Stars of sport in Norfolk get together for annual awards
- Credit: Norfolk Sports Academy
After another successful year with their athletes competing all over the world, the Young and Senior Norfolk Sports Academies (YNSA and NSA) held their annual awards ceremonies at the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich.
The YNSA launched in 2015 with the aim of supporting talented athletes between the ages of 15 and 18 from the county to fulfil their potential, and in 2016 the NSA was launched to support over-18s.
The YNSA awards saw sailor Will Pank named Greatest Advocate after a year in which he secured first place at the British RS Feva.
Best Social Media User and the Progress awards went to Elise Dixon, who has been selected for the British Shooting Talent Programme, representing GB in the Junior World Cup in Germany.
Young Sportsman went to Aylsham football goalkeeper Sam Blair, who has earned a two-year academy scholarship at Norwich City and has represented England at under-16 level.
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Young Sportswoman was presented to India Bussey, who competes internationally in equestrian - alongside sister Atiya - and who has also been selected for the World Class Podium Potential Pathway squad for 2019-2021.
Other YNSA achievements in the past year include Laura-Rose Cooke finishing as the most decorated gymnast at the Salamunov Memorial in Slovenia.
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While in athletics, Eleanor Brown and Serena Grace have qualified for the English Schools Nationals and Joe Thompson represented in Italy and France.
The NSA awards for the senior athletes saw para-triathlete Iain Dawson win both the Sportsman of the Year and Greatest Advocate awards. Sportswoman of the Year was won by fencer Julie Henson, who secured bronze in Senior Women's Epee and contributed to England's team gold at the Commonwealth Championships.
Wheelchair racer Naomi Adie won Best Social Media Post and the Progress award, having captured the heart of the nation when returning from the Invictus Games with three medals, while Paralympic swimming star Jessica-Jane Applegate claimed Best Social Media User.
Other achievements by NSA athletes in the past year include Sophie McKinna (shot put) and Iona Lake (steeplechase) representing Team GB at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Emily Woods recently won the Senior Ladies British Championship in artistic roller skating and has been selected to represent GB at the World Roller Games in Barcelona and the European Championships in Germany.
Phil Steele, chairman of the NSA and director of sport and commercial services at the UEA, said: "After another exciting and inspirational year of the YNSA and NSA programmes it's time of us to welcome applications for 2019/20.
"Having celebrated the year of achievement from our athletes it just highlights to me how much incredible talent we have in the county. As we look to further and develop our network of partners, so do we aspire to continue supporting the aspirations of our local athletes.
"From Commonwealth Games to the Olympics, World Championships and Europeans, if you have an aspiration to achieve on the global stage in your sport, we want to be there to support your journey.
"We look forward to welcoming the future of Norfolk sport to the programme this year and giving more people the opportunity to live their dreams."
YNSA athletes: India and Atiya Bussey (equestrian), Will Pank (sailing), Laura-Rose Cooke (gymnastics), Eleanor Brown (athletics), Serena Grace (athletics), Elise Dixon (trap shooting), Jaquan Moore (athletics), Abigail Durand (athletics), Joe Thompson (skiing), Sam Blair (football)
NSA athletes: Iain Dawson (para-triathlon), Emily Woods (artistic roller-skating), Julie Henson (fencing), Callum Brown (athletics), Gemma Vickery (athletics), Naomi Adie (wheel chair racing), Jessica-Jane Applegate (paralympic swimmer), Kimberley Morrison (Triathlon), Sophie McKinna (athletics) and Iona Lake (athletics).
Partners: Jarrold Intersport, City College Norwich, Sportspark, Norwich School, Norfolk Community Foundation, Car Shop, Mills & Reeve, BMA Estates, Blue Sky Letting and Harrods