What a night! The AllStars Awards 2014 was a fittingly star-studded occasion, in which our young stars of the future rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names in Fylde coast sport.
Our annual prize night at Blackpool Sixth Form College was a glittering celebration of youth sport around Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde.
We received a record number of nominations for our outstanding individual, team of the year, coach of the year, endeavour and unsung hero awards, which gave our illustrious panel of judges a daunting task to choose the winners.
But Blackpool boxing champion Brian Rose, Paralympic medalist Shelly Woods, Fleetwood Town FC manager Graham Alexander, Fylde RFC coach coach Mark Nelson, Gazette sports editor Andy Moore and Blackpool Sixth head of sport Tim Craven all cast their votes after careful consideration and our winners were agreed.
Brian and Shelly joined the celebrations on the night as star presenters, and were joined by Blackpool FC players Jeffrey Rentmeister and Jonathan Legear (while several of their Seasiders team-mates provided video messages to reveal the winners), Fleetwood Town great Nathan Pond and his team-mate Danny Andrew, as well as Fylde RFC prop forward Dan Birchall.
The ultimate accolade on the night went to eight-year-old karate kid Archie Brown, who was crowned AllStars Star of the Year.
While most of our awards categories were very closely-fought, Archie was the overwhelming choice of our judges in the Outstanding Individual (primary school age) category and so was the clear winner of our biggest prize.
Thanks also to our awards sponsors: Blackpool Transport, Questa Chartered, Rossall School, St George’s School and Whitworth Pharmacy, to our master of ceremonies Ged Mills of Radio Wave and to Blackpool Sixth for again staging the event so superbly .
Here we profile all the winners and highly commended runners-up who were invited to our awards ceremony.
We can’t wait to do it all again in 2015.
AWARD ONE: OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL (PRIMARY SCHOOL AGE)
Archie, aged 8, has had a belting 2014 in karate.
The Roseacre Primary pupil was selected for the TKF (Traditional Karate Federation) Great Britain Squad and took the title of National Kumite Champion for his age group. In July, Archie had the honour of representing GB in Japan at the 40th All Japan Goju-Kai Championships.
He then won gold in kata and at the Ayrshire Open Karate Championships, his first Scottish title. That took Archie’s medal total to nine from nine national competitions this year. Last month he retained his place in the Goju-Kai Great Britain Karate Team for 2015.
11-year-old Timothy plays in Rossall School’s football, rugby and cricket teams and has also achieved incredible results in national and regional pentathlon, triathlon and biathlon championships. Here are some of Tim’s key achievements in 2014:
2nd in the County of Lancaster Airgun and Free Pistol Championships
3rd in the Regional Biathlon Championships, qualifying for the British Modern Biathlon Championships and British Schools Championships.
7th in the UK for U13 biathle and ninth in the UK in national modern tetrathlon
9th in the Mid-Lancashire Cross Country and 12th in the Lancashire County Championships
25th in the UK in National modern triathlon.
AWARD TWO: OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL (SECONDARY SCHOOL AGE)
13-year-old Isabelle is the inspiring elder sisteR of AllStars Awards finalist Timothy. She competes enthusiastically for Rossall School in hockey, netball and cross country but has gained even more sporting success outside school.
On one occasion she won gold at the Fleetwood Biathle competition, then travelled straight to Hyndburn for a combined events quadrathlon, winning gold again with personal best performances in every event. .
Here are some of Isabelle’s other key achievements of 2014:
First in the County of Lancaster Airgun and Free Pistol Junior Championships
Fourth in the UK in Under-13 British Modern Triathlon
Fourth in the Lancashire Schools cross country.
Fifth in the UK in the Under-13 biathle, representing GB in the European championships for the second successive year.
Tenth in the UK in Under-13 British Modern Tetrathlon
11th in the North West Regional Biathlon Championships
13th in the North West in hi n gh jump
20th in the British Schools
14-year-old Conor excels in both football and athletics.
He has recently been signed for Fleetwood Town youth in the hope of gaining a scholarship.
He also runs for Blackpool Wyre and Fylde Athletic Club and won the Blackpool schools cross country this year.
He was also sixth in the Lancashire Cross Country Championship, which gained him selection for the county team to represent Lancashire in the English Schools
Connor broke the
Blackpool schools’ 800m record, and went on to be crowned Lancashire champion at this distance in both the club and schools championships.
He also won the Lancashire schools combined events championships and went on to represent Lancashire at the English Schools National combined events.
Connor is a role model in school and displays exemplary behaviour.
AWARD THREE: TEAM OF THE YEAR (PRIMARY SCHOOL AGE)
The only one-horse race in this year’s AllStars Awards. Our winner was the unanimous choice of our judges.
