From young gymnasts and archers to club stalwarts and undefeated netball teams, it was a night to celebrate all that is great about the district’s grassroots sporting scene.
The Harborough Mail and Lutterworth Mail’s 13th annual Sports Awards ceremony was held at the Three Swans Hotel conference suite in Harborough last Thursday night, November 27.
A sell-out crowd had a three-course meal before the envelopes were opened to announce this year’s winners.
Mail readers nominated dozens of people and teams for the awards and a judging panel then selected a shortlist in each of the ten categories, and then the winners. All nominees won a certificate with the winners also receiving a glass trophy.
Special guest was former British Olympic pole vaulting champion and record-holder Kate Dennison, who was interviewed on stage by Mail editor Neil Pickford at the start of the night.
See below for the full list of winners and runners-up.
The winner of the vaunted Unsung Hero Award was Jack Morris, of Market Harborough Rugby Club.
He has been a member since 1955 and during his time at the Nothampton Road club has been a first team captain for ten years, chairman, president, and most recently, groundsman.
One of the biggest cheers of the night went to young trampoline gymnast Andrew Stamp, who won Sports Personality of the Year.
The Northants Trampoline Gymnastics Academy member came second in his age group at this year’s British Championships, and recently returned from the World Age Games in Daytona Beach, Florida, USA, with an individual world bronze and a silver in the synchronised event.
Inspire a Generation winner was Lutterworth Rugby Club’s Jason Woodward who has been at the club since the early 1990s. He has coached for 15 years at all age groups and is still playing. He has also built up and helped recruit for the club’s women’s team.
Mail editor Neil Pickford said: “We would like to say a big thank you to all our sponsors, especially main event sponsor Market Harborough Building Society. Without their support the event would not be possible.”
ALL THE PICTURES FEATURED IN THE GALLERY ARE AVAILABLE TO ORDER FROM THE MAIL’S WEBSITE. Simply click on the ‘Buy a Photo’ heading on the Mail’s homepage.
ROLL OF HONOUR 2014 HARBOROUGH DISTRICT SPORTS AWARDS
Sportswoman of the Year (sponsored by Stanair)
Winner: swimmer Olivia Weller. Runners-up: swimmer Candice Hall, athlete Karen Brooks and netballer Amy Hayward.
Sportsman (The Angel Hotel)
Winner: athlete Isaac Akers. Runners-up: motor racing driver Cameron Twynham, cricketer Ollie Barton and rugby player Tom Sanderson.
Junior Sportsman (The Langton Brewery)
Winner: swimmer Jay Newman. Runners-up: squash player Billy Bowes, trampoline gymnast Andrew Stamp, and all-rounders William Earland and Toby Slay. Junior Sportswoman (Edward, Hands & Lewis)
Winner: archer Sophia Eaves. Runners-up: tennis player Millie Parker, netball player Lily Mills and disabled gymnast Maddie Brooks.
Sports Leader (The Three Swans Hotel)
Winner: Kibworth Primary School pupils Jack Vernum and Harvey Fitzpatrick. Runners-up: Robert Smyth Acadamy sports leader Iquan Silcott and sports leader/ volunteer Clarisse Bale.
Unsung Hero (Harborough District Leisure Trust)
Winner: Jack Morris of Market Rugby Club. Runners-up: Keith Tranter of Lutterworth Rugby Club and Judy leader of Leicester Sharks Swimming Club.
Sports Personality (Specsavers)
Winner: Andrew Stamp. Runners-up: Cameron Twynham and wheelchair basketball player Scott Keating.
Team of the Year (Market Harborough Building Society)
Winner: Thomas Estley College’s under-13s girls’ football team. Runners-up: Market Harborough Cricket Club under-15s, Church Langton Primary School’s ‘A’ netball team, Robert Smyth Academy’s leadership team and Harborough Business Club netball team.
Inspire a Generation (Harborough District Sports & Activity Alliance)
Winner: Jason Woodward of Lutterworth Rugby Club. Runners-up: Lutterworth Sports Centre’s swimming teachers, Market Harborough Gymnastics & Trampoline Club’s coaches, PE teacher Sarah Kavanagh of Thomas Estley College, school PE teacher Joanna Sparkes, Market Harborough Youth Netball League chairman Wendy Hayward and swimming coach Philippa Hill.
Disabled Sports Personality (Spire Homes)
Winner: cricketer Ollie Barton. Runners-up: Scott Keating, Kibworth-based Can Do Sports Club helper Donald Maclean, tennis player and athlete Matthew Chilvers.
Story by Alex Blackwell.