Shining the spotlight on the sporting stars of East Northants

Sporting stars of all ages and abilities were honoured at East Northants' first district wide sports awards.

Thursday, 24th October 2019, 4:16 pm
The winners
The winners

The first East Northamptonshire Sports and Physical Activity awards was attended by more than 150 guests earlier this month.

Cllr Colin Wright, ward councillor for the Rushden Pemberton area, compered the evening held at the Rushden Historical Transport Society Goods Shed in Rushden, and the eight awards were presented by dignitaries including chairman and vice-chairman of the council, Cllrs Dudley Hughes and Helen Howell.

Cllr Hughes said: "We are all overwhelmed with the talent in the district, and we look forward to continuing to work with partners and community groups to encourage everyone to become more active, more often.”

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Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, Steven North, said: "This event provided us with an opportunity to celebrate the sporting talent in East Northamptonshire with the very first awards ceremony and I would like to congratulate everyone who was nominated and won an award.

"We look forward to continuing to champion physical activity through our healthy and active lifestyles programme."

The awards recognised the talent of residents across the district and celebrated their work in the community, and the winners were:

- Community Champion/Volunteer of the Year - Robert Phipps, Nassington Walking for Health group

- Community Club/Group of the Year - Eclipse Gymnastics, Rushden

- Community Coach/Activator of the Year - Ian Gow, Oundle Chatter Runners

- Primary Sports School of the Year - Newton Road School, Rushden.

- Secondary Sports School of the Year - Prince William School, Oundle

- Beat the Street Champion - Janet Brown, Rushden Walking for Health group

- Disabled Sports Person of the Year - William Roberts, Peterborough Special Olympic Swimming

- Sports Person of the Year - Rachael Lever, Fencing

Among the winners was Prince William School in Oundle, which scooped two awards.

The school won the secondary sports school of the year category, while pupil Rachael Lever, who became a double British under 17 and under 18 fencing champion this year, received the award for sports person of the year.

Members of the PE department and Rachael were at the ceremony to collect their awards.

Headteacher Elizabeth Dormor said: “This is a fantastic achievement for our school to be recognised for our commitment to sport and physical activity.

"We pride ourselves on offering a range of sports here at Prince William School and supporting our students to take part in as much sport and physical activity as possible.

“I’m also delighted to see Rachael receive her award, which is very well deserved.

"She has had a tremendous year, becoming a double British under 17 and under 18 champion this year and representing her country at the European and World championships.”

Also up for an award was Matthew Berkshire, Wrenn's sixth form head boy, and his gymnastics partner Millie Lawrie, who were nominated for the Sports People of the Year.

They were nominated for their performance at the British NDP finals in acrobatic gymnastics.

Matthew has been performing gymnastics for 12 years with Eclipse Gymnastic in Rushden.

Matthew said: "It was a real privilege being nominated.

"I am retiring at the end of the year to focus on my A-level studies so this is a fitting ending to my 12 year career.

"I would like to thank my coach, Terry Masters, for nominating me and Shoney Morrish, Beverley Lawrie, Christine Masters and all other coaches that supported me in my successes."

Despite not winning their category, the school said it was 'super proud' of Matthew's achievements and added: "His hard work, determination and ambition have ensured his success."

East Northamptonshire Council held the event with its partners Freedom Leisure supported by Intelligent Health and Northamptonshire Sport.

All of the winners will now be included for the countywide Northamptonshire Sports Awards taking place on November 20, and for the first time they will be representation from clubs and individuals from East Northamptonshire District.