The tenth Active Broxbourne Sports Awards were held on Tuesday 20 November at The Spotlight, Hoddesdon. The 400 guests were amazed at both the level of international sporting success and the years of dedication to sport by local people. Nominees ranged from Tokyo 2020 hopefuls to the team who have faithfully delivered the Borough’s programme of health walks over the past nine years. Local sports clubs and community organisations ranging from Mayhem Theatre Arts, Your Town CIC, Broxbourne Rowing Club, St Joseph’s Gaelic Football Club and Turnford Netball Club were all represented.
The twelve awards were presented by representatives from the awards’ sponsors; Ashbourne Insurance, Decathlon Harlow, The Pavilions Shopping Centre and VolkerWessels UK. The ceremony was hosted by Olympic silver medallist turned motivational speaker Gail Emms MBE who impressed the audience with her warmth and genuine enthusiasm. Nominations for the awards were made online and any individual living, working or playing sport in the Borough was eligible to be nominated. 145 nominations were received in total.
The first award of the evening was that of Male Community Coach of the Year which was determined by audience vote and won by Jamie O’Brien from St Joseph’s Gaelic Football Club. The Maureen Ball Female Community Coach of the Year, re-named last year in honour of Maureen who founded and led Turnford Netball Club for many years, was won jointly by Katie Ball (Broxbourne Rowing Club) and Lucy Kennedy (LK Fitness, Moving Mums and Your Town). Katie was moved to tears as, unknown to the judging panel, Maureen was her mother. Gemma Robson (Broxbourne Tennis Club) and Chris Johnson (Herts Young Mariners’ COPS programme) shared the Volunteer of the Year award which saw eight people shortlisted and invited to the stage.
The Young Sportsperson of the Year was fiercely competed for with many of the Borough’s young people achieving success at national and international levels. Dancer Holly Amos (Broxbourne School), cyclist Lauren Higham (Admiral Liv Awol professional cycling team) and Ellie Oswick (Turnford Netball Club and Wasps) were highly commended whilst Grace Garrad (captain of England Under-16 Girls’ Football team) and Ellis Miller (Team GB Canoe Slalom) were joint winners.
The Sportsperson of the Year award was shared by Hoddesdon Boxing Academy’s Olympic hopeful Jordan Reynolds and Bethan Forrow who won the Women’s Team C1 title at the World Canoe Slalom Championships in Rio de Janeiro.
The Team Achievement of the Year award was presented to Turnford Netball Club’s Under 16 team for becoming National Champions in 2018. Their Under 14 team were close runners-up having reached the final of the National Championships for their age group. Hertfordshire Harriers Cricket Club and Mayhem Theatre Arts’ ‘We Do Care’ project jointly shared the Outstanding Contribution to Disability and Inclusive Sport Award.
The sought after Community Club of the Year award was shared between Hoddesdon Boxing Academy and the Your Town Runners and Walkers. The Community Sport Event of the Year was won by Cheshunt Junior Parkrun, which takes place every Sunday morning at Cheshunt Park. All of the nominations in this category related to running.
Broxbourne Co.E Primary School’s Year 5 Boys Cricket Team and Brookland Junior School’s Year 3-6 Athletics Squad jointly shared the Outstanding Primary School Performance of the Year award whilst Broxbourne School’s Under 15 Girls’ Swimming Squad won the Secondary School equivalent. All schools collected a £100 gift voucher courtesy of sponsors Decathlon Harlow.
The final award of the evening was the Mayor’s Award for Service to Sport, presented by Councillor Carol Crump, the Mayor of Broxbourne. The winner was Carole Titmuss for her years of service and success at Turnford Netball Club, producing National Champions and over 30 players to be recognised by England.
During the ceremony, guests were treated with performances from Ware Brass Band, Sapphire Elite Cheerleading Squad, Cheshunt School of Dance and Performing Arts and Shaolin Temple Cheshunt.
To mark the tenth anniversary of the Active Broxbourne Sports Awards, eight previous winners were invited back for a question and answer session with Gail Emms. This included Charlotte Rose and Catherine Robinson who were both honoured at the inaugural awards.