Celebrations were in full swing for Adventure Aberdeen outdoor instructor Gavin Taylor at the Scottish Veterans Awards on Wednesday 19 April. 

Held at the Village Hotel and Leisure Club in Edinburgh, the ceremony shone a light on the fantastic achievements of veterans across Scotland who have made the transition from military to civilian life and excelled in their relevant fields.

Reservists and companies who go the extra mile to recruit and support the Armed Forces community were also celebrated.

Gavin Taylor was ecstatic to be awarded bronze in the ‘Contribution to the Scottish Fitness Industry and Society’ category.

A man who is always up for a challenge, Gavin has completed more than 40 ultra-marathons despite once believing he could never run 50km.

In 2021, Gavin organised his own ultra-marathon event in Aberdeenshire along the Formartine and Buchan Way which saw him run 123 miles from Ballater to Peterhead in under 24 hours.

Fundraising efforts for this event enabled him to raise more than £5,000 for mental health charity Scottish Association of Mental Health (SAMH).

Commenting on his bronze award win, Gavin said: “It was very humbling, and I was grateful to be nominated in the first place. I never expected to win the bronze award, so this was a great surprise!

“Hearing everyone’s stories on the night was amazing and inspiring – it only gives me more fuel to keep working hard and pushing my limits.     

“Thanks to Sport Aberdeen for nominating me and allowing others to hear about my personal achievements.

“Let’s keep working hard and inspiring others!”

In his fulltime role at Sport Aberdeen, Gavin works with school children five days a week, teaching them key life skills including how to ride a bike.

He is a mentor to many younger team members and is a firm believer that anyone can achieve what they desire if they put their mind to it. 

A natural motivator, one of Gavin’s colleagues described him as a ‘fantastic instructor who always shows up to work with enthusiasm’. 

In the past two years, Gavin has demonstrated immense commitment to his job by gaining a collection of qualifications.

He has completed training to become a qualified mountain leader, paddlesport instructor, archery instructor, rock climbing instructor and completed his mountain biking level 2.

He is a fully qualified outdoor instructor and he is a running leader working towards his Coach in Running Fitness Qualification (CiRF) Award.

His career as an outdoor activity instructor allows him to regularly inspire others to reap the benefits of outdoor adventures. He helps adults and children to push their boundaries and face challenges, all whilst having fun along the way.

The full list of winners at this year’s Scottish Veterans Awards can be viewed here.