Lancashire Sports Awards honour’s county’s unsung heroes

Preston Harriers' stalwart Peter Warden
Preston Harriers' stalwart Peter Warden

The 18th annual Lancashire Sports Awards visited the east of the county for the first time, opting for Dunkenhalgh Hotel to host their big evening of celebration.

The evening was dedicated to honouring the nominees, highly commended and winners from across the Red Rose county for their achievements in and dedication to sport over the past 12 months and featured nine categories.

Lostock Hall FC's cardiac smart initiative won the Community Project of the Year award

Lostock Hall FC's cardiac smart initiative won the Community Project of the Year award

Whilst much of the format remained the same, a new feature of the 2019 awards was the name change – the event became the Collinson Construction Lancashire Sports Awards to reflect a newly agreed partnership between Active Lancashire and Collinson Construction.

Theyn were one of eight sponsors who were kind enough to offer their support to this year’s event, the other Lancashire-based businesses were Baldwins, Banks Wealth, Davies Sports, Jones Homes Lancashire, Newground, University of Central Lancashire and Westholme School.

The awards also welcomed a new sporting ambassador in the form of two-time Olympian and European 3,000m champion Helen Clitheroe.

She agreed to support the awards earlier in the year, and as well as joining the judging panel, she is also helping to reshape the future of the awards.

Current chair of the judging panel, Dave Edmundson, will be officially stepping down in time for the 2020 awards, when Clitheroe will then be taking over after learning the ropes this year.

The Jimmy Armfield Lifetime Achievement Award winner was Preston’s Peter Warden, recognised for dedicating more than 60 years to athletics.

Warden represented Great Britain at the 1964 Olympic Games, beginning his coaching journey around 1965 where he inspired countless people to achieve success.

Now aged 78 he still continues to coach three nights a week.

Chief executive at Active Lancashire Adrian Leather said: “Every year the awards celebrate and acknowledge individuals, clubs and organizations that make sport a priority within their own lives but also within their own communities, positively impacting those around 
them.

This awards evening is truly an inspirational night from every angle and shows how impactful Lancashire is in contributing to sport.”

There were 85 nominees in total, representing 10 districts across Lancashire.

This year’s winners were:

Coach of the Year – Ross Goodwin; Club of the Year – Accrington Wildcats RLFC; Community Project of the Year – Lostock Hall Juniors Football Club Cardiac Smart; The Jimmy Armfield Lifetime Achievement Award – Peter Warden; Primary School of the Year – Baxenden St John’s CE Primary School; Secondary School of the Year – Park Community Academy; Service to Underrepresented Groups – YMCA Fylde Sharks; Young Achiever of the Year – Erin Green and Alyssa Bristow; Volunteer of the Year – Zuleikha Chikh.