Town’s sporting stars and heroes honoured at awards ceremony
Sporting stars and stalwarts, along with successful teams and dedicated individuals, were honoured at this year’s Morpeth Sports Awards.
After going through all the entries outlining achievements over a 12-month period, members of the Morpeth Sports Council, which organised the awards, selected the winners.
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.
Morpeth Mayor Alison Byard presented the awards at the ceremony, including Sports Person of the Year – The Mayor’s Trophy – to Daniel Dixon.
He competes at the highest level in triathlon throughout Europe and is part of the British Talent squad.
After competing in three elite Junior European Cup races as a 15/16-year-old in a category for 18/19-year-olds, he is ranked fourth in Europe.
Other award winners were:
JUNIOR MALE (U18) – JIM ALDER CUP – SAMUEL TATE: He has represented Great Britain in Pentathlon and is the national U15 Biathlon champion.
Unsurprisingly, this means he is a member of several clubs, including Morpeth Amateur Swimming Club, Morpeth Harriers and Newcastle Fencing and Sporting Trust, and he has had many successes in a variety of sports.
JUNIOR FEMALE (U18) – HILDER CUP – HOLLY PECK: Her major summer highlights were winning the North East Counties 800m, the Northumberland Schools and Northern Schools 500m and remaining unbeaten in all four of her club’s North East Youth Developments matches.
She has also won five consecutive Northumberland Cross Country titles.
TEAM AWARD (U13) – DALTON HUTCHINSON TROPHY – MORPETH AMATEUR SWIMMING CLUB MIXED 9-12 200M SQUAD: This team competes in the Northumberland and Durham Team Championships and the success of this team indicates the club’s progress over the last few years under its new coach.
SENIOR FEMALE (Open) – GEORGE BROWN TROPHY – LAURA WEIGHTMAN: The Morpeth Harrier ended her summer season by taking part in the prestigious 5th Avenue road mile in New York.
She followed this up by a splendid run on the roads of Monaco by finishing second in the women’s Hercules 5k, which also included a European Championship.
SENIOR FEMALE (Masters) – A.C. FOREMAN MEMORIAL TROPHY – LINDSAY TURNBULL: Her successes over the last 12 months include being first female in the Northumberland Triathlon and swim, Derwent Triathlon and Hawick sprint triathlon.
TEAM AWARD (U18) – KING EDWARD VI SCHOOL TROPHY – MORPETH RFC U15 GIRLS: After winning the Northumberland Cup, the North East semi-final and the regional final, this team managed to reach the latter stages of their national cup.
SENIOR MALE (Open) – NEWCASTLE BUILDING SOCIETY TROPHY – BEN HORNBY: He plays fly half for Morpeth Rugby Club’s first team and has contributed 248 points this season, which has helped to take the team to the County Cup Final and win their league.
His performances this season have been a major factor in the success of the team.
SPORTABILITY AWARD – NPFA SALVER – JOSHUA HAZARD: He has found a sport that brings him independence and escapism from his health restrictions.
The mountain bike rider now tackles some of the most difficult trails in the country such as Hamsterley, Dalby Forest, Glentress and Fort William.
TEAM AWARD (Open) – ABBEY NATIONAL TROPHY – MORPETH TOWN FC: Morpeth made it back-to-back promotions by winning the Evo-Stik East Division title thanks to some fantastic performances.
The team also won the Northumberland Senior Cup, beating North Shields at St James’ Park in the final.
SENIOR MALE MASTERS – TONY BRAY TROPHY – WALTER RYDER: The Morpeth Harrier still takes part in competitive events at the age of 81 and as well as winning the North East Masters over 80 Men’s Cross Country title, he finished third in his age group in the British Masters Cross Country Championships in Forres, Scotland.
PLAYERS’ PLAYER AWARDS – U16 MALE AND FEMALE: Daniel Davison is a member of the Ronin Judo Club at the Riverside Leisure Centre, Morpeth. Through sheer determination, he has progressed and is now very confident in his techniques, and he also assists with other club members’ development.
Kate Kennedy is a dedicated member of Morpeth Amateur Swimming Club who has achieved local and regional success in a range of events.
PLAYERS’ PLAYER AWARD – OVER 16 – RORY LEONARD: He is a member of Morpeth Harriers. His performances over 3000m gained him a place at U18 European Championships in Hungary, where he finished ninth.
He has also done very well in cross country events, including winning the English National title in his age category.
There was a new accolade for this year – Junior Male or Female U12 Award. The winner was Libby Freeman, a Morpeth Amateur Swimming Club member, who has won medals at national and regional events.
The Services to Sport (Ulgham Parish Council Salver) Award went to Colin Tait, who has been a member of Ulgham Cricket Club since 1979.
He has raised nearly £25,000 for the club through funding and grant aid for improvements to the pavilion, grounds and replacement equipment.
The Silver Certificate of Achievement recipients were as follows: Joe Dixon (athletics and cycling), Joe Oliver (judo), Morpeth Harriers U15 Boys Road and Cross Country Squad, Morpeth Amateur Swimming Club 11/12 Boys Swim Team, James Corcoran (sportability category), Gareth Brown (athletics), Connor Forster (wrestling), Morpeth RFC’s First XV, Morpeth RFC Edwardians, Morpeth Harriers U20 Men’s Cross Country Squad, Graham Carr (coach at Morpeth RFC), Michael Dungait Jnr (coach at Morpeth RFC), Jacob Light (swimming).