Sports Awards 2017
Friday 16th June saw 150 people descend on Taunton Rugby Club for the annual Somerset Sports Awards. The awards, organised by Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership (SASP) are an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and successes of the inspirational volunteers, great coaches, outstanding athletes and quality clubs from across the County. Jane Knowles, SASP Partnership Director, gave a warm welcome to proceedings before introducing host Ben McGrail, West Country Correspondent for ITV who was back to oversee things for a second year.
This year saw over 100 entries for awards across 14 categories, all of which highlighted the fantastic work going on in the County. Jane Knowles said; 'as a County Sports Partnership we feel it is important to recognise the tireless efforts of our fantastic workforce. Volunteers are the backbone of community sport and we know that without them sport cannot function. Great coaches not only support athletes to realise their potential but help to create an important lifelong love of sport and physical activity'.
Winners on the evening included Jill Martin of Red Park Equestrian Centre, Williton whosetup a youth club at her stables to provide a safe and comfortable environment for vulnerable young females to be active together. Jill not only advocates the power of horses to engage young girls but has also been passionate about providing the girls with additional skills such as cooking, map reading, food hygiene and public speaking. With a large number of the group suffering from anxiety, mental health issues, self-harm, or are young carers, this project has seen the girls' self-esteem improve as well as their engagement and confidence to try new activities. The girls have become close friends and become more active as well as learning numerous new skills.
In its first year, the Sports Performer of the Year Award went to Emily Syme of Richard Huish College. Emily has been part of the Bristol City Ladies promotion winning team, earning herself a contract for next year in the process. She has also represented England U17's as captain, scoring a goal against favourites Germany leading to an historic 2-1 victory and recently qualifying for the European Elite Competition in the Czech Republic. She is also studying Economics, Psychology and Further Maths for A Levels, managing elite level sport alongside academics.
The photos of the evening (Kelly Weech Photography) can now be accessed here, please use the gallery ID - somawards17.
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