County’s big night is huge success

Community Club of the Year winners Preston Grasshoppers
Community Club of the Year winners Preston Grasshoppers
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Preston Grasshoppers RUFC and a local volunteer from the city had a night to remember at the prestigious Lancashire Sports Awards at The Hilton Hotel in Blackpool.

Hoppers won the Community Club of the Year accolade, sponsored by Funds4Clubs and 63-year-old Colin Robson, from Preston, scooped the Service to Disability Support award, sponsored by Lancashire Sport Partnership.

The event was organised by Lancashire Sport Partnership to celebrats the achievements of those who have been a driving force on the county’s sports scene.

Judges were impressed by the passion and devotion of the volunteers at Preston Grasshoppers, which has been established for almost 145 years.

With in excess of 70 coaching volunteers, the club supports and encourages youngsters to gain their Level Two Coaching Qualification.

The club also works alongside Preston Council to provide coaching at local schools.

The diversity of sport at the club was also a key factor, offering squash, archery, shooting, cricket and cycling as well as rugby.

Disability Support category winner Robson was recognised for his work at the Preston City Trampoline Club.

For more than 40 years, Robson has worked to help give youngsters the opportunity to reach their full potential and enjoy trampolining.

His volunteering work has also seen the club grow from working with just two adults, to opening its doors six days a week for various disability groups, as well as individual sessions throughout the day and inclusive sessions in the evenings.

Hoppers general manager Richard Ellis said: “We are absolutely delighted to be named Community Club of the year.

“The volunteers at the club go above and beyond to help give the opportunity to young people to get involved in the sport and it’s fantastic that all our hard work has been recognised.”

Adrian Leather, chief executive of Lancashire Sport Partnership, said: “We’re delighted to recognise Preston Grasshoppers and Colin with these awards. It’s clear from the dedication and commitment to sport and young people that they are both very deserving winners.

“We believe that sport enhances health and well-being, and enriches communities, so we are delighted to celebrate and reward those who contribute to our region’s growing reputation in sport.”

The ceremony, which was sponsored by Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, saw trophies awarded across eight categories in total.

Lancaster Bulldogs Wheelchair Basketball Club was highly commended in the Community Club of the Year category, and Lancaster’s Dennis Pratt was highly commended for the Service to Disability Sport award.

Other winners on the night included Kevin Wilson (Adult Volunteer of the Year, sponsored by Themis) and highly commended Adult Volunteer of the Year, Robert Flounders.

Marie Gardner was named Coach of the Year and Beverly Dodd was highly commended.

John McCann won the Lifetime Achievement award.

Blessed Trinity RC College and Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School both won School of the Year and Georgia Hannam won the Young Achiever award, and Thomas Hamer was highly commended.

Kerry Bamford and Beth Hibbert both won Young Volunteer of the Year, and Liam Stone was highly commended.