The Luton Sports Network hosted their annual Luton Sports Awards evening on Friday to celebrate and recognise the achievements of the sporting talent within the town.
Following a rousing opening video clip which set the tone for the entire evening, LSN Chair, Carl Richardson, welcomed the audience of finalists and their supporters, while thanking the sponsors and VIPs for their continued support of the increasingly popular event, which this year received a record number of nominees within a wider range of sporting activities.
Special guest speaker Kola Adedoyin, a 24-year-old GB international triple jumper, gave a personal and emotional address of the highs and lows of his journey from schoolboy athlete to international competitor with long term Olympic goals for Rio and Tokyo.
His inspiring story of perseverance resonated the message from the opening video and he proved to be very popular with the younger people in the room, who queued afterwards to get a photo opportunity with him.
When it was time for the awards, swimmer Lawrence Palmer was crowned Sportsman of the Year, while gymnast Elliot Browne was second and athlete Ian Kimpton third.
Sportswoman of the year went to javelin thrower Jo Blair, with Rachel Spiller (karate) in second, while karate player Oliver Pellere was Young Sportsman of the Year, from Kyron Canny (athletics), with Sacha Davies and Lucas Lam (both karate), in third.
The Young Sportswoman of the Year was awarded to basketball player Mia Jaye Sarkodee-Adoo, as Feriel Siad (karate) came second and Lisa Taylor (karate) in third.
Contribution to Disabled Sport award went to ASD Swimmers Satellite Club, while Young Volunteer of the Year was Jamie Pepper (karate), with Matthew Haden (swimming) in second.
There were joint winners of the Sports Team of the Year gong as Chalk Hills Academy Year 9 Football Team and Beech Hill Primary School Year 4 Cricket team shared the prize. Runner-up was Ferrars Junior School Girls Football team and in third were Team Galaxy Tumbling Squad.
Sports Club of the Year were Luton Allstars (football), with runners-up Luton Karate Academy and third going to Stopsley Striders Running Club.
The Sports Administrator/Official of the Year went to Patricia Warne (gymnastics), second was Kwesi Edubatey (football) and third was Matthew Haden (swimming), while Putteridge SC’s Lesley Batson was named Sports Coach of the Year, from joint runners-up Patricia Warne and Keith Warne (gymnastics), Tony Simmons (athletics), with third Hiron John (taekwondo).
Sports Club Member of the Year was Julie Halsey (hockey) and runner-up Bryn Owen (hockey), while the Service to Sport Awards went to Phylliss Charles (netball), Kate Neale (running) and Iain Starkey (hockey).
The Geoff Battlebury Service to Sport Award was handed to Patricia and Keith Warne (gymnastics), a truly deserved honour to recognise their dedication and passion which has spanned an amazing 35 years.
Following the trend set by young Nadeem Dalvi last year, the coveted Sports Personality of the Year Award was bagged by the evening’s youngest nominee, six-year-old Amy Ely, who is a student at the Luton Karate Academy.
LSN is looking forward to continuing its work in 2016, making grants, contributing to Luton’s Strategy for Sport and planning next year’s event.
If you would like to learn more about the LSN small grants scheme, visit the website at www.lutonsportsnetwork.com or email Carl Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org.