The AllStars Awards 2016 lived up to its name as sports stars of the present joined up with budding stars of the future to celebrate the best in Fylde coast youth sport.
Congratulations to all our winners and highly commended runners-up, and particularly to Tom Blackhurst and brothers Louis Talarczyk and Harvey Talarczyk, who together made up the Baines School golf team who won our ultimate accolate of AllStars Stars of the Year.
Before we profile all our finalists over four pages, it wouldn’t be an awards ceremony report without a few thank yous.
First and foremost, thanks to our sponsors Excel Fostering and the Uniform and Leisurewear Company.
Thanks to our judging panel of Gary Bowyer (Blackpool FC manager), Scott Cardle (British boxing champion), Lagan Makin (Fylde Ladies FC), Gretar Steinsson (Fleetwood Town FC technical director) and Isaac Towers (Paralympic finalist and European 800m T34 champion), whose votes determined our winners along with those of Blackpool Sixth’s Tim Craven and Andy Moore of Gazette Sport.
Special thanks to Scott and Isaac for also attending on the night to present awards, as did Blackpool FC players Michael Cain and Clark Robertson, and Will Watt of Fleetwood Town.
And finally thanks to all our finalists for attending the ceremony and to the great many AllStars readers who submitted nominations.
So without further ado (as they say at such ceremonies), here’s how the 2016 AllStars Awards played out.
Outstanding individual of primary school age
As always this category was very closely contested, with two nominees pulling clear in the voting and only a single voting ultimately separating them.
Max Sturzaker (nominated by Louise Sturzaker)
Swimmer Max from Blackpool suffered a bad elbow break in July of last year and was told his elbow may never straighten sufficiently for him to swim again.
However, he was back in the pool by October and has earned a ranking among the top three boys of his age in Britain in three strokes.
HIGHLY COMMENDED RUNNER-UP:
Holly Bo Dunning (nominated by Andy Dunning)
Holly Bo from Blackpool participated in all sporting events at St Nicholas Primary School. She played rounders, tennis, athletics, rugby and is also in the school football team.
Holly also played for Foxhall FC and played an age group up for Blackpool Girls FC (under-12s instead of under-11s) and was one of only 12 girls in the whole of Lancashire selected for the Lancashire FA Girls’ Player Development Programme, representing the county all over the country.
Her achievements have been recognised by her school, who presented her with its Outstanding Sportsperson award. She also won Foxhall Under-11s’ award as Most Consistent Player of the season.
Outstanding individual secondary school age
This was the category which attracted most nominations this year, and so high was the overall standard that a dozen strong entries were shortlisted for our judges to consider.
Rhianna Parker (nominated by Ryan Parker)
Rhianna from North Shore, Blackpool, is the European champion at Brazilian jiu jitsu, having won the British championship five years in a row, also winning gold at this year’s Blackpool Open.
Aged 14, she is now competing against adults and won gold at the Manchester Open in October.
She trains five nights a week and links up with the British elite squad each month in Birmingham.
Rhianna has continued competing for six years, overcoming the loss of her mother, and has also done very well in school sports at Baines.
HIGHLY COMMENDED RUNNER-UP:
Lily Matthias (nominated by Hayley Rowcroft)
Lily lives in Lytham and has been crowned British ice dance champion for the second year running.
She also won an international competition in Helsinki, came second in the Bradford Open and was selected to represent Great Britain in the Volvo Cup in Latvia. Lily also starred in a BBC documentary ‘The Making of an Ice Princess’.
She also qualified for the British figure skating championships and is currently ranked seventh in the under-13 category.
Team of the year of primary school age, sponsored by The Uniform and Leisurewear Company
Two school girls’ teams emerged as the leading contenders in another close-fought category.
Kirkham Grammar Junior School Under-11 girls’ hockey team (nominated by Alf Oddie)
This team were crowned Lancashire, North West and North of England champions in 2016, also winning the St Mary’s Hall and Rossall tournaments.
They are undefeated all year and have won every competition they entered. They are the school’s best team of recent years, always displaying great sportsmanship which is equalled by their skill and determination.
Shakespeare School girls’ football team (nominated by Sean Slater)
The girls’ team from Shakespeare Primary in Fleetwood have reached the final of the Lancashire School Games tournament for three successive years, winning twice (only losing the other final on penalties).
They qualified for the county games as Wyre champions and most of the girls had not played football previously.
Team of the year (secondary school age) sponsored by The Uniform and Leisurewear Company
Despite the many nominations in this category, the toughest decision was who would finish second after one team dominated the voting.
The Baines School golf team (nominated by Dan Vernon)
Tom Blackhurst and brothers Louis Talarczyk and Harvey Talarczyk formed the three-man team who represented Baines School from Poulton in the English Schools’ Team Championship, which they won at the Bracken Course in Lincolnshire.
The trio were the first team from Baines to qualify for the national final and they won the prized salver with a score of 75 points.
Fifteen-year-old Louis led the way, scoring 40 points for the team and winning the individual prize after birdies on three of the final four holes.
He was supported by Tom, a four-handicapper, and by Harvey, who plays off one.
All three are members at Blackpool North Shore Golf Club, while the brothers also belong to Royal Lytham and St Annes and play for Lancashire Boys.
Hodgson Academy Under-14s Badminton Boys and Girls Squad (nominated by Craig McCann)
The under-14s squad started to learn the fundamentals of badminton in year 7. They were crowned Wyre and Fylde League champions two years in succession, despite being a year younger than their opponents. Both gender groups were crowned champions of Lancashire.
This qualified them to represent the county at the North West Regional Championships in Manchester against opponents who regularly play at international level.
Coach of the year (for children of primary school age).
This was a close race between the coaches of two teams whose achievements we have already heard about this evening.
