Blackpool’s finest sports stars, coaches, clubs and volunteers were honoured for their achievements at the Altogether Now – A Legacy for Blackpool Community Sports Awards 2015.

Hundreds enjoyed the ceremony at Bloomfield Road on Thursday evening (12 March) where local sports stars from various community clubs were honoured.

Altogether Now Health Ambassadors, Brian Rose, Shelly Woods and Steven Croft were all on hand to present awards throughout the night. Also joining them to present awards were Altogether Now Health Champions from Blackpool Football Club, manager Lee Clark, Darren O’Dea and Jamie O’Hara.

As well as recognising the talent and achievement of individuals, these awards paid tribute to those who selflessly give up so much of their time to allow others the chance to par take in community sport. This was particularly evident in the Lifetime Achievement category which saw three very special individuals recognised for their consistent commitment and contributions to community sport in Blackpool. Football legend and Altogether Now Health Ambassador, Jimmy Armfield CBE, recorded a special video message paying homage to all three individuals.

Dennis Taylor, was recognised for his more than 50 year involvement with Blackpool Keidokwai Judo Club. In this time Dennis has taken on a variety of roles including athlete, Coach, Treasurer and now President. He has been at the heart of the club for many decades, and has coached generations of judo athletes, many to international level.

Margaret Crompton has given years of service to Blackpool, Wyre & Fylde Athletic Club. Her commitment has seen her fulfil roles on the club committee and Lancashire Athletics committee. Margaret is one of the most highly rated and qualified athletics officials in the country, having officiated at events such as the Commonwealth Games. She continues to dedicate her time to officiating at regional and national events.

Kathleen Harrison has been an Officer of the Blackpool and District Youth Football League for more than 30 years, taking on a number of roles. She is steadfast in ensuring that children of all ages have the opportunity to play organised football in the area. Her hard work, dedication and commitment ensures the league runs like clockwork week in, week out.

Lifetime Achievement winners. Left to right, Margaret Crompton, Dennis Taylor & Tracey Hargreaves (representing Kathleen Harrison)

Lifetime Achievement winners. Left to right, Margaret Crompton, Dennis Taylor & Tracey Hargreaves (representing Kathleen Harrison)

Extremely talented pole vaulter, Fiona Hockey won the prestigious Wilkinson Sword award, presented to her by the 2014 winner –Altogether Now Health Ambassador and Champion Boxer, Brian Rose. Fiona, pictured right, has had a hugely successful year with outstanding results at a number of competitions and continues to show real promise.

The Quayle Sports Awards were for the first time incorporated into the ceremony. The Quayle Trophy which honours an outstanding young sportsperson in Blackpool, aged 14–21 years went to Ellie Spooner. Ellie finished as top goalscorer at Blackpool Football Club Girls for a third season in a row and then then successfully trialed for Blackburn Rover’s Centre of Excellence in June 2014 — being selected to play in the Under 15s team. She also represented Lancashire in the English Schools’ Football Association National Cup, helping the side to be crowned national champions after victory against Kent in the final at Reading’s Madejski Stadium.

The Quayle Shield celebrates the sporting success of young people aged 9–13 who have not only demonstrated achievement but have also shown sportsmanship and commitment to their sport. Keisha Masterson was the 2015 winner. From age five Keisha began taking part in Taekwondo and then started to play for her local football club, Bispham Junior Football Federation (BJFF), at the age of six. Keisha continues to play football, now with Blackpool Football Club Girls. She also enjoys athletics and recently placed second in the Primary Schools Road Race. She has  represented Montgomery High School in the Blackpool Schools Cross Country event where she achieved a fantastic second place and will now be going on to participate in the Lancashire Cross Country event.

The Coach of the Year award (In Memory of Bill Woodhouse) went to Sam Owen of Blackpool Cricket Club, whose leadership and hard work led the club’s Under 17s team to winning the 2014 Palace Shield for the third year in a row. His coaching and direction also guided the Under 14s team through to the quarter finals. This all came in a year in which Sam suffered a severe head injury after being hit by a hockey ball.

Blackpool Aquatics Amateur Swimming Club received the Community Club of the Year award as it continues to provide a variety of programmes catering for athletes of all ages who are new to the sport. Club athletes have enjoyed national and international level success at junior, senior, masters, biathlon and triathlon disciplines, while a number of club volunteers continue undertaking various roles.

The Team of the Year award (In Memory of Ted Schools) went to Blackpool Netball Club Open Age who had an extremely successful year which saw them once again retain their Fylde Netball League title and win the FastNet tournament.

Talented young wheelchair athlete, Isaac Towers picked up the Disability Sports Award for a second year in a row as he continues to take the track and road by storm.

Leon Illsley scooped the Young Volunteer of the Year award for his support helping youngsters at Blackpool Climbing Club. His invaluable guidance also helped an experienced, elderly gentleman return to climbing after a stroke.

Adult Volunteer of the Year was won by David Needham from Blackpool, Wyre & Fylde Athletics Club. Without his commitment to coaching and officiating at the club, popular events would not be able to take place.

Schools which demonstrate a commitment to physical education, health, active lifestyles and competitive school sport through a whole school approach and developing links with community sports clubs, were also recognised at the 2015 awards. High School of the Year went to Anchorsholme Academy where tremendous efforts are made to encourage lesser engaged pupils. Sports teams at the school have also enjoyed success, particularly in football, martial arts and athletics.

Park Community Academy won Primary School of the Year. Physical Education is used as a vehicle to teach pupils at the school key life skills such as communication, teamwork and turn taking. Sessions are taught in a fun and engaging way helping pupils develop positive attitudes towards exercise and healthy living. This has been recognised through the achievement of the Kitemark Award with ‘distinction’ being presented to the school, as well as them achieving the School Games ‘Gold’ Kitemark. Pupils have also achieved a variety of sporting successes over the past 12 months.

Cllr Graham Cain, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said: “These awards are not only celebrating Blackpool’s star athletes, but to celebrate those individuals and groups who go the extra mile to get people into sport.

We have some fantastic groups, volunteers and coaches who have been recognised for their achievements and commitment to sport in Blackpool. Sport can have huge social benefits to many, as well as helping to keep people healthy and active.”

Dr Amanda Doyle, Chief Clinical Officer of NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “This celebration of community sport in Blackpool has been fantastic. It has been extremely humbling to hear all the inspirational stories about all of the nominees. Given the importance of community sport in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, I am delighted that Altogether Now has been supporting this event as it plays such a key role in promoting healthy living.”

ENDS

 NOTES TO EDITORS

  • Altogether Now – a Legacy for Blackpool is a partnership between the NHS in Blackpool (Clinical Commissioning Group and Hospitals Trust); Blackpool Council and Blackpool Football Club. The all-inclusive programme is aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of people in Blackpool, irrespective of age, race, gender or ability through increased physical activity, lifestyle changes and an awareness of the role mental health and wellbeing play in overall health.

For further information about Altogether Now – a Legacy for Blackpool please visitwww.altogethernowblackpool.com

For further information about this press release please call Jonathan Bridge on 01253 956 594 or email jonathan.bridge@blackpool.nhs.uk.