With eight categories, 16 finalists and a vast array of local sporting talent; the sixth annual Blaby Local Sports Alliance (LSA) Sports Awards took place on Tuesday 24 November at Countesthorpe College.
Sponsored by Glebe Garden Centre the event recognises sports people, coaches and volunteers in the community who excel at making Blaby District the best place for sport and physical activity.
One of the most hotly contested categories was for Young Sports Team of the year; with Thomas Estley Girls FC runners-up. This remarkable team became English champions for the second year in a row at the Madejski Stadium, Reading, while also winning the County Cup, South Leicestershire Championship and were crowned Blaby and Harborough champions without conceding a goal.
However it was swim team Leicester Sharks who took the honour. The team racked up an incredible 233 medals in the Leicestershire ASA County Championships. Eight talented youngsters also competed in the British National Championships, while three took part in the International Children’s Games in the Netherlands.
Dodgeball side Leicester City Ligers took the title of Sports Team of the Year, becoming the first team ever to win the National Championship via the wildcard qualifying route. In other categories, 10-year-old running sensation Destiny Nicholson won Young Sportsperson of the Year. Lizzie Warner, who won silver at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa, was runner-up.
In the Sports Person of the Year category, cycling prodigy Grace Garner narrowly missed out on winning the award for the second year in a row, with runner Nicki Nealon taking the honour. Nicki represented England Masters in the International Cross Country, winning silver and team gold. Alongside this, her victory in the Bridlington Half Marathon took her total number of race victories for local team Huncote Harriers to 298.
Richard Moore was given the LSA Special Recognition Award for 30 years of tireless dedication to Enderby Gymnastics Club, delivering sessions to over 60 gymnasts.
Councillor Sheila Scott, Portfolio Holder for Health Improvement & Leisure Services and Chair of the Blaby District LSA, said:
“This was one of the strongest years we’ve ever had and picking a winner for each category was incredibly hard! These awards are our chance to honour everyone involved in sport in this district, whether they are volunteer or at the pinnacle of their chosen sport.
“I’m so proud that we have such sporting talent in Blaby District and I hope they all continue their hard work long into the future!”
Full list of winners and runners-up:
Active 4 Life – Health and Wellbeing Award
Runner-Up – Jeff Hurd
Winner – Pauline and John Osband
Volunteer of the Year
Runner-Up – Will Johnson
Winner – Barry Hibberd
Coach of the Year
Runner-Up – Liam O’Sheehan
Winner – Guy Worrow
Young Sports Team of the Year
Runner-Up – Thomas Estley Girls FC
Winner – Leicester Sharks Swim Team
Sports Team of the Year
Runner-Up – Countesthorpe U19 Girls FC
Winner – Leicester City Ligers Dodgeball
Young Sports Person of the Year
Runner-Up – Lizzie Warner (Archery)
Winner – Destiny Nicholson (Running)
Sports Person of the Year
Runner-Up – Grace Garner (Cycling)
Winner – Nicki Nealon (Running)
LSA Special Recognition Award
Runner-Up – Nigel Williams
Winner – Richard Moore