Norfolk Sports Awards celebrates the very best of sport and physical activity at glittering awards evening

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Ceremony celebrated  in Norfolk

Crowds gathered for the 2018 Norfolk Sports Awards at Open in Norwich City Centre last night for a special evening of entertainment and trophy presentations to recognise those who have made the biggest impact through sport and exercise in Norfolk over the past 12 months.

Sportspeople, coaches, schools and clubs were all well represented as awards spanned 11 different categories, including the coveted Norfolk Sports Personality of the year award, which was decided through a combination of public vote and the panel of judges.

The awards presentation was presented by former Norwich City footballer, Darren Eadie and preceded by a wine and canapé reception for almost 300 guests as well as a breath-taking performance by local performance artist, Daisy Black, who stunned the crowd with her gymnastic aerial display, above the heads of the dazzled crowd below.

As the awards began, trophies were handed out to Manchester City football star, Lauren Hemp, who won the Young Sportsperson of the Year award to add to her FA Young Player of the Year award. There were awards for the Pace of Mind running group initiative, David Thomas in the Power of Physical Activity category and for Aviva, which was recognised for the efforts it has made in helping staff to become more active in the workplace.

The Active Futures award was won by Little Owls Nursery in Dereham, which works to positively promote physical activity in early years. The Services to Disability Sport award was presented to Able2b, which provides a special form of therapy for people living with disabilities through fitness boxing.

85-year-old Ray Drew won the BBC Unsung Hero award after committing nearly half of his life to the King’s Lynn table tennis association and helping countless youngsters come through the game. The Community Club of the Year award was given to Norwich Spikers Volleyball Club and Norfolk FA Representative Squad took the Sports Team of the Year award.

This year’s Coach of the Year was presented to Tim Scott, coach of Norwich Canoe Club, who has seen five canoeists selected for Team GB under his tutelage. Scott also took home the prestigious Winner of Winners trophy after judges deemed his exceptional contribution to his club and sport in Norfolk to be worthy of the double award.

Finally, the Norfolk Sports Personality award was handed to King’s Lynn Stars Captain, Robert Lambert. From Foulsham, near Dereham, Lambert has enjoyed an exceptional season on the track, having regained his Under-21 British title and picking up a silver medal as part of Team GB in the Speedway of Nations. Lambert narrowly pipped fellow finalists, shotputter, Sophie McKinna and steeplechaser, Iona Lake, to the award.

The evening was concluded by a closing speech from Active Norfolk Director Ben Jones in which he highlighted the exceptionally strong field of athletes and sports professionals in Norfolk.

Click here to view the full list of winners. Photographs of the awards night will follow shortly.

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Jon Osborne

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