TOWN RECOGNISES SPORTING TALENT
The Luton Sports Network hosted their annual Luton Sports Awards evening on 5th February 2016 to celebrate and recognise the achievements of the sporting talent within the town. Following a rousing opening video clip which set the tone for the entire evening, LSN Chair, Carl Richardson, formally welcomed the audience of finalists and their supporters and also thanked the sponsors and VIPs for their continued support of the increasingly popular event, which this year received a record number of nominees within a wider range of sporting activities. He added that it was particularly encouraging to see so many junior teams and schools coming on board and also that as a result of social media, the online poll for the Sports Personality Award had exceeded 6,800 votes and become global, with votes being cast from every continent.
Next to take to the stage was LBC Cllr. Aslam Khan, portfolio holder for Public Health, who reiterated the councils commitment to sports and physical activity and expressed his pride in the results of those strategies and collaborative work taking place in Luton.
The audience then listened intently as the guest speaker, Kola Adedoyin, a 24 year old GB International Triple Jumper, gave a personal and emotional address of the highs and lows of his journey from schoolboy athlete to international competitor with long term Olympic goals for Rio and Tokyo. His inspiring story of perseverance resonated the message from the opening video and he proved to be very popular with the younger people in the room, who queued afterwards to get a photo opportunity with him.
Jacqui Burnett, LBC Portfolio Holder for People and Places, tweeted “A very real and positive talk by Kola” with Adedoyin later tweeting “Pleasure was all mine, what a lovely bunch of sports people”.
A brief precis of each finalist was read aloud before the winners in each category were announced and the full results were;
Sportsman of the Year 2015: Lawrence Palmer (Swimming), runner-up Elliot Browne (Gymnastics) and third place Ian Kimpton (Athletics).
Sportswoman of the Year 2015: Jo Blair (Athletics) and runner-up Rachel Spiller (Karate).
Young Sportsman of the Year 2015: Oliver Pepper (Karate), runner-up Kyron Canny (Athletics) and joint third Sacha Davies & Lucas Lam (both Karate).
Young Sportswoman of the Year 2015: Mia Jaye Sarkodee-Adoo (Basketball), runner-up Feriel Siad (Karate) and third place Lisa Taylor (Karate).
Contribution to Disabled Sport: ASD Swimmers Satellite Club.
Young Volunteer of the Year 2015
Jamie Pepper (Karate)
runner-up Matthew Haden (Swimming).
Sports Team of the Year 2015
Joint winners Chalk Hills Academy Year 9 Football Team and Beech Hill Primary School Year 4 Cricket Team,
runner-up Ferrars Junior School Girls Football Team
third place Team Galaxy Tumbling Squad (Gymnastics).
Sports Club of the Year 2015
runner-up Luton Karate Academy
third place Stopsley Striders Running Club (Athletics).
Sports Administrator/Official of the Year 2015
Patricia Warne (Gymnastics),
runner-up Kwesi Edubatey (Football)
third place Matthew Haden (Swimming).
Sports Coach of the Year 2015
Lesley Batson (Swimming),
joint runners-up Patricia Warne (Gymnastics), Tony Simmons (Athletics), Keith Warne (Gymnastics)
third place Hiron John (Taekwondo).
Sports Club Member of the Year 2015
Julie Halsey (Hockey)
runner-up Bryn Owen (Hockey).
Service to Sport Award 2015
Phylliss Charles (Netball), Kate Neale (Running) Iain Starkey (Hockey).
The Geoff Battlebury Service to Sport Award 2015
Patricia & Keith Warne (Gymnastics),
A truly deserved award to recognise their dedication and passion which has spanned an amazing 35 years!
Luton Sports Personality of the Year 2015
Amy Ely (Karate).
Following the trend set by young Nadeem Dalvi last year, the coveted Sports Personality of the Year Award was bagged by the evening’s youngest nominee, 6 year old Amy Ely, who is a student at the Luton Karate Academy. Her parents, Sara and Roger, said afterwards; “We are overwhelmed and so proud of Amy’s achievement. She puts a lot of effort and energy into her karate. Amy says she is very happy to have won and that she’s going to be a world champion one day!”
Cllr. Aslam Khan said afterwards; “The Luton Sports Network are doing a fantastic job in recognising and supporting local talent through award evenings like this and with small grants which help our future stars to achieve their goals and aspirations as well as inspiring others to take up sport. I was delighted to see so many young boys and girls’ exceling in their chosen sports and representing Luton at both national and international levels”.
Chair Richardson summed up the evening by saying; “This year's event was arguably the best ever. Great speaker, Kola Adedoyin, inspired the young competitors present and a
fantastic range of winners drawn from a record number of high calibre nominees and different sports. LSN is looking forward to continuing its work in 2016, making grants,
contributing to Luton's Strategy for Sport and planning next year's event. Check out @luton-sportnet, #lutonsportheroes".
If you would like to learn more about the LSN small grants scheme, please visit the website at www.lutonsportsnetwork.com Alternatively, if have a passion for sport and would like to assist the Luton Sports Network with their advocacy work within Luton, then please email Carl Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org