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The Edinburgh reporter sends our congratulations to Lothian Special Olympics volunteer and football coach Elaine McKenna who has made the short-list of real Scottish heroes who will be spotlighted in the second series of RBS – Finding Scotland’s Real Heroes on STV.

The shortlist of nominees will be featured in a series of programmes to be aired this autumn with the overall winners being celebrated in a televised awards ceremony later in the year.

The STV series pays tribute to people whose hard work, ingenuity, ambition and generosity has improved local communities across Scotland.

Elaine leads the football activity for more than 60 athletes at Meadowbank each week, and was instrumental in forging the unique partnership between Lothian Special Olympics and Hibernian Community Foundation that created Lothian Hibernian in 2008.

The partnership provides opportunities for people with learning disabilities to play football wearing the Hibernian badge and to receive coaching from the U19 Hibernian Youth Academy players.

This joined up approach provides a wide range of benefits as players from the elite side of the game and those with varying abilities gain valuable experience with each other through their shared interest in football.

Elaine was nominated in the ‘Sporting Volunteer of the Year’ category.

Lothian Hibernian play in national and international competitions, bringing home Gold, Silver and Bronze medals year after year and providing enjoyable training opportunities for players of all abilities on a weekly basis.

Some Lothian Hibernian players are now preparing for their first appearance in the World games in Los Angeles in 2015, and several teams will be playing in the first Scottish FA pan disability league starting in August 2014 after their successful appearance as the first Scottish team in the Northeast Ability Counts league in Newcastle in 2013/14