Meet York’s sporting heroes, all up for awards

The 2017 winners. Photograph: Photograph: York Press
21 Mar 2018 @ 9.00 pm
| Sport

Sporting stars and unsung heroes from around the region will be rewarded at the annual Active York Sport awards.

After launching four years ago, the event provides a fantastic opportunity to bring all the sporting talent from across the York district together in one room to be rewarded for their great achievements.

The event, which takes place at the University of York on Thursday (March 22), will present 16 awards to individual sports men and women, senior and junior teams and clubs, schools and institutions, and disabled athletes.

Take a look at our preview, which runs through most of the awards and the local sporting heroes who were nominated for them.

Last Year’s Winners

Young Sportsman of the Year: Alex Botterill (City of York Athletic Club)
Young Sportswoman of the Year: Lucy Edmunds (York City Rowing Club)
Student Sportsperson of the Year: Matthew Tomlin (University of York Softball)
Coach of the Year: Ian Thomson (University of York Women’s Rugby Union)
Volunteer of the Year: Richard Smith (Run York)
Active Primary School: Archbishop Holgate’s School
Active Secondary School: Westfield Primary School
Youth Group Provider: Door 84 Youth Space
Team/Club of the Year: York RUFC Colts
Active In York: YCFC Foundation Walk With York
Outstanding Contribution: Spen Allison (rugby league)
Disabled Sportsperson of the Year: Ben Robinson (table tennis)
Young Disabled Sportsperson of the Year: Antonia Bunyan (goalball)
Sportsman of the Year: Stuart Hosie (University of York Boat Club)
Sportswoman of the Year: Elspeth Mcleod (University of York weightlifting)

Sportsperson of the Year

Chris Quantock

Chris Quantock

Darts player Quantock has had a spectacular year and has risen to 68th in the world rankings.

He beat the likes of world number 20 Adrian Lewis Kevin Painter and world number 34 Vincent van der Voort.

Holly Knowles

Weightlifting sensation Holly Knowles is set to make her appearance for the Wales Commonwealth Games team in Australia after a successful year for her.

She came first in the Welsh Seniors (63kg), despite only competing as a junior U21 lifter.

Anna Docherty

Anna is a member of the LIV Halo Cycling Club and was picked for the Great Britain Junior Academy this year, having won silverware on both a national and an international level.

Young Male Sportsperson

Harvey Fisher

9-year-old James Handon plays for York

Harvey Fisher is a young Kickboxer who won silver at the USA World Championships in 2017.

James Hendon

The nine-year-old multi-sports whizz kid qualified for the Yorkshire Swimming Championships last year, and also plays football for the York City Academy

Tom Carswell

Tadcaster youngster Carswell is another swimmer who has won a number of medals in the last year at various Northeast and Yorkshire Championships.

Young Female Sportsperson

Lucy Hadaway

The multi-talented athlete has enjoyed a successful 2017 with the City of York Athletics Club, competing at regional, county, national and international level for England.

Amongst her most notable achievements, she won silver in the long jump and bronze in the hurdles at the World Schools competition in France.

Hadaway went on to earn an invite to last month’s British Indoor Masters.

Lucy Edmunds

The young York City rower represented Great Britain and gained international honours three times and earned a place in the Junior World Rowing Championships’ quadruple sculls team in 2017.

Tia Molesbury

Kenshinkan Karate Club Molesbury claimed five golds, one silver and two bronze in her various national and international competitions this year.

She is now training with the JKA England squad, looking for a place at the 2020 World Championships in Tokyo.

Young Disabled Sportsperson

Matthew Brough

A member of York Disability Tennis Network’s, Matthew came up against experienced professionals in a 24-Hour Tennis Marathon in London, and represented Yorkshire at the Special Olympic National games.

In the latter, he beat the national champion to win gold, and struck gold again in the mixed doubles at the National Championships.

Lydia Wrightson

Like Brough, Wrightson also represents the Disability Tennis Network as a visually impaired tennis player.

She picked up the runner-up prize in all but one of the Visually Impaired tennis tournaments this year, where she had to compete against adults as there were no Junior categories.

Antonia Bunyan

Another visually-impaired athlete, York Goalball Club’s Bunyan is a member of the GB team who remain on path for Tokyo 2020 qualification, having finished sixth at the European ‘A’ Championships in Finland last year.

Disabled Sportsperson

William Farrow

Farrow is a tennis player who represented Yorkshire and Humberside at the Special Olympic National Games last year, coming away with a gold medal in both the singles and doubles events.

Despite his lack of speech as a result of his hearing disability, it is thought that Farrow’s enthusiasm and humour is admired by everybody at the York Disability Tennis Network.

Laura Campbell

Laura partnered Matthew Brough in their mixed doubles gold medal win at the Special Olympic National Games and followed up with two silver medals at the National Championships.

Beth Moulam

Beth plays for Jorvik Boccia’s Super League team, and won the Heathcoat Cup individual regional competition in November 2017 to progress to the national finals.

She has also had running success, as she came third in the 60m World RaceRunning Championships, representing City of York Athletics club in Denmark.

Student Sportsperson

Jessica Rumble

Jessica is part of York University Fencing Club and was one of the sport’s top five competitors in the UK, after she earned an international appearance for Canada.

She has fenced all over the world as part of the women’s epee Y17 fencing team and is the women’s epee under-21 Canadian champion.

Joseph Smithers

Joseph is part of York University’s Kendo Karate Club. He has represented Great Britain, and also won the Men’s Individuals National University Kendo Championships, where he captained a second placed finished.

