A STAR-studded awards ceremony was held this week to celebrate the achievements of talented and dedicated sports people.
The fourth annual Malvern Hills District Community Sports Awards, sponsored by UK Flood Barriers, was held to recognise outstanding sporting achievement and commitment to sport within the district over the past 12 months.
Over 200 nominees, guests, sponsors and VIPs attended the glittering awards night at Malvern College on Thursday, July 3, with 11 awards handed out.
It opened with a performance by Bromyard Tae Kwon Do, followed by inspirational speeches from University of Gloucestershire coach in education lecturer Paul Garner and captain of the England cerebral palsy football team Jack Rutter.
The awards went to:
Club Team of The Year: Malvern Rugby Club under 17s. The club the won award because it secured a place in the North Midlands league – a first for Malvern Rugby Club - and won the league on their first attempt only losing one game throughout the entire season. They also qualified for the National Under 17’s Cup losing only to the eventual winners of the tournament.
Runner up: Leigh and Bransford Badgers FC under 12s
Young Volunteer of The Year: Rob Mallett. Upon discovering a member of staff at The Chase High School, for which he is an ambassador, had an American football coaching qualification Rob helped with the set up of both a boys and girls team.
He attended every training session possible, determined to see the teams become a long term and established club within the school helping with equipment, officiating and running training drills.
Runners up: Toby Coleman and Ben Scott
Coach of the Year: Ted Grizzell. Ted is now the sporting director of Malvern Town Football Club, rescuing it from administration in January and already has development plans in place for a much brighter future.
He also set up his own company, Zig Zag Coaching, and diversified into a range of sports using skilled instructors right across the Malvern Hills district taking sport into schools and the community offering opportunity where it had never previously been.
Runner up: Paul Burgess
Inclusive Project of the Year: Shoot for the Stars. Shoot fo rthe Stars is a group for vulnerable young people with additional needs based in Tenbury Wells.
Guided by volunteers the group take on responsibility for running the sessions themselves helping them to gain confidence and self esteem preparing themselves for the future.
Runner up: Malvern Hills Riding for the Disabled Association
Community Project of the Year: West Midlands Lacrosse Malvern. Starting out with just a few enthusiastic players wanting to bring Lacrosse to Malvern, West Midlands Lacrosse Malvern was formed. Having secured funds from Sport England Leaders run sessions at six local primary schools culminating in a competition at the Chase.
Runner up: Great Whitley Quartergreen
Club of the Year: Malvern Town Football Club. Since last December Malvern Town Football Club has provided stability for the first team, offered development sessions for youngsters, have a reserve team, a ladies team and are about to bring back an Under18’s team next season.
The venue is open to the wider community as the club hosts bingo, dance clubs, skittle teams and also opens as a youth centre and opening up for people to come together to watch big sporting occasions.
Runner up: Bromyard Tae Kwon Do
Volunteer of the Year: Neil Coleman and Bosko Medakovic. Leigh and Bransford Badgers FC describe Neil and Bosko as the “rocks” of the club.
They devote hours to the club undertaking a multitude of tasks from ground maintenance, to FA courses and meetings, volunteer coordination, fixtures, coaching, development, finance, memberships, fundraising and more.
Runner up: Kath Wood
Newcomer of the Year: Evie Richards. After only six months, Evie is currently ranked first in England in Mountain Bike Cross Country and second in Great Britain.
She was shortlisted for the Rio Olympic Training Programme and made it into the top 6 but narrowly missed out on a place this time. She is targeting the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Runner up: Malvern Hills Buzzards
Young Male Sports Personality of the Year: Harry Robinson. Starting rugby at 12, Harry has progressed quickly through the local, regional, national and now international ranks.
A Worcester Warriors academy player, Harry represented the under 17s England Saxons team at an international rugby festival in April this year.
Runner up: Joe Adsett
Thomas Everard Young Female Sports Personality of the Year: Emma Witherford. After only two years of freestyle kayaking Emma finished in 2nd place at the GB Kayak Selections entitling her to a place at the European Championships and the World Series.
Finishing second in a Great Britain event this time last year and fourth at an International event with over 170 paddlers Emma has been shortlisted to compete for Great Britain at this years Youth Olympic Games in China.
Runners up: Alix Turley, Gergia Hennessy and Lucy Walton
Unsung Hero: Julian Burton. Mr Burton joined Bromyard Tae Kwon Do as a white belt at a late age progressing through the ranks to black belt.
With the club growing to over 200 members, Mr Burton opened a permanent Martial Arts Centre in Leigh Sinton to offer a wider variety of classes to a wider range of abilities.
Runner up: Steve Hunt