Cream of High Peak sport gunning for premier awards

IN CONTENTION -- Buxton swimmer Abbie Wood, who is up for the young sportswoman of the year award.
IN CONTENTION -- Buxton swimmer Abbie Wood, who is up for the young sportswoman of the year award.

Three talented athletes and two inspiring clubs make up the High Peak contenders to land major honours at Derbyshire’s premier sports awards night.

They have all been invited to the Derby Telegraph Sports Awards ceremony, which take place at Derby’s Roundhouse tomorrow (Thursday) and which is celebrating its tenth anniversary.

Battling for the title of young sportsman of the year is High Peak judoka Eric Ham, who has made the final shortlist, along with Chesterfield taekwondo player Aaron Cobley and Derby golfer Bradley Moore.

This has been the most successful year of the Hadfield fighter’s career after winning at the British Championships for the fourth time and retaining the English Open title in Sheffield. Ham also won a gold medal at the Junior European Cup in Portugal and bronze medals in Spain, Italy and Romania, earning Great Britain call-ups for the Junior European Championships and Junior World Championships.

The area is also represented in the young sportswoman of the year category, with Buxton swimmer Abbie Wood making the final three after striking gold at the European Games, winning the 400m individual medley for Britain, along with a silver in the 200m individual medley and bronzes in the 4x100m mixed and women’s medley relays.

The 16-year-old has now secured a place on the World Class Swimming Programme at Loughborough, and is currently studying at Loughborough College. Abbie’s opposition for the prize comes in the shape of Chesterfield’s sprint hurdler Alicia Barrett and north-east Derbyshire heptathlete Niamh Emerson.

Another High Peak contender is para-cyclist Katie Toft, who has been shortlisted in the disabled sportsperson of the year category. The 22-year-old trains six days a week and finished second in her class at the National Road Championships. The Chinley athlete, who is on the Derbyshire Institute of Sport programme, will go up against Amber Valley para-triathlete Phil Hogg and south Derbyshire para-swimmer Lewis White.

In the club of the year category, Buxton Sportability Club is in the running. Established in September 2012, it is open to anyone interested in running, taking part in or helping out with disability sport activities and has more than 40 members. The club competes strongly in football, boccia and swimming.

Nominated in the same category are Glossop North End AFC Juniors, who won 14 league and cup trophies at various age groups this year and were runners-up in six more, as well as winning a further ten tournaments. The club’s mission statement reads: be the best you can be.