County’s sporting heroes are celebrated
WITH a fantastic year of sporting achievements in the county to reflect upon, the 11th Northamptonshire Sports Awards last weekend celebrated local sporting heroes, rising stars, coaches, volunteers and unsung champions of sport, at an awards event held at Sywell Aerodrome.
Chris Holmes, director of Northamptonshire Sport (which organised the event), said: “2015 has seen it all – emerging talent coming through, known performers continuing to produce the goods and one or two left field results that have really turned the tables. Sport in Northamptonshire continues to produce the goods. The Rio Olympics is just around the corner – let’s hope we might be seeing some of the winners from tonight on our TV screens in nine months time!”
The evening included a charity raffle to support the Northamptonshire Federation of Disability Sport, which raised just under £500.
The ceremony was hosted by Northamptonshire-based sports broadcaster Mike Sewell.
The winners of each category were:
Performance Coach of the Year sponsored by Moulton College – Jim Mallinder, head coach Northampton Saints RFC. The 2014 / 2105 season was another success, with the Saints finishing at the top of the Aviva Premiership. Unfortunately, they lost in the Premiership semi-final. The Saints also reached their fifth LV Cup semi final in seven years and a Heineken Cup quarter-final.
Community Coach of the Year sponsored by sports coach UK – John Daly, head coach at Far Cotton Boxing Club. John volunteers a minimum of 15 hours a week to work with a range of boxers, including national and international boxers. He delivers 11 weekly sessions to a mixture of groups, from five years old to adults. He has been instrumental in the club achieving ClubMark and an Inspired Facilities grant.
Young Leader of the Year sponsored by Northampton County Council – Amy Addison. Amy has worked her way through her coaching qualifications and is now a qualified coach. She was recently made the assistant head coach at Rushden Swimming Club, one of the youngest in the country. She is a regular attendee with her squads at galas and swim meets.
Volunteer of the Year sponsored by The University of Northampton Department of Sport, Exercise and Life Science – Matt Brown. This year, Matt has become the club chairman and has restructured Kettering Town Harriers from top to bottom. He has overseen a refurbishment of the club’s facilities and has accessed more than £100,000 to install floodlights at the club. He is a club coach and chief timekeeper. He has recruited a new group of people to take the club forward
Primary Sport School of the Year sponsored by Create Development – Lings Primary School, Northampton. A School Games Mark Gold school, Lings delivers extra curricular activities to 100% of children, provides two hours PE for all pupils, attended 83% of Level 2 competitions, had nine teams at the Summer School Games and is the first Create Development National Showcase school.
Secondary Sport School of the Year sponsored by Create Development – Lodge Park Academy, Corby. A School Games Mark Gold school for the second year running, the school ran more than 250 different sporting fixtures in 18 different sports, with some 70% of pupils engaged in this activity. A fully inclusive programme is provided utilising the ‘Sky Living for Sport’ programme. Sports leadership is a huge element of the work of the school and the school has taken part in the National Young Ambassadors programme.
Community Team of the Year sponsored by Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team – Kettering Town Harriers U20 Women’s Relay Squad. The U20 Women’s 4x400m relay squad won the English National U20 4x400m relay championships at Bedford International Stadium in August 2015 to crown a superb season where they remain unbeaten in all competitions.
Performance Team of the Year sponsored by BBC Radio Northampton – Northampton Saints. Another epic season for the Saints as they came first in the Premiership table for the first time in their history, but narrowly lost in the end of season playoffs. The Saints also made the semi-finals of the LV Cup and the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup. The Saints also had eight players playing in the Rugby World Cup.
Active Workplace of the Year sponsored by Sport England – Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team. The company takes the health and wellbeing of their employees seriously. On site there is a not-for-profit gym that employees can access, that offers a variety of activities including fitness testing, fitness challenges and individual fitness programmes. The company restaurant has added healthy options to its menu and the company has embraced the Workplace Challenge with many staff logging and taking up new activity challenges. The company has also created a ‘Bike to Work’ scheme and set up a cycling club.
Get Active Award sponsored by Places for People – Louise Woollacott. In 2014, Louise – from Corby – joined the Body Magic Marvels jogging group. Having struggled to start with, she persevered and ran the London Marathon in April 2015, just shortly after her 60th birthday. Louise is a great role model to all involved in the group and a fine example of how to achieve a goal through hard work and determination.
Disabled Sports Person of the Year sponsored by Wellingborough Norse and Young Sportswoman of the Year sponsored by Aspirations Wellbeing – Eleanor Robinson. Eleanor is a swimmer, who is currently a World, European and British record holder in the S6 class. In March 2015, she won National Youth Gold and Senior Silver medals in the 50m Butterfly and represented Great Britain for the first time, where she broke World, European and British records. She is world ranked second (50m Butterfly) and fourth in the 400m Freestyle
Community Club of the Year supported by Club Matters – Far Cotton Boxing Club. The club is open seven days a week and caters for beginners through to elite boxers. In May, the club became the first Northamptonshire boxing club to achieve Clubmark and secured £70,000 from Inspired Facilities.
Sports Project of the Year sponsored by Everyone Active – KC Active. More than £100,000 has been secured to develop facilities including an Inspired Facilities grant. New activities for older men and young children, plus a broader range of sports have engaged all of the local community.
Young Sportsman of the Year sponsored by Tresham College – Isaac Akers. As a Corby Athletics Club member, Isaac has had a fantastic season as he has won all but one of his track races this season. He has achieved the qualifying time for the European Youth Athletics Championships, won Gold at the British Schools Cross Country International, is the 3000m England Athletics National Champion, won the Sainsbury School Games competition and the British Athletics National League Final.
Local Sportswoman of the Year sponsored by Ricoh – Charley Hull. Charley is a professional golfer from Kettering who first rose to prominence as a nine year old. She is currently the highest ranked English golfer in the world, with a ranking of 44. She played a huge role in the recent Solheim Cup, where she contributed 4 points. Charley has finished in the top 50 at both the US Open and British Open this year.
Local Sportsman of the Year sponsored by Everyone Active – Kyren Wilson. The Kettering-based snooker player is ranked 54th in the world. At the 2015 Shanghai Masters, Kyren claimed his biggest prize, beating Judd Trump in the deciding frame to win his first ranking tournament.
Sports Photograph of the Year supported by Northamptonshire Telegraph – Amy Walker’s ‘Shoulders’.
Sports Personality of the Year sponsored by Travis Perkins – Calum Clark. Workaholic flanker Calum Clark has played more than one hundred games for the Saints. His international honours stretch from U18 through the age groups and up to England Saxons. He won his first full international cap against France during the build-up to Rugby World Cup 2015. Last season he won three Player of the Month awards and swept the board at the Saints End of Season Awards.
Lifetime Contribution to Sport sponsored by Decathlon – Tony Major. In 2013, Tony was awarded his FA 50 Year Service award. He has been a club secretary, cup competition organiser, Northants FA Director, Council member and Chair of the Disciplinary Committee. He spends every weekend and most weekday evenings administrating football.
The Corby Table Tennis Club/Kingswood School also picked up a Sport England Satellite Club Regional Award.
Pictured above – 2015 WINNERS LINE UP: The Northamptonshire sporting heroes show off their awards.