AGE was certainly no barrier as young and old scooped awards at Stratford District Council’s Celebration of Sport.
The event, which not only recognises the year’s sporting triumphs but also sees the hard work of volunteers, coaches and supporters from across the district rewarded, was attended by more than 250 guests.
Stratford’s own Paralympic gold medallist James Roe was joined by Olympians David Moorcroft, Glen Smith, Paul Brain and Chris Arrowsmith, who all presented awards during the evening.
The Observer has been previewing those in the running for the Volunteer of the Year and Service to Sport categories over the past fortnight.
And despite her tender age, it was 14-year-old Megan Watkins who picked up the Volunteer of the Year accolade.
The Shipston High pupil has been racking up experience in a variety of sports including dance, gymnastics, and hockey and it was her dedication to coaching others that saw her walk away with the prize.
For the first time in the event’s history, the vote for the Service to Sport award was tied with both Jerry Birkbeck and Tony Butler sharing the spotlight.
Harbury Rugby club stalwart Jerry started as a player back in 1971 and has gone on to hold all manner of positions at the club while Stratford Cycling Club’s Tony Butler has been a leading light in the cycling community for many decades – meaning between them the pair have more than 80 years’ experience.
Stratford Athletics Club were also big winners on the night as high jumper Rory Dwyer claimed the Junior Sports Person of the Year for the second consecutive year, Paul Bearman landed Coach of the Year and the Ladies cross-country team picked up Senior Team of the Year.
Visit www.stratford.gov.uk/sportsawards for further information.
The full list of winners:
Junior Sports Person of the Year – Rory Dwyer (Stratford Athletic Club)
Everyone Active Junior Team of the Year – KES Boys Fencing Team
Alternative Sport of the Year Award – Jump Rope UK
NFU Mutual Community Sport Award – Kelly McCormack (Stratford Netball)
Senior Team of the Year – Stratford Athletics Club Women’s Cross Country Team
Rybrook MINI Stratford Coach of the Year – Paul Bearman (Stratford Athletics Club)
Volunteer of the Year: Megan Watkins
Senior Sports Person of the Year – Caitlin McCarthy (Archery)
Stratford Manor Q Hotel Service to Sport Award – Jerry Birkbeck (Harbury Rugby Club) and Tony Butler (Stratford Cycling Club)
Volunteer of the Year Megan Watkins with Lisa Chambers of Lisa Chambers Jewellery and Olympian Chris Arrowsmith. Images courtesy Thomas Jamieson. (s)