Awards galore for city’s big achievers

Toby Ellis of Preston Table Tennis Association, the Achievement/Performance of the Year Junior Male winner with sponsor Kate Plano
Toby Ellis of Preston Table Tennis Association, the Achievement/Performance of the Year Junior Male winner with sponsor Kate Plano

The 13th Annual GLL Preston Sports Awards 2018 has once again showcased the amazing achievements of Preston’s clubs, volunteers and athletes over the last 12 months.

Each year the judges face a challenging task of shortlisting and this year was no exception.

Left to right: Paul Crone, Louise Ashworth, Cllr Peter Kelly, Deputy Mayoress, Lutalo Muhammad, Deputy Mayor Cllr Trevor Hart, Peter Mason (Chair of Preston Sports Forum), Lord and Lady Shuttleworth and Jimmy Khan

Left to right: Paul Crone, Louise Ashworth, Cllr Peter Kelly, Deputy Mayoress, Lutalo Muhammad, Deputy Mayor Cllr Trevor Hart, Peter Mason (Chair of Preston Sports Forum), Lord and Lady Shuttleworth and Jimmy Khan

The calibre of the nominees was highlighted on the nigh,t particularly with the category of young achiever with the panel awarding joint winners to Gemma Vescovi from City of Preston Gymnastics Club and William Howard a Preston pentathlete. The panel could not simply split their achievements apart.

The event was opened by a spectacular display from the winners of Preston’s Primary schools’ dance festival St Mary and St Andrew’s Primary School.

The event was hosted by Granada TV’s Paul Crone, while Olympian Lutalo 
Muhammed gave an inspirational speech about his journey to Olympic success. Paralympic swimmer Stephanie Slater MBE was also in attendance and was presented with some flowers to congratulate her on her achievements in her career after the recent announcement of her retirement.

Football freestyler John Farnworth, fresh from a ball-juggling walk up to Mount Everest Base Camp was presented with the Pride of Preston Award for 2018.

John Farnworth

John Farnworth

The finale of the evening saw Marilyn Gregson being recognised for her dedication, enthusiasm and involvement in disability sport through her voluntary role at Preston Panthers Disability Club for over 20 years.

Jimmy Khan, GLL partnership manager said: “The awards delivered another memorable evening recognising sporting talent and those behind the scenes that make everything possible.

“John Farnworth and Stephanie Slater, who recently had to retire on health grounds, brought the audience to a moving ovation.”

Full list of winners:

Young Achiever joint winners Gemma Vescovi (left) and William Howard (middle) with Brian Finney on behalf of Millers Taxis

Young Achiever joint winners Gemma Vescovi (left) and William Howard (middle) with Brian Finney on behalf of Millers Taxis

Coach of the Year Sponsored by BMW Bowker – Sianna Perry – City of Preston Gymnastics Club

Club of the Year Sponsored by Surridge Sport – Preston Harriers

Volunteer of the Year* (aged 14-24 years) Sponsored by Frank Whittle Partnership Architecture – Sophie Warden – Preston Harriers

Volunteer of the Year (aged 25 years plus) Sponsored by Preston City Council – Michael Johnson (Sir Tom Finney Soccer Centre)

Young Achiever* (Under 21’s) Sponsored by Millers Taxis – Joint Winners Gemma Vescovi (City of Preston Gymnastics Club) and William Howard (Pentathlon)

Achievement/ Performance of the Year Junior Male Sponsored by Plano Ltd – Toby Ellis – Preston Table Tennis Association

Achievement/ Performance of the Year Junior Female Sponsored by McDade Roberts – Jasmine Greenwood – City of Preston Gymnastics Club

Achievement Performance of the Year Senior Sponsored by Shout Network – Dean Heaps (Preston Swimming Club)

Sport for All award Sponsored by Preston’s College – Heidi Hamshere – Preston Panthers

Team Performance of the Year Junior Sponsored by Preston North End Community and Education Trust – Preston North End Women’s Juniors U12’s

Team Performance of the Year Senior Sponsored by Baluga Bar and Club – Preston Swimming Club Masters Team

School of the Year Primary School Sponsored by Go Velo – Broughton in Amounderness CE Primary School.

School of the Year Secondary School Sponsored by Wallwork Nelson and Johnson – Ashton Community Science College

Community Club of the Year Sponsored by Ambulant Physiotherapy Ltd – Ribbleton Bike Revival

Higher/ Further Education Team of the Year Sponsored by Preston City Council – UCLan Mens Lacrosse 1st Team

Special Recognition/ Service to Sport Sponsored by University of Central Lancashire – David Burrow – Cadley FC

Lifetime Achievement Sponsored by John Turner Construction Group – Marilyn Gregson – Preston Panthers