THE CREAM of the High Peak’s sporting talent was honoured at the borough’s annual sports awards.
Local sportsmen and women joined dignitaries at the High Peak Sports Awards 2012 last Friday, held at the Pavilion Gardens in Buxton.
Presenting the awards alongside Mayor Pat Jenner and High Peak Borough Council Leader Caitlin Bisknell was Chapel-en-le-Frith-born Paralympic cyclist Anthony Kappes, who won gold at this summer’s London 2012 Games after successfully defending his tandem sprint title.
Cllr Bisknell said: “There is clearly a lot of local talent here in High Peak that we need to celebrate and nurture for the future.
“It is also important to acknowledge the vital role played by volunteers, parents, family and friends in getting these young people to various events, and running the clubs that help them to reach this sporting excellence.”
Olympic gymnast Jennifer Pinches, from Whaley Bridge, collected the High Peak Sportsperson of the Year award, while Hope Valley’s Maddie Thompson, a member of ParalympicGB women’s wheelchair basketball team at the London Games, received the Special Recognition of Sporting Excellence award.
Glossop Judo Club was named Club of the Year, while one of their club members, Eric Ham, collected the award for Junior Sportsman of the Year.
Swimmer Abbie Wood, from Buxton, received the Junior Sportswoman of the Year Award, while the prize for Junior Disabled Sportsperson of the Year went to Freddie Smith who, despite suffering from cystic fibrosis, is an ever-present member of Buxton Cricket Club’s under-11 and under-13 teams, as well as providing cover for the under-15s and under-17s.
Also honoured on the night was Jackie Pettitt, who gives up her spare time to run netball teams in Chinley for people of all ages. She collected the Service to Sport award.
Charlotte Young was named Young Sports Leader / Coach of the Year in recognition of her dedication to local sport. She has done over 150 hours of volunteering, including work with local schools, and coaches New Mills Violets netball team,
And FA-qualified coach Michael Lowe, who trains junior footballers at Tintwistle Athletic FC, was named Coach of the Year. The award comes months after he was also named Derbyshire FA Coach of the Year.
As well as announcing the winners of the High Peak Sports Awards, a Civic Reception was held to acknowledge the borough’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes, along with the local London 2012 games-makers and torchbearers.