Sporting stars and stalwarts, along with successful teams and dedicated individuals, were honoured at this year’s Morpeth Sports Awards.
The event, which used to cover the former Castle Morpeth borough but fell by the wayside after the re-organisation of local government seven years ago, made its return in 2013.
After going through all the entries outlining achievements over the last 12 months (and longer periods for a couple of the categories), members of the Morpeth Sports Council, which organised the awards, selected the winners.
Secretary Derek Thompson read out information for each of them from the relevant nomination form.
People living in Morpeth and the parish areas of Hepscott, Longhirst, Longhorsley, Mitford, Pegswood, Stannington, Ulgham and Whalton were eligible to be nominated, along with those who are members of sports clubs based in these areas.
Last Thursday’s event was the first engagement for the new Mayor of Morpeth, Alison Byard. She presented most of the trophies, shields and salvers.
The Mayor’s Trophy for Sportsperson of the Year went to Donna Wonders of Morpeth Cricket Club.
Since joining the club in 2010, she has played a very important part in its regeneration by undertaking virtually all the administrative duties involved in running a club, including treasurer, membership and registration secretary.
On the nomination form, the club praised her infectious enthusiasm, organisational skills and ability to motivate people around her, regardless of the task.
She has also attracted other parents to become involved in the practice sessions and help with the provision of light refreshments, including hot dogs and bacon sandwiches for parents and players after the training sessions and matches, and organising social events.
Speaking to the Herald after receiving her award, Donna said: “Getting this trophy is fantastic for the club. I was gobsmacked when I was announced as the winner.
“We’re delighted that the number of players in the junior section has gone up from 40 to 50 when I joined the club to 108 in 2014. This award is also for the mums and dads who help out with various activities and the coaches who are doing a great job in developing our young players, including my son Matthew Dodds (who turns 14 next month), so they can progress into the senior section.
“I must also thank club chairman Rod Rogers, as he does a huge amount for the club.”
The other award winners were as follows.
Team Award (Open) – Abbey National Trophy: Morpeth Harriers’ Senior Men’s Road and Cross Country squad; Team Award (U18) – King Edward VI School Trophy: Morpeth RFC Colts; Team Award (U13) – Dalton Hutchinson Trophy: Morpeth Sporting Club FC U11 Juniors; Services to Sport – Ulgham Parish Council Salver: Thomas Dawson (Longhirst Hall Golf Club); Senior Female (Open) – George Brown Trophy: Laura Weightman (Morpeth Harriers); Senior Male (Open) – Newcastle Building Society Trophy: Jack Hepple (Morpeth Harriers); Sportability Award – NPFA Salver: Katie Cook; Junior Male (U18) – Jim Alder Cup: Hamish Turnbull (cycling); Junior Female (U18) – Hilder Cup: Fiona Turnbull (mountain biking and cyclo-cross); Senior Male Masters – Tony Bray Trophy: Ady Whitwam (Morpeth Harriers).