Night to remember at school sport awards for High Peak duo

AMAZING GRACE -- winner of the primary school sportsperson of the year, cyclist Grace Longden, of Buxworth Primary School.
AMAZING GRACE -- winner of the primary school sportsperson of the year, cyclist Grace Longden, of Buxworth Primary School.

High Peak duo Grace Longden and Abbie Wood have been recognised for their excellence at the 2015 Derbyshire Schools’ Sport Association (DSSA) awards.

In a ceremony held at Chesterfield FC’s Proact Stadium, eight-year-old cyclist Grace, from Buxworth Primary School, was crowned primary school sportsperson of the year. While 16-year-old Abbie, from Buxton Community School, retained her individual achievement (non school sport) title after another superb year in the pool.

Abbie produced a string of outstanding performances as she won a gold, silver and two bronze medals at the inaugural European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Meanwhile Grace has raced in a number of British Schools Cycling Association events, achieving first place in the U9 girls’ category in events such as the Yorkshire Regional Hill Climb Championships.

She also won the U10 girls’ category at British Cycling closed circuit races at Darley Moor and Forge Valley and was the youngest person ever to complete the 34-mile Grindleford Goat Cycle Ride.

Runner-up and highly commended in Grace’s category was another High Peak cyclist in the shape of Annabel Parker, from St Anne’s Catholic Primary School, Buxton.

The efforts of a number of other individuals from the High Peak area were celebrated too, with fencer Ellen Robbins-Wilkinson and cyclist Charlie Craig, both from Hope Valley College, highly commended in the individual achievement (non school sport) and secondary school sportsperson of the year award categories respectively.

Also honoured by being highly commended were dressage and athletics competitor Georgina Bailey, from Harpur Hill Primary School, in the disability sportsperson of the year category, and adult volunteer Natalie Mills, of Hayfield Primary School.

Winner of the top award, sportsperson of the year, was Allestree Woodlands School golfer Bradley Moore, who retained his title from 2014.

Special guest for the night was 25-year-old shot putter Sam Ruddock, who represented Britain at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.