Shropshire sports' heroes are top of their league

Bridgnorth | News | Published:

Budding stars of the future, community clubs and individuals who go the extra mile to promote sport at grassroots level were recognised at the Energize 2014 awards.

Ten awards were handed out by Olympic swimming silver medallist Sharron Davies at an awards ceremony at Shrewsbury Town FC's Greenhous Meadow stadium, while six accolades were also presented recognising the work done to promote sport in schools across the county.

More than 170 guests attended Thursday night's eight annual ceremony, which recognised sporting achievement by people of all ages and was supported by the Shropshire Star as media partner.

The William Penny Brookes Award for outstanding contribution to sport and physical activity was presented to Paul Sanderson for his "unwavering commitment" to school and club sport over the past four decades.

  • Coach of the Year: Kristien Wood, chairman of Bridgnorth Spartans FC and assistant manager of Shropshire football under 18s
  • Volunteer of the Year: Fiona Smith, of Swimming After Surgery)
  • Young Volunteer of the Year: Beth Evans and Kim Carter
  • Sports Performance of the year: Nick Beighton, Team GB Paralympian rower
  • Junior Sports Performance of the Year: Callum Mackenzie, of Telford & Wrekin Hockey Club
  • Community Club of the Year: Shifnal Cricket Club
  • Community project of the Year: Climbing Out
  • Employer of the Year: Shropshire Council
  • Newcomer of the Year: Shrewsbury parkrun
  • William Penny Brookes Award: Paul Sanderson, former headteacher of Ladygrove Primary School, Telford[/breakout]

Mr Sanderson, who retired as headteacher of Ladygrove Primary School in Telford last year, was a founder member of Telford Athletics Club in 1976 and has held the post of secretary ever since.

He also chaired the Primary and PE Sports Association for 10 years and has organised the Primary School Cross Country League for more than 30 years.

Accepting his award via a video message, he said he was "proud and honoured" for his efforts to be recognised.

The sports performance of the year award went to Nick Beighton.


He lost both legs after stepping on an improvised explosive device while serving in the Armed Forces in Afghanistan five years ago but then represented Team GB in rowing at the London 2012 Paralympics, narrowly missing out on a medal.

Fiona Smith, who founded Swimming After Surgery four years ago to support women after they have had breast cancer surgery, won the volunteer of the year award. Beth Evans and Kim Carter were named young volunteers of the year after amassing more than 100 hours of volunteering each – both inside and outside school – while Beth was also presented with an inspirational student award.

Callum Mackenzie, who plays hockey for Telford & Wrekin 1sts and represents Scotland at under 16 level, was awarded the junior sports performance title, while Kristien Wood was named coach of the year for his commitment to junior football across Shropshire.

The community club accolade was presented to Shifnal Cricket Club, while the community project of the year was won by Climbing Out, an initiative which helps young people face up to life changing experiences both physical and mental.


The Energize Awards 2014

Shrewsbury parkrun was named newcomer of the year, while the employer of the year accolade was presented to Shropshire Council.

The school sports awards were presented to Harlescott Junior School in Shrewsbury, Stottesdon Primary School near Bridgnorth, and Annie Smith, who is School Games coordinator at William Brookes School in Much Wenlock. Awards also went to Sandra Davies and Lynda Manson, projectability leads for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, and to Trish Edwards in recognition of her contribution to school sport in Telford.

The winners of the community club, community project, coach and newcomer of the year prizes will be entered into West Midlands Community Sports Awards , which will be presented at Aston Villa FC on November 27.

Chris Child, chief executive of Energize Shropshire Telford & Wrekin, said: "There have been some fantastic and humbling stories of the time and effort people put into making community sport happen."

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