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Top night of celebration for sport across Nottinghamshire!

Nottingham Rugby Head Coach Martin Haag joined other leading figures at the Nottinghamshire Sports Awards at a gala ceremony on Monday night.

Haag presented the awards for Performance Coach of the Year and Young Coach of the Year.

Read on for the full story of the awards.


Rio Henley 4 


One of Britain's brightest hopes for the forthcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi - Elise Christie - has been named as Nottinghamshire's Sportsperson of the Year.

Nottinghamshire County Council and Sport Nottinghamshire have spent months seeking nominations for the 22nd annual Nottinghamshire Sports Awards, which are a celebration of grassroots and professional sports and were held last night at the East Midlands Conference Centre. The awards were also carried live on Twitter: @Nottscc, #NottsSportsAwards

The British short-track skater, who is based in Nottingham, has just retained her European 1,000m title in her last competition before the Winter Olympics next month. She won the world bronze over 1,000m last year and is considered a real medal hope at the forthcoming Games. She accepted her award in a video address from Nottinghamshire County Council Chairman John Allin.


Tim Stevenson
Meanwhile, Ollie Hynd MBE, was awarded the Disabled Sportsperson of the Year award to cap a memorable 2013 where he added the World Championships to his gold medal heroics in the swimming pool at London 2012. Ollie is supported by Nottinghamshire County Council's Shining Stars fund and is also supported by Mansfield District Council.

Ollie said: "These awards are judged by people involved in sport across the county and I was delighted to be able to attend.  2013 was another successful year for me and I am now looking at concentrating on the Commonwealth Games."

Around 450 people were in attendance including Nottinghamshire County Council Leader Councillor Alan Rhodes and Culture Committee Chairman Councillor John Knight and notable guests from the world of sport included Paralympic star Richard Whitehead, who presented the Sporting Project award on the evening to Nottinghamshire Leadership Academy Network. Richard is currently starring in the ITV show Splash!

Richard Whitehead said: "Many thanks to Nottinghamshire County Council and Sport Nottinghamshire for inviting me to the 22nd annual sports awards. These are a real celebration of grassroots and professional sport in the county. Also, look out for me appearing on ITV's Splash! this weekend!"

Nottinghamshire County Council Culture Committee Chairman Councillor John Knight said: "The Nottinghamshire Sports Awards honour sporting achievement in a range of categories and there have been many memorable highlights again this year, and our awards night has been a great occasion to honour some of those achievements in many different areas of local sport."

Also in attendance were Nottingham Forest footballer Simon Cox, Notts County FC manager, Shaun Derry, Olympic medallists Tim Baillie and Charlotte Henshaw, Penny Briscoe, MBE, and Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club's Mick Newell, Director of Cricket and cricketer Samit Patel.

The winners of the 22nd annual Nottinghamshire Sports Awards:

Team of the Year - Nottingham Panthers
• First time Panthers have won this award.

Club of the Year - Collingham Tennis Club
• The club celebrates its 95th birthday in March and gained the LTA Clubmark accreditation in 2013.

Junior Sportsperson of the Year - Ellie Downie (Ashfield district)
• Wins the award which her older sister Becky won back in 2008. Five previous winners in this category have gone on to become Olympians.

Junior Team of the Year - Rowan Law and Connor Gamble (Rushcliffe district)
• Rowan and Connor follow the doubles pairing of Smith and Cowley who won the award in 2011.

Sporting School of the Year - Rushcliffe School
• The School's ethos is to give every pupil 'the chance to shine brightly' with all students being involved in the annual sports day.
• 7 Teams from the School represented Rushcliffe at the School Games with 5 top 2 placings.
• The School's partnership with Canoe England has resulted in the first National Champion from the Canoe Academy. 
• The School has been awarded Silver Partnership Status by the Youth Sport Trust thanks to increased participation levels.
Volunteer of the Year - Jane Dunbar (Broxtowe district)
• Becomes the second Broxtowe based netballer to win this award.

Junior Volunteer of the Year - Alex Newton (Rushcliffe district)
• Continues the strong tradition of the winner of this category coming from a multitude of sporting backgrounds.

Young Coach of the Year - Rio Henley (Gedling district)
• Rio becomes the first winner from the sport of Boccia in any of the three coaching categories.
• The club Rio coaches at is based at the Joseph Whitaker School in Rainworth.

Performance Coach of the Year - Tim Stevenson (Gedling district)
• Tim has worked with a number of high profile athletes including Richard Whitehead, Charlotte Henshaw, Ollie Hynd, and Libby Clegg.

Community Coach of the Year - Tom Hibberd (Beeston, Broxtowe district)
• Becomes the second successive Triathlon coach to win this award after Dean Hughes in 2012.

Disabled Sportsperson of the Year - Ollie Hynd MBE
• Finalist last year and now collects the award which older brother Sam won back in 2009.
• Nova team mate Charlotte Henshaw won this award in 2010.

Sportsperson of the Year - Elise Christie
• Elise Christie started and ended our sporting year with major medals as she stormed the short track Speed Skating world becoming the first British woman to win a medal at the World Championships.
• The 23 year old 1,000m star also won the World Cup series with a hugely impressive eight visits to the podium with the title being clinched in Sochi.
• November saw the Speed Queen win Bronze in the 1000m at the ISU World Cup in Russia.

Project of the Year - Nottinghamshire Leadership Academy Network
• The Nottinghamshire Leadership Academy Network provides opportunities for young leaders to develop their leadership skills through theory and practical learning.
Junior Disabled Sportsperson of the Year - Meg McFarlane (Newark)
• First time an individual from skating has won this category.

Achievement of the Year -
Beeston Hockey Club Men's First Team and West Indian Cavaliers Cricket Club
Beeston Hockey Club - Men's First XI
• Previous Team of the Year winners in 2011 and 2006 and has been producing International standard players for over 100 years.
West Indian Cavaliers Cricket Club
• Last year's premier League title was the club's ninth. The club has a number of famous players including former England players Usman Afzaal and Bilal Shafayat.

Roll of honour inductees
Keith Atkinson (Newark and Sherwood district)
• First Rowing inductee since Margaret Marshall back in 1996.
Peter Burton (Gedling district)
• Peter joins 15 other worthy inductees from the Football Community.
Alan Hunt (Broxtowe district)
• Becomes the 4th inductee from the world of badminton and the 76th name to appear on the Roll of Honour since it was established in 1992.


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