Kettering celebrates its sporting heroes

Amanda Harris who received The Arthur Nicholson Award after being voted Sports Personality of 2012
Amanda Harris who received The Arthur Nicholson Award after being voted Sports Personality of 2012

Kettering paid tribute to its sporting heroes at an awards ceremony at Wicksteed Park Pavilion.

The Kettering Sports Awards 2012 ceremony, held on Wednesday, October 31, is an annual event organised by the borough council and the town’s youth council to recognise and reward sporting talent, from athletes and coaches to volunteers and local teams.

Click here to see more pictures from the awards night.

Dermot Bailey of Brooke Weston Academy and Corby Tennis Club received the Disabled Sports Achiever of the Year Award and Jessica Burke-Martin of Kettering Volleyball Club was the Young Leader of the Year.

She said: “It’s a huge honour and it was a real surprise. It’s very nice that my efforts have been recognised.”

Dick Caplis of Kettering Town Harriers received the award for Long-time Contribution to Sport.

Mr Caplis, 71, said: “I joined Kettering Harriers in 1959 and I was a coach for 15 years. I’m thrilled and very proud to receive this award after being associated with athletics for all these years.”

Shane Smith of Kettering Town Harriers received the Sports Coach of the Year Award, Niamh Bailey of Kettering Town Harriers was the Young Sportswoman 2012, Jon Bull of Targetcraft Archers received the Young Sportsman 2012 Award and Lisbeth Higgins took the Get Active Award.

Jared Thres, head of physical education at Kettering Buccleuch Academy, picked up the Sports School of the Year Award.

He said: “I’m delighted the school has won the award for the second year running. It is a great credit to our PE teachers and to the pupils.”

Simon Ashton, of Kettering Town Girls Football Club, collected the Team of the Year Award.

Alex Hajigeorgieva, of Kettering Volleyball Club, received the Community Club of the Year Award and Liz Randle, of Kettering Hockey Club was given an award for being the volunteer of the year.

She said: “I joined the hockey club 20 years ago and I am now club secretary. We have been capitalising on the Olympics and trying to get people interested in hockey.

“It’s wonderful to receive this award.”

The award for Local Sports Personality of 2012, The Arthur Nicholson Award, was presented to Amanda Harris, of Northamptonshire Trampoline Gymnastics Academy, after a public vote. It was presented by Kettering mayor Jim Hakewill.

Amanda, from Rothwell, has represented England for trampoline gymnastics, finishing first at an international competition in Sweden.

She represented Team GB in the World Cup in Portugal, winning a bronze medal in the synchronised competition.

Family, friends and supporters cheered on the winners at the awards ceremony which was held after a buffet.

Guests were welcomed by Lennie Newman, chairman of Kettering Rugby Football Club and former Saints player and manager.

He said: “What a year 2012 has been for sport. We are here to celebrate the sportsmen and sportswomen and the achievers. There is a great plethora of talent in the Kettering district.

“The most important thing is that we make sport memorable and fun.”