A year of sporting achievements was celebrated at the Daventry District Sports Awards 2010 this month.
Over 180 people attended the annual ceremony in the Saxon Suite at Daventry Leisure Centre on October 7 to recognise the talent and dedication of the district’s sportsmen and women.
Hosted by BBC Radio Northampton’s Martin Heath, 33 finalists received recognition for their achievements at the ceremony, and the awards were presented by Jack Brooks and David Murphy, two young cricketers from Northamptonshire County Cricket Club.
Various dignitaries attended the event, including Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris, the Chairman of Daventry District Council Cllr Kevin Perry, and Deputy Leader Cllr Liz Griffin.
A special certificate to recognise the sporting achievements of Daniel Worrall and the Daniel Worrall Memorial Trust was also presented to his parents Kevin and Jane Worrall.
Daniel, who was a keen sportsman, tragically died in a road accident at the age of 20 in 2009, and the trust aims to help provide community projects with the facilities and equipment to take part in sport.
Councillor Alan Hills, Community, Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder at Daventry District Council, which organised the event, said: “This year’s sports awards ceremony was a fantastic success, and reflected the efforts of the Council’s Sport & Leisure team and all of our partners in delivering sports programmes over the past 12 months.
“For the second year running we received a record number of nominations for the awards, which is testament to the strong sporting community in the district.
“Special thanks must go all the clubs and organisations that have been involved in the event, and everyone involved in organising and promoting the awards evening.”
A raffle during the evening in aid of the Chairman’s Charity raised £168 for the Friends of Danetre Hospital.
The award winners – who will now go on to represent Daventry District in the Northamptonshire Sports Awards on November 4 – were:
Disabled Sportsperson of the Year – Michael Niblett
Michael has been a dedicated member of Daventry Leisure Centre for around 6 years, training at least twice a week. Prior to beginning his training, Michael’s autism was having a profound effect on his life, but sport has given him confidence and helped him to lose weight. After much hard work Michael is now able to run for 5 continuous miles and he is a role model for people with learning disabilities in sport.
Sportsman of the Year – Liam Cassidy
Liam is a member of the Hockey Academy and represents Moulton College in the Under 19 squad. After attending trials for the British Colleges Sport National Team, Liam was selected from over 200 students for the 20-man squad. He also plays for Northampton Saints Hockey Club, is a Level 1 Hockey Coach and has demonstrated excellent leadership qualities when he has helped out with the junior sessions at the club.
Other finalists – Michael Fenn, Darren Barber
Sportswoman of the Year – Jan Bradley
Jan joined the Daventry Town Bowls Club in 2006 and in July was the County Singles Champion and went on to represent Northamptonshire in the National Championship in Leamington Spa, where she reached the last 16 losing eventually to the runner up in the National Finals. She has served in many positions in bowls and is currently the Northamptonshire Handbook Secretary.
Other finalists – Samantha Cullinane, Chantelle Cameron
Junior Sportsman of the Year – Ronan McKenzie
12-year-old Ronan has been racing karts since the age of 8 and recently won the Easykart UK Cadet Championship. He also won the Easykart ‘E’ Plate Open Championship last year and competed in the Easykart World Championship. Ronan is keen to pursue a career in motorsport, with his sights set firmly on Formula One like his heroes Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, who both started their careers in Cadet Karting.
Other finalists – Kieran Russ, Sam Meyler
Junior Sportswoman of the Year – Megan O’Brien
Sailor Megan has been a member of the Team GB Junior National Squad for the last 12 months and during this time has represented her country at two European Championships – one in Finland and the other in France. When Megan is not training or racing at events around the country, she is a member of Hollowell Sailing Club and races there, and her aim is to one day represent Great Britain at the Olympic Games.
Other finalists – Ellie Gattlin, Alice Murphy
Team of the Year – The English Vaulting Squad
The English Vaulting Squad is currently competing at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in the USA after being selected to represent Great Britain. Since being selected the team have based themselves at Moulton College and they became British Champions for the first time in 9 years. The team is made up of girls from the ages of 11 to 23-years-old, who train together two to three times a week.
Other finalists –Moulton College U19 Girls Hockey Team, Moulton College General Education 5-a-side Football Team
Sports Volunteer of the Year – David Allen
David has been nominated for this award on behalf of everyone at Woodford United Football Club who say that, without him, the club would no longer be able to function. On top of being a qualified coach and qualified first aider, David also juggles his role as manager of the Under 10s junior team with the secretarial duties for the club’s 17 teams. His administration is so good that Woodford were the only team in the Southern Football League to go all season without receiving any fines. Voted Woodford United Club Person of the Year, David also helps out massively with fundraising and ground upkeep.
Other finalists – Mike Kitchen, Roy Bullock
Young Leader of the Year – Jordan Shingler
Jordan demonstrates an impressive level of commitment to sport both in and out of school. He has captained the rugby, football and cricket teams for his year as well as playing for the basketball team and has acted as coach for Danetre School’s Year 7 cricket team, taking on the role as Year 7 football team’s year manager and coach this season. Achievements in his own spare time include refereeing matches for under 8s, 9s and 10s at Daventry Town FC, assistant coach to their Under 11s club and leadership volunteering during the summer.
Other finalists – Luke Tyson, Sara Hanby
Sports School of the Year – William Parker School
William Parker School has achieved notable success in a variety of sports this year, particularly in athletics when their Year 7 Boys and Girls became the Sportshall Athletics County Champions, and the Year 11 boys ended up as the district champions. The Year 9 Rounders team also ended up as district champions for the second year running, while their Key Stage 3 Swimming Team came 2nd in the district.
Other finalists – Guilsborough Secondary School
Coach of the Year – Julie Newell
Julie has been coaching vaulting for over 15 years – from starting out as a mum with a son who took up the sport, she has gone on to coach seven individual British champions and has competed internationally for several years at European and world level. Julie is one of the UK’s senior coaches and assessor for British Equestrian Vaulting. She coaches Team GB and since January also coaches 3 grassroots vaulting groups at Moulton College every week, along with one intermediate team.
Other finalists – Richard Bolam, Marie Bannigan
Community Club of the Year – Daventry Basketball Club
The winner of this category was chosen through a public vote taking place over the past couple of weeks. Over 700 public votes were cast for the Community Club of the Category.
The winner was Daventry Basketball Club, which has been running for 10 years going from strength to strength, and currently has numbers at a record high in the junior department. It now has sessions for minis, juniors and cadets, and all players, regardless of their ability, are given opportunities to play. The club also boasts a number of coaches who adopt the club ethos where everybody is welcomed and encouraged regardless of their ability.
Other finalists – Moulton Magpies Youth FC, Daventry Dolphins Swimming Club
Lifetime Contribution to Sport – Marie Bannigan
When Marie first came to the Phoenix Youth Centre more than 20 years ago, it wasn’t long before she became a regular volunteer. She is now the centre’s head gymnastics coach, but to this day she still volunteers many more hours of her own time towards the centre. A qualified British Gymnastics coach, many youngsters she has coached have been successful at county and regional level. Her dedication is apparent in the success of the club – in the three years since Marie began working full-time at the centre, the number of youngsters taking part in gymnastics has boomed from fewer than 50 per week to 300 – with a waiting list of at least 200 more. She has been described as having ‘tireless dedication, professionalism and a passion for working with children to help boost their self-esteem and confidence’.
Other finalists – Wilf Simms, Bob Lowe