Judges have unveiled the Torbay’s sporting stars were honoured on Thursday 29 November 2012 at the Torbay Sports Awards held at Torquay’s Riviera International Conference Centre. Following a newly formed partnership between Torbay Council, the Herald Express and the Friends of South Devon College, the new-look Sports Awards were a resounding success for all concerned with the aim of building on what was already a hugely successful event.
Torbay’s Mayor Gordon Oliver said: “It is great to recognise our sports stars young and old and the volunteers and coaches across the Bay that continue to work hard and give up their time to help, train, encourage and promote our sportspeople. The Awards ceremony celebrates the achievements of clubs, teams, coaches, officials and individuals involved in sport locally. Each award winner plays a vital role in encouraging youngsters into sport, nurturing talent, sustaining local sports clubs and promoting healthy lifestyles.”
The 2012 Torbay Sports Personality of the Year winner was local cycling guru Ken Robertson, who was also awarded the gong for Outstanding Contribution to Sport, sponsored by Motec SW. Robertson, has devoted more than 60 years of his busy life to cycling in general and in particular the Mid Devon Cycling Club. Having held many posts across local, regional and national level, Robertson is lauded by many as the driving force behind the club – and even continues to ride himself, despite being well into retirement. Worthy runners-up were ‘Mr Boxing’ Dave Stacey, Paignton Rower Jane Perry and Nicci Tucker from South Devon School of Gymnastics.
The Senior Sports Personality of the Year Award 2012 sponsored by GMM Insurance was highly contested with a number of national and international athletes in the running for the award. Mid Devon Cycling Club cyclist Andrew Perkins came out on top closely followed by Kings and GB Bowler Sophie Tolchard, GB Rower Marcus Bateman and Zumba-King Paul Harrison.
The Disabled Sports Personality of the Year Award sponsored by Inter-Line went to South Devon School of Gymnastics gymnast Tiri Hughes. Tiri has overcome failing eyesight to succeed in both her chosen sports of gymnastics and swimming. Football for All volunteer coach Craig Binnie was a very worthy runner up.
The Torquay Academy U14 Futsal Team was crowned the Junior Team of the Year 2012 sponsored by Europlas after being ranked the fourth best futsal team in England in the team’s first 12 months of coming together. Runners up included South Devon College’s Basketball Team and Rugby Academy who have both excelled this season.
The Senior Team of the Year 2012 sponsored by Tolchards crown went to Brixham Rugby Football Club 1st XV after proving that hard work and a dedication to training over the years does really pay off. The Fishermen led South West One from start to finish to gain promotion to step five on the rugby ladder. Hot on their tails were runners up Paignton Amateur Rowing Club Women’s Crew, last year’s finalists TYGA South West and Torquay Golf Club.
Local football coach Robert Helmore was named the Coach of the Year 2012 sponsored by the Herald Express. Helmore was nominated in part because of his efforts in setting up a football club in Torbay for adults with learning and/or physical disabilities. This year, the 26yr old also ran the London Marathon in aid of charity Scope, was a London 2012 Games Maker and helped students from Coombe Pafford Primary School complete the gruelling Ten Tors. Martial Arts Instructor Steven Millis and Torquay Squash Centre’s Robert Maslin picked up the runners up trophies.
The Torbay Council Events Team behind the success of the Bay stage of the Olympic Torch Relay were honoured with a special accolade at this year’s Torbay Sports Awards. The team, led by Sue Cheriton, received a special ‘judges award’ separate to each of the categories, predominantly for their efforts in the torch relay. Also in 2012, the events team held an Art, Sport and Play event at Cockington and most recently secured next year’s Devon Games to Inspire, which is the largest sporting event for young people in the County.
Harry King from Torbay Athletic Club was named the Young Volunteer of the Year 2012 sponsored by Western Power Distribution after getting the nod just ahead of fellow finalist Sam Evans. A talented sprinter in his own right, King holds school sprint records over a number of distances but also turns up to training early to help and nurture the younger athletes in the club. Sam Evans is a volunteer at South Devon School of Gymnastics and was a close runner up in this category.
Olympic performer and last year’s Torbay Sports Personality of the Year, Jay Thompson, topped off a remarkable year by scooping the Junior Sports Personality Award 2012 sponsored by Torbay Taxis for the second year running. Thompson became British U16 All Around Champion this year, and was also a double Gold medallist in the European Junior Artistic Gymnastics Championships. He also performed as part of the warm-up routines ahead of all Men’s Gymnastics Competitions at the London 2012 Olympics. Runners-up included England Spin Bowler Lydia Harris, rising star Charlie Bradford-Gibbs and ski-racer Cameron Thomas.
The 2012 Torbay Club of the Year supported by title sponsors Boyce Hatton Solicitors went to Barton Cricket Club. Success in this category was about much more than success, indeed a good year on the pitch at Cricketfield Road leading to promotion into the A Division certainly helped but it was the club’s thriving youth section and their pioneering work with local schools which persuaded judges to give them the award. Other shortlisted nominees included Paignton Amateur Rowing Club, Torquay Alpine Ski Club and South Devon School of Gymnastics.
Winning a special one-off award in recognition of his Contribution to the London Olympics and Paralympics (sponsored by Caterfood) was as good as getting to go to the Games themselves for Jack Hazlewood. A youth Sports Trust Gold Ambassador, Hazlewood spent the summer delivering special assemblies to schools across the Bay promoting awareness of the Olympics, and also volunteered at the 2012 Paralympic Games. Torch-bearer, Jason Murphy, picked up the runners-up award.
Many thanks goes to the Awards title sponsors Boyce Hatton Solicitors, and all of the other partners including Inter-Line, GMM Insurance, Torbay Taxis, Tolchards, Western Power Distribution, Caterfood, Motec SW and Europlas whose commitment to the Awards cannot go unthanked.
To view and/or purchase any photos of the Awards evening please visit the Pyramid Torbay website.
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