Sparkling celebration of community sport in Blackpool

Quayle Trophy winner Imogen Hill
Quayle Trophy winner Imogen Hill

The town’s sport­ing tal­ent  was showcased at the 2017/18 Blackpool Community Sports Awards presentations at the Winter Gardens.

The town’s sport­ing tal­ent was showcased at the 2017/18 Blackpool Community Sports Awards presentations at the Winter Gardens.

The Blackpool Council event, sponsored by Story Contracting, honoured the achievements of both indi­vid­u­als and teams from across the town.

The awards have been staged for more than 25 years and celebrate the ded­i­ca­tion and commitment of coaches, teams and vol­un­teers as well as recog­nis­ing out­stand­ing achievement.

The iconic Wilkinson Sword Trophy for outstanding achievement went to cricketer Richard Gleeson, proudly following in the footsteps of former winner Andrew Flintoff.

The Blackpool Cricket Club and Cumberland stalwart has made the breakthrough on to the county circuit and over the past three years and has become a star seamer with Northamptonshire.

Also shortlisted in that category was Blackpool Wyre and Fylde and Scotland sprinter Katy Wyper, who won the Coach of the Year award for finding time in her busy schedule to train and inspire young athletes at the Stanley Park club.

The Quayle Trophy for outstanding rising star went to BMX champion and former AllStars Awards winner Imogen Hill, who has represented Great Britain in the World Championships in the USA and is a member of the British Cycling GB Olympic Development squad.

The Quayle Shield went to multiple junior taekwondo winner Elaine Hussey, who has enjoyed international success at the English Open and is preparing for the European Championships in Milan.

It was a successful night for Park Community Academy, which was named Secondary School of the Year, using sport to enrich the lives of pupils with a wide range of disabilities and learning difficulties.

Park Community Academy’s swimmers also won the Team of the Year award, having been crowned Lancashire champions and North West Panathlon champions, going on to swim at the London Aquatics Centre in the English Panathlon Championships

Primary School of the Year was Anchorsholme Academy for organising sports events for children, supporting young leaders and developing strong links with clubs.

Community Club of the Year was Blackpool, Wyre & Fylde Athletics Club for its proud record of producing elite athletes and engaging wide parts of the community.

Adult Volunteer of the Year was Ron Bennett for his contribution to table tennis as a coach, player and administrator with the Blackpool League and the Carleton Club.

Young Volunteer of the Year was tennis coach Ella Whitehead, who has completed her leaders’ award at Norbreck Tennis Club .

The Lifetime Achievement Awards recognised Sandra Stephenson and Ian Howson for their devoted work running Blackpool Bears Disability Sports Club, as well as Blackpool Wyre and Fylde AC’s internationally-renowned coaches Derek Newton and Stan Taylor.

Coun. Maria Kirkland, Blackpool Council’s Cabinet Member for Third Sector Engagement and Leisure Services, said: “These awards are about celebrating people who go the extra mile to get people into sport as well as celebrating the amazing sporting talent that Blackpool has to offer.

“Sport can have a huge impact on helping people to stay healthy and active and we have some excellent sports groups in Blackpool that are made up of fantastic coaches and

volunteers.”