Alex Botterill

Alex won last year’s Best Sportsperson award, and has come on leaps and bounds since then.

The runner is holding an incredible record at the moment, having gone two years unbeaten over 800-metres in an under-20 age group.

The eighteen year old has beaten records set by Olympic legends Seb Coe and Steve Cram with a personal best of 1 minute 48.48 seconds, which ranked him third in the 2017 under 20 UK list.

Coach of the Year

Hannah Reeder

Hannah has been a coach at the City of York Athletics club for the disability group for 10 years now, and recently became the Regional Athletics Coach for the special Olympics team.

Jill King

A very talented coach, Jill King has achieved amazing results with the York Disability Tennis Network of completely blind players and acted as a volunteer at the Special Olympic National Summer Games.

Ian Thomson

Ian is being recognised for his amazing achievements with the University of York Women’s Rugby Club. The first team are unbeaten this season and he has gone out of his way to buy training wear, match teas and awards out of his own money.

Team/Club of the Year

The York Minxters get their skates on

York RI Ladies Rugby Club

The club were promoted to the NC North East 1 after going all season unbeaten in 2017 and also came runners-up in their cup competition.

10 RI players represented North Yorkshire last summer and their forward Grace Field went on to represent Yorkshire as a whole.

Vikings Cheerleading

After only becoming a competitive team in 2017, the Vikings have won seven trophies in three competitions across the UK. The club now has about 50 members and more than five teams.

York Minxters Roller Derby

After forming in 2011, the cheeky York Minxters are the first roller derby team ever to represent York.

They started out with just three founding members, but now have more than 50 skaters and officials and have this year entered the British Roller Derby Championships for the first time.

Junior Team/Club

Heworth Rugby League Club Juniors

With more than 219 boys and girls aged 6-15, Heworth made huge strides in 2017. They launched the ‘Heworth Little Heroes’ scheme, which provides weekly sessions for younger children who might want to get into the game.

The under-15s went unbeaten in the Yorkshire Junior League, while the U14s and U12s reached the quarter-finals of the Yorkshire Cup.

Bishopthorpe White Rose Junior Football Club

They have become the largest girls football club in the North after gaining a whopping 150 players making up eight different teams.

Last year, the U14s were league champions, while the U12s and U15s both won league cups.

Joseph Rowntree Boccia Team

Boccia is a wonderful disabled sport that Joseph Rowntree has embraced and has seen much success with. They represented Yorkshire last year, finishing fifth competing for the national pan disability championship.

Volunteer of the Year

Martin Lambert

Lambert will forever be known as the man who saved Jorvik Warriors Powerchair Football Club.

He puts hours of work into making the lives of disabled children in the York area better with the use of Sport, and has overseen the Jorvik club’s admission into the Yorkshire league.

Becky Wahl

Wahl set up the Fitmums and Friends Group, which plays a vital role helping the physical and psychological health of men and women in York.

The group now has 73 male and female volunteers spread across groups all around Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

Fiona Parr

Fiona manages the affairs of York RI Ladies Rugby team and has ambitions of becoming the first person to have an all-abilities rugby team. She has also played a vital role in earning the club good levels of sponsorship.

Active Primary School of the Year

Ralph Butterfield Primary School. Photograph: YorkMix

Robert Wilkinson Primary Academy

Eight runners from the Strensall school competed at the North Yorkshire Cross Country finals, while they finished top of the York charts in swimming competitions. The school was also awarded the Gold Sainsbury Kite Mark for School Sport.

Acomb Primary School

The school has provided its students with huge opportunities after setting up partnerships with York City FC, York City Knights, Chance to Shine Cricket and Mark Gun basketball.

They used £1000 from fundraising events on new sports equipment and introduced the ‘Friday Mile’, where all students and staff compete in a mile run together every Friday morning.

Ralph Butterfield Primary School

They are the current holders of the Haxby Ladies Netball Primary School Tournament trophy. This has come after the school established an impressive partnership with Haxby Netball Club, who encourage young girls to join netball teams.

Youth Group Provider of the Year

Door 84

Photograph: Door 84 on Facebook

Door 84 are a registered charity that put on multi-sports sessions for people aged from eight to 25. There are currently 929 young people registered with the organisation, which runs 300 open-access sessions a year.

They also work with York City and York City Knights to deliver sports projects.


Run by York University, KEEN York offers free multi-sport opportunities for Special Education Needs and disabled children aged three to 11.

It is also one of the only organisations recognised as Makaton Friendly in York, with 20 students having completed a course so they can use the combination of both signs and speech to communicate with the children.

York City FC Foundation

The Foundation’s vision is to support the local community by providing sport and physical activity. Their kickabout programme provides inclusive football sessions for all ages and engages with more than 100 people a week.

Active in York Award

Ray Schofield

Schofield runs gym sessions for people with heart related problems in an attempt to improve their quality of life. He set up the York Coronary Support Group, which provides vital help for those with cardiac problems.

Ian Wood

After being left partially paralysed from a car accident, later leaving him with mitochondrial disease, Ian has made some outstanding personal achievements in sport.

Since gaining his disabilities, he has participated in more than 10 sports, including Skiing, bungee jumping and wheelchair basketball, a truly incredible person.

Good Gym York

The Running and Fitness group is run by a collection of elderly volunteers, who combine a healthy lifestyle with completing tasks to assist the community.

One of their regular contributions has been to maintain Glen Gardens in Heworth.