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.
Presenting the awards were Mayor Jack Gebhard and Kevin Carr, former Newcastle United goalkeeper who also played for Carlisle United, Darlington and Hartlepool United.
Kevin was born in Hepscott and today lives in Bedlington.
Sports Person of the Year – The Mayor’s Trophy – was presented to Emily Nardini, who has made her mark at an international level in the Masters element of swimming, open to adults.
Racing at its World Championships in Budapest, she picked up a medal in the 100m freestyle as well as a ninth place finish in the 200m.
Other highlights included becoming British Champion in the 100m freestyle. She won five medals in total at the British long course championships event.
Overall, she finished the year ranked sixth in the world and fourth in Europe for the 100m freestyle and fourth in Europe for the 200m freestyle.
The other award winners, in the order they were presented, were as follows:
JUNIOR MALE (U18) – JIM ALDER CUP – DANIEL DIXON: His excellent 12 months included British Youth Triathlon championship success in the 15/16 age group and winning the British Elite Youth Duathlon at Bedford.
A second place finish in the national 10-mile cycling time trial championships for 15-year-olds was among his cycling achievements. He has also performed well in regional athletics and swimming events.
JUNIOR FEMALE (U18) – HILDER CUP – BOBBIE GRIFFITHS: She won no less than five gold medals at the annual North Eastern Track and Field championships in Gateshead – two in the javelin where she won both the junior and senior events, one in the U17 hammer throw, one in the U17 discus throw and one in the U17 shot putt.
The Morpeth Harriers athlete also won javelin gold medals at the annual Tartan Games.
TEAM AWARD (U13) – DALTON HUTCHINSON TROPHY – MORPETH AMATEUR SWIMMING CLUB JUNIOR LEAGUE SQUAD: The squad qualified for the Northumberland and Durham Junior League division three final at Tynemouth pool and they were outstanding on the day to be crowned division champions, with individual swimmers winning age group trophies.
The squad is now performing very well in division two.
SENIOR FEMALE (Open) – GEORGE BROWN TROPHY – JANE HODGSON: Her success over the last 12 months includes being the first female home in the annual Newburn River Run and Angel View Race at Gateshead.
The Morpeth Harriers athlete was first in six fixtures of the North Eastern Harrier League. This gave her the Veteran Women’s Grand Prix title for the second year in succession.
SENIOR FEMALE (Masters) – A.C. FOREMAN MEMORIAL TROPHY – PAM WOODCOCK: She has dominated her age category in Park runs for the past three years and is always a member of the Morpeth Harriers relay squad.
TEAM AWARD (U18) – KING EDWARD VI SCHOOL TROPHY – MORPETH HARRIERS U17 ROAD AND CROSS COUNTRY SQUAD: They won the Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League and the North East Cross Country Championships at Redcar.The squad also enjoyed a superb victory in the Northern Road Relays at Manchester.
SENIOR MALE (Open) – NEWCASTLE BUILDING SOCIETY TROPHY – JACK BUTLER: After playing well for the county football team, the striker was selected for the U18 England Schoolboys squad. He scored a goal against the Australian U18 team and was described as ‘an attacking menace’ in the Centenary Shield competition.
SPORTABILITY AWARD – NPFA SALVER – DANIEL GIBSON: The Collingwood School and Media Arts College pupil has impressed in training for karate and kickboxing and he has competed in a kickboxing competition.
TEAM AWARD (Open) – ABBEY NATIONAL TROPHY – MORPETH RFC REIVERS: It was a fantastic season for the club’s second team, as they won their Candy League, County Cup and Candy League Trophy, and a number of players progressed to also represent the first XV this season.
SENIOR MALE MASTERS – TONY BRAY TROPHY – CARL AVERY: The Morpeth Harriers athlete’s excellent performances have included winning the Northern Senior Men’s Title and finishing second in the annual Blaydon Race.
SERVICES TO SPORT – ULGHAM PARISH COUNCIL SALVER – GORDON DIXON: As well as coaching his son, Daniel, to success in a few different sports, his enthusiasm and coaching techniques trebled the number of youngsters going along to the Morpeth Amateur Swimming Club morning training sessions.
PLAYERS’ PLAYER AWARDS – U16 PHOEBE BLAND AND 16 AND OVER ANDREW KNIGHT: Phoebe starts training with Newcastle City Swim Team at 5.15am during the week and has recently been promoted to a higher squad as a result of her attendance, work ethic and attitude. Andrew competes for Morpeth Harriers in field events and in the shot putt, he won both the North Eastern Outdoor and Indoor Championships, among other titles.
The Silver Certificate of Achievement recipients were as follows: Chantry Middle School (football), Ellen Davison (badminton), Kate Kennedy (swimming), Clara Scott (gymnastics), Nigel Shields (football), Jenni Hall (gymnastics), Rory Leonard (athletics), Will Hall (gymnastics).
The Bronze Certificate of Achievement recipients were as follows: Darragh Moody (judo), Gary Day (cricket), Elliott Riley (judo), Pippa Smith (gymnastics), Lee Turnbull (judo).