Scotland after travelling in Australia and New Zealand for eight months, and has now returned to the Royal Burgh.

Thank you to Bruce, Tommy and Darren and, and Samantha Kinghorn, Richie Gray and Ryan Mania for taking part in our sports dinner in aid of Gala Cricket Club and Rowan Boland Memorial Trust.

Local sports stars headline Galashiels sporting dinner – tickets now on sale

Paralympian Samantha Kinghorn, Grand National winning jockey Ryan Mania and rugby & American Football coach Richie Gray will share their inspirational stories at a sporting dinner held jointly by Gala Cricket Club and the Rowan Boland Memorial Trust.

The dinner takes place in the Volunteer Hall in Galashiels on Saturday 6 April and is open to all – with tickets now available to buy.

The night will be MC’d by experienced event host and the man behind Happiness is Egg Shaped, Bruce Aitchison, with Samantha, Ryan and Richie – who all hail from the Borders – sharing their experiences in a Question & Answer format.

Music will be provided by the Singing Souters, while an auction and raffle are also expected to take place.

The event is mixed company so open to all, with full tables, half tables, couples and singles all welcome.

Tickets are priced at £50 and includes a three course meal. The dinner is a 6.30pm for 7pm start.

To buy your tickets, please contact either Scott Paterson (07834522358); Keith Irvine (07773142226) or Kenny Paterson (07913767871) or email [email protected].

Samantha is from Gordon and is a double paralympic medalist and multiple world medalist, and most recently became a TV presenter on BBC Countryfile.

Ryan Mania of Clovenfords shot to fame when he won the Grand National in 2013, who then came out of retirement in 2019 to return to the sport he loves.

Galashiels’ Richie Gray is the founder of GSI Performance and has been an elite performance skills coach for a series of rugby and NFL teams, most recently with the Philadelphia Eagles where he went viral for his role in the team’s successful Brotherly Shove play.

Christmas Food Bank Collection

Donations are being sought by Gala Cricket Club for a Christmas Food Bank Collection to support families in need of some help this festive season.

The collection takes place this Saturday (16 December) from 9am to 12noon at the club’s Meigle Park Pavilion, at the top of Manse Street.

The club is looking for non-perishable food items from supporters, members and the local community. 

In addition, if anyone can provide small value Tesco or Asda vouchers, which will also be provided to families via the Galashiels Food Bank.

Successful Rowan Boland Festival held

Another successful Rowan Boland Memorial Festival was held at Gala Cricket Club on Sunday – with over £250 raised for charity.

A total of six teams took part in the annual under 11 softball event, with Gala, Selkirk, Kelso, Penicuik and Carlton all represented.

And the trophy was shared by Kelso and Gala as both teams won all three of their matches.

A cake sale, raffle and tea and coffee were all sold on the morning, raising more than £250 for the Rowan Boland Memorial Trust.

Kenny Paterson from the club said: “Many thanks to all junior players and parents who came along on the day, as well as the various Gala parents and volunteers who helped umpire and score, prepare outfield and pitches, and run the cake, raffle and tea and coffee stall.

“The Rowan Boland Memorial Trust has been a massive supporter of club for many years, including their recent support for our juniors training kit.

As a result, we are delighted to be able to give something back to help their important work supporting young sportspeople in the Scottish Borders.”

Foxes kitted out by Rowan Boland Trust

Gala Foxes have been kitted out thanks to the Rowan Boland Memorial Trust.

The Borders charity have handed Gala Cricket Club’s junior section a cheque for £1,100.

The award allowed all juniors to receive a training t-shirt and pair of shorts.

Rowan’s Trust have been a long standing supporter of the cricket club’s junior section, and their latest support is gratefully received by the youngsters and club.

One of the junior coaches, John Purves, said: “It is a fantastic gesture by the Rowan Boland Memorial Trust.

“The club has a long association with the Trust and this latest award emphasises again their significant support for the junior section.

“Thank you again to the Trust for their generous support, as well as our other existing sponsors.”

Gala Foxes thank existing playing kit sponsors Cademuir Engineering and Caravan Fix, as well as Print X for the speedy service ordering and printing the new kit.

John Purves is also thanked for the unenviable task of collecting all the sizes and handing out the kit.

The Rowan Boland Memorial Trust supports young people across the Scottish Borders to progress in their chosen sports.

To find out more, please visit

Photo – a number of juniors in their new training kit at Meigle Park alongside George Henry of the Rowan Boland Memorial Trust and cheque for £1,100.