Linda Baxter (nominated by Alf Oddie)
Ms Baxter is coach of the Kirkham Junior Grammar School Under-11 girls’ hockey team who have this evening been crowned team of the year.
Linda’s team won every match of 2016, lifting five trophies, including the North of England, North West and Lancashire championships.
She has developed very skilful and determined players, who always display great sportsmanship.
HIGHLY COMMENDED RUNNER-UP:
Roy Clarke (nominated by Sean Slater)
Roy is the coach of the Shakespeare Primary School girls’ football team who were also nominated in our team of the year category and narrowly missed out, having been twice crowned Lancashire School Games champions in the last three years, finishing runners- up on the other occasion.
Most of the girls had not played football previously. However, thanks to Mr Clarke’s effort and time, they have not only developed into a highly successful school team, but many of the players now play for local clubs and for a new inter-school team.
Coach of the year for 11-18 year olds. This is the first of two categories this year to produce a single outstanding candidate and clear winner.
Natalie Etheridge, manager of South Shore Youth Football Club Under-13s was nominated by her daughter Ellie.
We have already heard about the remarkable progress made by Natalie’s squad in our team of the year category.
Ellie writes: “When my mum joined South Shore FC in June 2013 as a manager she found a team that needed stability and to enjoy football.
“Her aims were to bring to her team enjoyment and willingness to learn, make them feel part of a team and all support each other.
“She introduced weekly awards to motivate the players, including a player of the month voted for by parents. With my mum it is not about winning games at this age, it’s about enjoyment in football.
She supports the club as fundraising and media secretary, organising events to help the individual teams raise funds for kits and equipment.
She recently helped organise a very successful fundraising event, at which boxer Brian Rose was special guest, and raised well over £1,000.
While also working full-time, mum is a brilliant coach and supports ‘Crossland Road Park Kids’ by organising free football events for children in the park.
Mum loves the club and cares about every child and parent.”
Endeavour award (primary school age)
The AllStars Awards are not restricted to champions or high achievers, and the Endeavour awards recognise the determination and commitment of individuals to fulfilling their potential and to maximising the benefits they gain from sport.
This Endeavour award for primary school children was another very close category, in which just one vote separated the top two in our final count.
Ozzy Roberts (nominated by Emma Roberts)
Ozzy from Blackpool is very committed to the sport of boxing, Having recently turned 11, he is now able to compete for Sharpstyle Gym where he trains six days a week. Ozzy is already making his name as a gifted young boxer, who dreams of winning championships and one day boxing in the Olympics, He has the potential and the drive to make all these dreams come true. He also helps care for his mother, is doing very well at school and is doing his family proud.
HIGHLY COMMENDED RUNNER-UP
Grace Scott (nominated by Sarah Scott)
Grace from Fleetwood was nominated in the outstanding individual category but the judges considered her a worthy contender in this category as well. Grace started her amazing year by becoming the youngest runner ever selected for the cross country team at Flakefleet School in Fleetwood. She was in year 3 and most of the other team members were in year 6. Grace was also the youngest member of the school swimming team, and finished second in her category at the Fleetwood Triathlon. Grace is so determined and believes that if you work hard at something you love you will always be a winner.
Endeavour Award (secondary school age)
Two dedicated athletes stood out in this category.
Natalia Luczak (nominated by Justyna Pustelak)
Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde Athletic Club jumper Natalia from Blackpool has a long jump personal best of 4.18metres, while in the high jump she cleared 1.47m at the Interfaith Games in Manchester, when the bar was above her head (she measured 1.45m at the time).
Natalia had excellent results in both jumping events at this year’s Mid-Lancs and Youth Development League meetings, with many podium places.
Natalia was third in the high jump in the Lancashire Championships, won silver and bronze at the Trafford Meeting in Manchester and also won a gold and a silver at the Ernie Gallager Memorial Meeting organised by Liverpool Harriers.
Natalia is fully committed and will go the extra mile to improve her techniques and skills. She has represented her school in athletics and is a sports captain.
HIGHLY COMMENDED RUNNER-UP
Chloe Parsons (nominated by Sarah Parsons)
Chloe is an up and coming athlete from Freckleton, who competes for Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde Athletic Club and for her school Carr Hill. Chloe is progressing through the ranks in discus and shot. Chloe has also started to learn the art of pole vault and is already aiming high.
She says: “I’m going to qualify for the English Schools Championships next season.”
Unsung Hero Award sponsored by Excel Fostering
This category honours individuals whose commitment to sport not only enhances their own experiences but also enables others to gain the maximum benefit from sport in the most supportive environment.
This is the second of tonight’s categories to have produced an overwhelming, clear-cut winner.
Jess Manton has been nominated by Emma Bateson and is a year 12 student at Carr Hill High School in Kirkham.
Emma wrote: “Jess gave up her time to qualify as a Boccia Young Leader and has delivered tournaments at Pear Tree Specialist School. Jess is volunteer assistant coach for three different sporting teams. She also volunteers at the school’s netball club, helping students across all years.
“Jess also helps to run a lunchtime gymnastics club for students in lower years and has been volunteering at the summer outdoor athletics club for many years. She also volunteers at Treales Primary School, coaching netball, and earlier this year she ran the sportshall athletics at Newton Primary School.”
AllStars Star of the Year
Our most coveted prize is chosen from among the winners of our nine other categories. It is the awarded to the winner who made the biggest impression on all our judges within their category and who is considered to have contributed most to Fylde coast youth over the past year through their achievements, efforts or the example they set.
For the first time in the history of the AllStars Awards, our top prize goes to a team rather than to an individual.
The AllStars Stars of the Year are:
THE BAINES SCHOOL GOLF TEAM.