Preston Sports Awards Success!

Date: 11 March 2014

Friday evening saw the 9th annual Preston Sports Awards take place which were held at the Guild Hall with over 450 in attendance. 17 different awards were up for grabs in a variety of categories with Preston Grasshoppers represented in 5.

First up was Chris Johnson who was ‘highly commended’ in the ‘Coach of the Year’ category. Chris has coached the Under 16’s this season alongside Craig Steel and Steve Tiernan and the lads were shortlisted in the ‘Team Performance of the Year (Junior)‘ category. The lads didn’t win but were ‘highly commended’ by the judging panel. They rounded off a good weekend on Sunday with a win in the Lancashire Cup that puts them through to the semi-finals.

On the back of his tremendous season last year, 1st XV full back Sean Taylor was shortlisted for the ‘Achievement/Performance of the Year (Senior)’ award but was up against stiff competition. The award was jointly given to Great Britain rower and former Preston Grasshoppers Mini-Junior Graeme Thomas and Great Britain Paralympic swimmer Stephanie Slater. Despite not winning Sean was also ‘highly commended’.

At this point the guests enjoyed a talk from Jason Gardener, British sprint athlete and Olympic Gold medal winner, who gave a truly inspirational speech that captivated the audience when recounting his memory of winning the Gold at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games in the 4 x 100m.

After the interval the club as a whole was shortlisted in the ‘Community Organisation of the Year’ category and we’re delighted to report that the judges decided that Preston Grasshoppers RFC were deserving of the award.

Preston Sports Awards

(L-R) Chris Johnson, Richard Ellis, Hugh Duckworth, John Powell, John Peterson with the ‘Community Organisation of the Year’ award

The final award for which Preston Grasshoppers had a nominee shortlisted was ‘Special recognition/service to sport’. Many members at the club will know John Powell and be aware of all the hard work he has put in over the years he has been involved at the club. This was recognised on Boxing Day when John was awarded a testimonial by the club. We’re pleased that the judges also recognised John’s hard work as he was declared the winner of the category. Well done John, this award is truly deserved.

John Powell

John Powell and his wife Sheila with his ‘Service to Sport’ award

Congratulations to all of those who were shortlisted. The evening is a fantastic opportunity to see the wide range of sports, hard work of volunteers and massive talent that is on show in Preston.

Full list of winners

2014 winners

  • Coach of the year (aged 16 years plus) – Sponsor, BMW Bowker; winner – Chris Hills (Springfields Hockey Club)
  • Club of the year – Sponsor, Surridge; winner – Larches and Savick Boxing Academy
  • Volunteer of the year (Adult – aged over 25 years) – Sponsor, FWP Architecture; winner – Kevin Parker (Preston Swimming Club)
  • Volunteer of the year (Young – aged up to 24 years) – Sponsor, Lancashire County Council Public Health; winner – Nicole Gardner (Preston Netball Club)
  • Rising star – Sponsor, Millers Taxis (in memory of Sam McCulloch); winner – Sam Miller (Preston Harriers)
  • Achievement/Performance of the year (male junior) – Sponsor, Walker Smith Way Solicitors;winner – Edward Jeans (Preston Harriers)
  • Achievement/Performance of the year (female junior) – Sponsor, Preston’s College; winner – Isabella Raven (City of Preston Gymnastics Club)
  • Achievement/Performance of the year (senior) – Sponsor,  Shout Network; joint winners – Stephanie Slater (Preston Swimming Club) and Graeme Thomas (Sale Rowing Club)
  • Service to disability sport – Sponsor, Ambulant Physiotherapy Ltd; winner – Colin Robson (Preston City Trampoline Club)
  • Team performance of the year (junior team) – Sponsor,  UCLan; winner – City of Preston Gymnastics Boys Squad
  • Team performance of the year (senior team) – Sponsor, Skiddle; winner – Preston Swimming Club Arena Team
  • School team of the year (primary) – Sponsor, GB Energy; winner – Broughton CE Primary School
  • School team of the year (secondary) – Sponsor, Wallwork, Nelson & Johnson; winner – Corpus Christi Catholic High School
  • Community organisation of the year – Sponsor, Jigsaw Training; winner – Preston Grasshoppers RFC
  • Higher/Further education team of the year – Sponsor, McDade Roberts; winner – UCLan Golf
  • Special recognition/service to sport – Sponsor, Preston City Council (in honour of Councillor Tom Burns); winner – John Powell (Preston Grasshoppers)
  • Lifetime achievement (aged 30 years plus) – Sponsor, John Turner Construction Group;winner – David Simpson (Preston Schools and Scouts)
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