THE ANNUAL Stratford-on-Avon District Celebration of Sport – organised by Stratford-on-Avon District Council and sponsored by Rybrook MINI Stratford, Everyone Active and NFU Mutual – took place last Friday as over 250 guests attended including Paralympic gold medallist James Roe MBE and Olympians David Moorcroft OBE, Glen Smith, Paul Brain and Chris Arrowsmith.
The Celebration of Sport, now in its 13th year and hosted by the Stratford Manor Q Hotel in Stratford, celebrated the sporting achievements of clubs and individuals across the district and recognised wonderful contributions made from volunteers and parents.
The council was pleased to welcome local 2012 Paralympic gold medallist James Roe MBE, local Olympians Glen Smith, Chris Arrowsmith and Paul Brain and Coventry athletic legend and three-time Olympian David Moorcroft OBE to assist in presenting the awards.
Stratford Athletic Club dominated the awards with three winners on the evening.
Great Britain’s top under 17 high jumper Rory Dwyer won Junior Sports Person of the Year for the second consecutive year running, whilst his coach Paul Bearman walked away with the Rybrook MINI Stratford Coach of the Year accolade.
The club’s third honour went to the ladies’ cross-country team with the award for Senior Team of the Year.
Young volunteer, 14-year-old Megan Watkins from Shipston High School, won Volunteer of the Year for her dedication to helping others in a variety of different sports both in and out of school time for the past three years.
The prestigious Service to Sport award was a tie this year – for the first time in the event’s history – as judges could not decide between Harbury Rugby club stalwart of 40 years Jerry Birkbeck and Stratford Cycling Club’s Tony Butler.
Both gentlemen, between them, have given nearly 80 years of service to their sports both locally and regionally and were welcome winners of the award.
Full list of the winners: Junior Sports Person of the Year – Rory Dwyer (Stratford Athletic Club).
Everyone Active Junior Team of the Year – King Edward VI School boys’ fencing team.
Alternative Sport of the Year Award – Jump Rope UK skipping team.
NFU Mutual Community Sport Award – Kelly McCormack (Stratford Community Netball).
Senior Team of the Year – Stratford Athletic Club women’s cross country team.
Rybrook MINI Stratford Coach of the Year – Paul Bearman (Stratford Athletic Club).
Volunteer of the Year: Megan Watkins – hockey, gymnastics and dance (Shipston High School).
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).
A special mention of thanks must go to Lisa Chambers for her continued support of the event.
Thanks go to all businesses who donated category and raffle prizes including Stratford Manor, Rybrook MINI Stratford, Matthew Curtis Hair Design, Lisa Chambers, The Wildmoor Spa, The White Swan, The Garrick Inn, Loxleys Restaurant & Wine Bar, The Blue Boar, Stratford Bike Hire, Bella Italia, Hooray’s British Gelato Kitchen, The Pen & Parchment, City Sightseeing Tours & Stagecoach Midlands, Stratford upon Avon Town Walks, Stratford Butterfly Farm, Marco Italian Delicatessen and The Countess of Evesham.