Summary of season so far

Rain has dominated proceedings so far in Gala’s 2023 season, with all but three of our 10 games so far being impacted by the weather.

The club went into new season having not played any pre season games due to the rain and opposition call offs.

And there wasnt much luck in first week as the firsts never got started at Edinburgh South due to a wet outfield and continued rainfall.

The Seconds did get a game, albeit a damp one, as they triumphed by seven wickets over fellow Borders side Peebles County. Max Hastings the stand out with 61 not out.

Week two saw the firsts suffer a frustrating afternoon as rain and then bad light meant they just missed out on a win against Grange 2nds, while their Scottish Cup tie at home to Aberdeenshire was called off by the weather.

The 2s suffered a miserable afternoon at the infamous Meadows against Morton, with the game eventually called off in persistent rain with Gala 14 for 4. 

The u14s game against Peebles was also called off the following Monday but u12s defeated Carlton with an impressive win at Meigle Park.

Gala firsts looked on course for their first win when they bowled out Linlithgow for 103 last Saturday, with pro Janith Chathuranga taking 5 for 18.

But the Braw Lads were bowled out for 94 to suffer a painful 9 run loss. 

There was more joy for the 2nds as they beat Tranent and Preston Village at Meigle Park by 37 runs.

Sam McAneny scored 32 for Gala and his uncle Scott Paterson took 3 for 6 while youngster Ruaridh Anderson managed 3 for 13 as Tranent made 92 in reply.

Gala’s Scottish Cup tie with Aberdeenshire was finally played last Sunday, with Aberdeenshire winning by 42 runs via DLS scoring system as rain again played its part. Ash Rhode took 3 wickets in the visitors total of 141 while the returning Jamie Crooks was also amongst the wickets. 

Despite a frustrating start to season weather wise, the club has had a fantastic response to its drive to secure more player sponsors with well over 30 sponsors secured. In addition, the club secured a new sponsor for its playing shirts in Borders Podiatry and Performance Clinic. All sponsors are available to view at our sponsors page which also has information if you wish to sponsor us for remainder of season.

Gala CC present Maisie with World Cup shirt

Gala CC was delighted to present Maisie with her Scotland Under 19 World Cup framed shirt this week, following her successful performances in the tournament earlier this year.

The 17-year-old bowler featured in three of Scotland’s four games in the global competition, the highlight being her two wickets against UAE.

Gala’s latest shirt sponsor, Dan Broadhead and Anne Stewart of Borders Podiatry & Performance Clinic presented the shirt to Maisie on behalf of the club.

Maisie has also donated her second World Cup shirt to the club to display in its clubrooms.

We look forward to seeing Maisie continue to progress for club and country this season.

Gala CC on right footing with Borders Podiatry & Performance Clinic

A leading Borders podiatry clinic has put Gala’s cricketers on the right footing by becoming the club’s latest shirt sponsor.

Borders Podiatry & Pérformance Clinic have generously agreed to sponsor Gala CC, joining fellow local companies Kinalba and Keith Irvine Plastering as shirt sponsors.

Based in the heart of Galashiels at Channel Street, Borders Podiatry & Performance Clinic have over 30 years of combined experience in treating conditions affecting foot, ankle and leg.

The clinic’s podiatrists have worked with amateur and elite athletes, cyclists, footballers and rugby players to improve their performance and reduce their risk of injury.

Dan Broadhead and Anne Stewart of Borders Podiatry & Performance Clinic were presented with complimentary shirts by Maisie Maceira, Gala CC and Scotland Under 19 player. In return, Dan and Anne presented Maisie with her framed Scotland U19 World Cup shirt.

Borders Podiatry & Performance Clinic’s support arrives on the eve of Gala Cricket Club’s 170th year – making it one of the oldest sports clubs in Galashiels.

The 1st XI are competing in the East of Scotland Championship aiming for their third league title in a row, while the 2nd XI will play in East Division Six.

There is also junior cricket including All Stars Cricket taking place throughout the season.

All new players at all age groups and all abilities are welcome, with the club also seeking volunteers who maybe be able to help day to day running of club, even if its just one hour a week.

A Gala CC spokesperson said: “We owe a huge thank you to the Borders Podiatry & Performance Clinic for their support. It is fantastic to see a local company recognise the importance of community sports clubs such as Gala CC.

“Local firms have been hugely supportive of the club in recent years and we thank all of them – without their support we simply wouldn’t be entering our 170th year.”

For more information on Borders Podiatry & Performance Clinic visit: