November 26, 2012
The talents and dedication of athletes, sports teams, coaches and sport volunteers in Cumbria were celebrated Friday (23rd November) at the annual Cumbria Sports Awards. Over 250 guests, including guest speaker Alan Bell, IAAF International Starter, and chief starter at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games congratulated winners at the event held at the Low Wood Hotel, Windermere.
Organised by Active Cumbria, the awards recognise the outstanding talents, commitment and successes of teams and individuals throughout Cumbria who are involved in sport.
This year’s winner of the prestigious Sports Personality of the Year Award went to Lauren Smith. The judging panel deliberated long and hard about this award and the standard of nominations coming forward increases year on year. Mention must be made of the progress of a number of sportsmen and women from the County, who are operating at the top of their chosen sports, especially our Olympians and Paralympians, who include Chloe Wilcox, Glen Robinson, Alex Rutlidge, Alan Wills, Dean Miller, Charlie Walker, and Thomas Young.
However, it is safe to say that Lauren has had a truly outstanding 2012. She is a member of the Senior GB Badminton Squad, and specializes in women’s and mixed doubles. She has this year progressed from the junior ranks and is now firmly established as a full time professional athlete. This year, she has represented GB at the World and European Championships and also at the Uber Cup.
This year, in the mixed doubles, she has made the finals of full international events inWales,Denmark, andPoland, leading to a world ranking of 42.
She is now on course for inclusion in the Commonwealth Games Squad for 2014 and the Olympic Squad for Rio 2016.
The newly named Brendan Jameson Be Inspired Award was originally launched at the 2009 Sports Awards, created and supported by the late Brendan Jameson to recognise the achievements of an individual or group who are contributing to the legacy of London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The winner this year of the Brendan Jameson Be Inspired Award went to Workington School Olympics, an event which showed these qualities in abundance. It is rare for an event to win an award. In this year of the home Olympic and Paralympic Games, they were awarded for the impact the Games had in our county during this summer. This is especially true for the young people from the Workington area that had the privilege to be involved in this summers Workington School Olympics. A mass participation sports event pulled together by a group of dedicated volunteers, with over 2600 participants and 2000 spectators all converging on Derwent Park for an unforgettable day of sport, which included races, come and try it sessions, as well as many other cultural and arts activities.
Tom Farrell was awarded Performance of the Year Award for the performance he achieved on 29 April this year at the Palo Alto Invitational Track and Field Meeting at Stanford University in California. Tom ran the 5,000 meters in a time of 13 minutes 15.31 seconds, which was an Olympic Games 'A' Standard Qualifying time, it was the best time ever recorded by UK under 23 athlete, and it was the 10th fastest time ever by a UK athlete. It was also the 6th fastest time by a European athlete in 2012. Were it not for an injury Tom may well have been selected to run in the 5,000 meters at this years Olympic Games. Tom is now in training out in Australia and the award was collected on his behalf by John Clemenson.
With such a competitive category the judging panel made special mention of the outstanding performance of Nick Miller from Carlisle, currently the world leader for the under 20 age category in the Hammer event, and current British record holder.
The Special Award is awarded at the discretion of the Judging Panel, and this year goes to Bob Maxwell, who despite his advancing years is still an extremely active member of the cricket fraternity across Carlisle and the rest of Cumbria. He has worked tirelessly helping develop many hundreds of young players through his work with Cumbria Schools Cricket Association for many years, making the long journey from Carlisle to Millom in the middle of the worst of the weather to help out with winter coaching. He has also been a committed member of Carlisle Cricket Club, having held many roles over the years, and been involved with the redevelopment of the ground and clubhouse following the recent flooding.
The winner of the Service to Sport Award went to Pat McCluskey. The Service to Sport Award is awarded to the person demonstrating outstanding commitment and dedication to sport over a long period of time, be it as a participant, coach, volunteer or official. This award was amongst the most difficult for the judging panel to decide upon, as there were many outstanding candidates all with vast levels of experience, commitment and passion for their sport.
Pat, from the world of netball, has been playing, coaching, umpiring, and running teams for over 55 years. Still an accomplished player, she represented the North of England in earlier times, and has lost none of her enthusiasm for her sport. She has been Head Coach at the Harraby team for 23 years, and during this period the team have remained unbeaten in the Carlisle And Cumbria League, a remarkable achievement.
She encourages all members of the squad to train hard and be committed to their sport, and has provided many positive life messages to all who have come into contact with her.
The winner of the Young Sports Leader of the Year Award went to Brogan Stewart, from Barrow-In-Furness, who has been giving a great deal of her time to volunteering in sport over the last year. A talented athlete in her own right, she has been volunteering in a range of sports including hockey, athletics, netball, fun runs and cross country events. She uses her skills to help others develop in a particular sport. She has also volunteers at an after school education centre and is currently learning to use sign language to help her in her voluntary work with the local disability sports club.
Kevin Bell from Cockermouth, was awarded Volunteer of the Year Award for his dedication in volunteering in his sport of Disability Football, he has achieved a Level 2 Coaching Qualification as well as continuing to play both mainstream and disability football. He has been instrumental in the success of the Cumbria Just Play Ability County Football Centre, and has inspired others to get involved and continues to act as an ambassador. He has also recently been awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award by Cumberland FA and won the FA North West Volunteer of the Year Award. The award was collected by Jess Lawson of the Cumberland FA on his behalf.
For the first time there were two awards under the Coach of the Year category with recognition for a runner up. The runner up was awarded to Paul Bell, a young man who has been making a real difference to young people playing Squash in the Carlisle area. A Level 3 Coach, who was coach for 5 winners at this years North West Championships, all of whom are now competing at national level. He has recently been crowned England Squash National Young Coach of the Year as well as Carlisle’s Coach of the Year.
The winner of Coach of the Year went to Stuart Lancaster from Penrith. Stuart has reached the pinnacle of Rugby Union. He is a level 5 Elite Coach. He started his rugby playing career at St.Bees School playing for the 1st XV. He also played for Scotland at Under 19 and 21 levels. After playing for Leeds Carnegie, he ran the Leeds/RFU Academy. He then became Elite Rugby Director at Leeds Carnegie in 2006. He has also led the England Saxons and has held the role of Head Elite Player Development at the RFU. In March this year he was confirmed as the Head Coach of the England side building to the 2015 World Cup. In first season in charge of the England Team the finished 2nd in the RBS 6 Nations, winning 4 of 5 matches.
The winner of the Performance Award for People with a Disability went to Dean Miller from the world of Athletics who has continued on a successful career by being selected for Team GB at this Summers Paralympic Games in London. He qualified for the Final of the 1500 meters for athletes with Cerebral Palsy, finishing 7th.
The judging panel would like to recognise the achievements of 12 year old Jamie Warriner from Barrow, who won an astonishing 10 Gold Medals at this year’s Disability Swimming Junior Championships.
The Team of the Year Award was presented to the team demonstrating the highest achievement within their sport. The award this year goes to the Wigton Bowling Club Ladies Team. They have had a remarkable season in Ladies Bowls, which culminated in them being crowned Bowls England National Top Club. This involved a team of 10 ladies competing in 4 disciplines against the best bowlers from across England. After winning events in Cumbria and the Northern Region they travelled to Leamington where they won quarter finals and semi finals before winning a tight final 2.5 – 1.5 against Croydon Bowling Club.
The judging panel found this category a tough one to judge and would like to mention Cumberland County Cricket Club’s team and their victory in the MCCA Trophy, defeating Wiltshire by 7 wickets.
The winner of Junior Team of the Year, from Ulverston, went to Pennington School Swimming Team. The team produced some great performances at the English Schools Swimming Championships. The team was successful in winning Gold Medals in both the 4 x 25 meter Medley Relay and also the 4 x 25 Freestyle Relay, setting new national records in both events. A feat never achieved before.
The Judging Panel had an extremely difficult decision to make in this category, and special mention was made to Kirkby Lonsdale Junior Hockey Club, who reached the national finals of both the outdoor and indoor championships.
Five Rising Star Awards were made to talented athletes who have demonstrated their potential through their achievements during the last year. This was one of the most keenly contested categories and the Judging Panel deliberated long and hard about the eventual winners. It does confirm the real strength in depth of junior sport within the County, and the standards do increase each year.
The first Rising Star went to Courtney Savage of Penrith from the sport of Netball. This year she represented England under 17’s and helped them win the European Championships. She has also been called up to the England under 21 Squad despite being only 17.
The second Rising Star went to Amy Hullock from world of Tae Kwon Do. Amy was selected in a team of 13 people to represent England at the World Cup event staged in Brighton, which involved over 1600 competitors from 45 countries. She won a Gold Medal in the Team Patterns and a Bronze Medal in the Team Sparring.
The third Rising Star award went to Luke Greenbank from Cockermouth. Luke has excelled in his chosen sport of swimming. This year he won 2 Gold’s, 3 Silvers and a Bronze Medal at this years British Age Group Championships and broke 2 British Records in the 100 meters and 200 meters Backstroke events. He is a member of the English School Swimming Team and competed recently in the home internationals.
The fourth Rising Star award went to Eleanor Dickinson from the world of Cycling and is showing real promise. She has recently been accepted onto British Cycling’s Olympic Talent Team Programme. She finished 2nd in the National Crit Championships earlier this year and is the North West Grass Track Champion.
The final rising star went to another cycling talent, Matti Egglestone, a young man who has shown real potential with some fantastic performances this year. He is ranked number 1 in the UK following success in the British Cycling National Ranking Series, which involved competing 7 events all over the country. He has also won the National Championships in Gravesend. He is a dedicated trainer who has his sights firmly set on becoming a professional cyclist.
Chelsea Nugent was named Junior Sports Personality of the Year from the world of Athletics and the 800 meters. Chelsea has had an amazing year winning 5 national titles including the English School Championships and the National AAA Club Championships, and set a new national record and sits proudly at the top of the UK rankings.
Each individual junior winner also kindly received a voucher for a free pair of training shoes from New Balance Athletics Shoes Ltd. Each individual winner received a voucher to receive a special training t-shirt from another of our sponsors Kukri.
Guest Speaker Alan Bell said;
“It was an honour to attend the Cumbria Sports Awards and celebrate the great achievements in sport throughout Cumbria. I am really impressed with the standard of talent in Cumbria and would especially like to praise this years rising stars that I am sure will go on to achieve great things in their chosen sport!”
Richard Johnston, Senior Manager at Active Cumbria said;
“The Awards were a superb event and an excellent opportunity to celebrate the enormous effort and talents of the sporting stars of Cumbria. We had some excellent nominations for the awards this year, and I know that our judging panel had a real task to choose all this years deserving winners. It just goes to show what great talent and dedication to sport that we have in the county. The support of the media, all of the Local Authorities and several major commercial organisations continue to make these awards a massive success, acknowledging the quality of our major sports performers and our emerging talent, as well as recognising the very important part played by volunteers and coaches in Cumbria”.