Stockport Sports Awards honours sporting stars

The Stockport Sports Awards winners
The Stockport Sports Awards winners

Stockport’s elite athletes, clubs and volunteers were rewarded for their hard work and dedication to sport at the Stockport Sports Awards.

Winners of the eight awards were announced at the dinner at Houldsworth Golf Club attended by athletes, their families, supporters and members of Sport Stockport, Life Leisure and Stockport Council.

Guests were treated to a question-and-answer session with GB Olympic taekwondo athlete Lutalo Muhammad, who won a silver medal at Rio last month following from his bronze medal at London 2012.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation to basketball star Jessica Eadsforth-Yates, who was named the Fred Perry Sports Personality of the Year.

Jessica represented England Basketball at the under-18 European Championships and won three national titles with her club over the last 12 months.

A star in the making, Jessica was named defensive player of the year in the Elite College Basketball League and was awarded Most Valuable Player at the national club championships.

A diverse range of sports were represented from football and cricket to lacrosse, table tennis, weightlifting, wheelchair racing, and gymnastics.

Andy Small
Paralympian Andy Small, of Stockport Wheelchair Racing, took home the Disabled Sports Achiever award

A huge proportion of the nominees present had represented not only their team and town, but also their county and country – competing at an international level in their chosen sport.

Swimming star Oliver Crosby scooped the Young Achiever of the Year award after winning three golds at the National Championships after recovering from a broken leg.

Andy Small, of Stockport Wheelchair Racing, took home the Disabled Sports Achiever award after his bronze at the Rio Paralympics.

Outstanding volunteers were also recognised, with Rachel Hancock of Vernon Park Gymnastics Club awarded the Volunteer of the Year award for her role as a coach with the club.

The Changing Lifestyle Recognition Award went to Louise Withers, who prior to joining the PARiS scheme at Life Leisure did little physical activity due to numerous health conditions.

Becoming more active has completely changed her life and now she supports others to understand the benefits of being physically active.

Reddish North End Football Club, who have seen an exceptional increase in membership over the last two years, scooped the Club of the Year award.

An FA Charter Standard Community Club, Reddish North End have won 22 major league and cup competitions over the last 12 months and they now have over 60 qualified coaches volunteering on a weekly basis.

Derek Waterfield from Brabyns Tennis Club won The Sir Stanley Matthews Unsung Hero Award for his 35 years of service to the club.

Coach of the Year was awarded to David Hulme from Stockport Table Tennis Academy. David is head coach at the club coaching beginners’ right through to nationally ranked players, delivering sessions five days a week.

John Hargreaves, Chairman of Sport Stockport, said: “It is important that local athletes are recognised for their fantastic achievements in sport and the annual sports dinner is an ideal event to do this.

“With the help of Life Leisure and the local media it is invisaged the event will continue to go from strength to strength over the next few years enabling us to continue to encourage both a grassroots and world class mentality to sport in Stockport.

“We would like to say a special word of thanks to our sponsors and all at Houldsworth Golf Club for a fantastic evening.”

Winners from the Stockport Sports Awards will be put forward and represent Stockport at the Greater Manchester Sports Awards being held at The Point, Lancashire County Cricket Club, on Friday, November 4.