EDP Sports Awards finalists announced
The judges have made their decisions and today we can announce the finalists in the 2010 Eastern Daily Press Active Norfolk Sports Awards.
It has been another record year for the awards with the number of entries higher than before and the quality of candidates once again proving what talent we have in the county.
Nominations for national champions, Commonwealth Games medal winners and European medal winners littered the judges' table and the array of sports – from bowls to skiing and canoeing to judo – also impressed.
The finalists will gather for the announcement of winners and runners-up next Wednesday at the Curve facility in the Forum, in Norwich. BBC journalist Shaun Peel will host the evening and former Norwich City footballer and Norfolk celebrity Bryan Gunn will present the awards.
• Sports Personality of the Year
Mervyn King – won the Premier League and the Australian Open Pairs Championship as well as clinching a silver medal in the pairs competition at the Commonwealth Games. The Fakenham Gallow player also won his 50th England cap in 2010.
Colin Oates – won gold at the Irish Open Judo Championships and bronze in the Finnish and Swedish Open Judo Championships. He also won a World Cup bronze in the Czech Republic and was selected to represent Great Britain in Japan at the 2010 World Championships.
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Chrissie Wellington – won this award in 2009 and this year became an MBE for services to ironman triathlon. Chrissie broke her own world record by 12 minutes in Germany and one nomination read: 'She is simply the best.'
• Young Sports Personality of the Year
Pippa Horn – at the age of 14 became the youngest winner of the 102-year-old Junior National Tennis Championships in August. The competition for under-18s has recently been won by the likes of Elena Baltacha and Anne Keothavong and previously by Anne Jones, Jo Durie and Sue Barker. And this feat was made even more remarkable as Pippa had suffered a stress fracture in her back the previous year.
Sophie McKinna – has broken eight championship best performances this year in the shot put. The highlight of Sophie's season came when representing Great Britain at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. There, she threw a new British under-17 record of 15.14 metres to finish fifth.
Victoria Williamson – won the British Junior Sprint National title and was selected to ride for GB Juniors in the World and European Track Championships. Victoria won silver medlas at the Europeans in the sprint and the keirin and won a silver in the European Under-23 team sprint.
• Team of the Year
Norfolk Ski Race Team – regional champions for the past seven years, four members in the England artificial slope squad, one member in the England alpine team and one member in the British alpine team. The team also has several members in junior Great Britain squads.
Swardeston Cricket Club – won the Twenty20 national Cockspur Cup which attracted more than 900 teams from around England and Wales. Swardeston beat South Northumberland in the final in a match shown live on Sky Sports.
Wroxham Football Club – the first Norfolk team to reach the FA Vase final at the new Wembley Stadium. Despite losing heavily in the final, this was an excellent achievement as Wroxham started in the preliminary round at Gorleston and played 13 games en route.
• Coach of the Year
Jon Dennis – has given up his spare time to set up a boxing club in Attleborough. In a little over a year, the club has doubled in size.
Rachael Goldson – gives her time and professional expertise to the benefit of Aylsham Tennis Club and individuals. She has been the driving force behind massive improvement of the facilities at the club, resulting in four new, all-weather courts.
Mike Utting – has been a coach at the City of Norwich Athletics club for more than 10 years and in that time he has developed from a helpful parent through to coaching English schools gold medalist, sprinter Cleo Stephenson.
• Keith Peel Services to Sport Award
Kelly Barkway – remortgaged her home and put her life savings into buying the Norwich Union Rowing Club to save it from closure. She enabled the club to remain as a charity and set up full-time to teach canoeing.
Sheila George – has been involved in the playing and administration of hockey in Norfolk for 55 years and has taken numerous roles at club, county, regional and national level.
Michael and Robin Trivett – the twin brothers have given a combined 100 years' service to Happisburgh Cricket Club. They are vice-presidents and still play regularly.Michael is groundsman and Robin, until the spring of this year, was club treasurer.
• Inspirational Sports Person of the Year
Darren Cann – assistant referee who officiated in the final of the Champions League before going on to run the line in the World Cup final in South Africa.
Ena Mallett – became the first woman in the world to win a seventh dan black belt at the age of 77. She teaches spirit combat, a form of ju-jitsu.
Victoria Watson – despite having to have her legs amputated from the knee after contracting meninigitis, Victoria continues training in the martial art of ishin ryu and recently achieved her first belt.
• Sports School of the Year
Alderman Peel High – the Wells sports college beats the national average when it comes to pupils participating in three hours quality PE and school sport.
Mundesley Junior – an impressive 89pc of children attend extra-curricular sports clubs and one fifth have represented the school at county or East of England level.
Taverham High – more than 35 different sports are on offer at lunchtime or after school and, to celebrate the achievements of sports teams, the school hosted for the first time its own sports awards evening.