ACADEMY FOOTBALL TEAM
The Hambleton team showed courage, dedication and great teamwork, putting in extra training to achieve outstanding success for a small village school to win the Kids FA Cup Northern finals and reach the
national finals at Wembley - something most professional footballers can only dream of, let alone 11- year-old boys.
They represented their school perfectly and played their best, and although they lost in the final – which preceded Fleetwood Town’s play-off victory they were winners for the school, parents, staff and all their fellow pupils. The experience will stay with them forever and they are an amazing inspiration for the Fylde coast.
AWARD FOUR: TEAM OF THE YEAR (SECONDARY SCHOOL AGE)
PARK COMMUNITY ACADEMY GIRLS FOOTBALL TEAM
This team were crowned Lancashire Special School U16s champions this year, a remarkable achievement for a team entering the competition for only the second time.
The girls’ passion and determination to improve as a team was clear to see in their performances. The team consisted of pupils with a range of learning difficulties, including autism and communication difficulties.
The girls always play with a smile on their face and other managers would often comment on the way the team support each other.
If the prize was awarded for most nominations this team would have won hands down.
The boys had never played rugby league until this year but achieved amazing results for their first season.
They were champions of their league and have now been promoted, a fantastic result for a fledgling team.
They won 14 of their 16 games, scoring 628 points and conceding just 122.
AWARD FIVE: COACH OF THE YEAR
Roger is the head coach at Norcross Cricket Club. He won an AllStars Award in this category last year and received multiple nominations again.
He organises junior practice sessions at a club which now includes 50 boys and girls aged 6-15.
This year Roger has coached the Under 10s,U11s,U12s,U13s and U14s in over 25 matches. He has also helped coach the U15s and umpired in all their games.
He also finds time to coach some of the club’s senior players each week.
Roger encourages every child, regardless of ability, to be the best they can be and promotes team spirit and fair play at all times.
AWARD SIX: UNSUNG HERO (OPEN AGE)
Robert is a volunteer Tri Coach for Blackpool Aquatic Triathlon Squad
Robert, aged 47, had open heart surgery in 2012. He was a non-swimmer when he joined the club in 2013. To date he has lost 4 stone, competed in 12 triathlons, and gained his Tri Coach Level 1 qualification and volunteers as a coach with Blackpool Aquatics Tri Squad.
His relentless enthusiasm and desire to support and motivate others is overwhelming. He volunteers his time for a running group supporting mothers back into running, always supports less confident swimmers, builds bike racks for the club at his own expense and participated in a 50-mile ride to support novice cyclists.
Ian founded South Shore Youth FC in 1977 and has been a major part of junior football on the Fylde coast ever since. He has been the club’s president throughout that time and the driving force behind its success, dealing with more than 30,000 children.
Earlier this year Ian had a major heart attack and was in a coma for a week. He has made a full recovery and is already back involved chairing meetings.
AWARD SEVEN: UNSUNG HERO (AGE 18 OR UNDER)
Blackpool Sixth Form College student Chloe is 18 and has a keen interest in basketball and netball. Chloe plays in the Fylde Netball League and has taken every opportunity since joining the college’s Basketball Academy. She is now a fully qualified England Basketball coach and referee.
Chloe captains the Girls Basketball Academy at college, as well as coaching the Fleetwood Nets men’s team in the Manchester Area Basketball League. Chloe has also signed up for open age team Wyre Warriors in the Hyndburn and District Basketball League and impresses with her strong work ethic and commitment.
Chloe also referees the Boys Basketball Academy home fixtures in the British Colleges League with great control and knowledge of the rules.
She is passionate about helping others to improve their basketball skills. Chloe coaches year 9,10, and 11 students from local high schools each week as part of the Blackpool Sixth Varsity Academy project to increase participation in basketball, planning and delivering her own sessions.
Chloe and also leads coaching at primary schools and inspires with her leadership skills.
Jacob is an ideal role model for younger participants in sport and leads by example. 17-year-old Jacob is involved with water polo, swimming and football refereeing.
Jacob has been playing water polo for six years. He was a captain of Blackpool’s junior team and now represents the senior team. He also serves as a scorekeeper and attends junior training to support the younger players and pass on his knowledge.
As a swimmer, Jacob represented Blackpool at micro level and now swims for St Annes Swimming Club.
He volunteers as a coach for the junior sessions and can be found at the pool-side each week mentoring, assuring and being generally enthusiastic as he coaches the younger swimmers.
Jacob is also team captain for biathle/swimming club Ron’s Squad. He gives advice and encourages the younger swimmers to think positively and not to give up. The younger swimmers look up to Jacob and parents have often thanked him for his support.
Jacob is also a level 7 football referee and is refereeing for his fourth season. He referees in the Blackpool and District Youth League, Blackpool Sunday Alliance and West Lancashire Football League. He has officiated at the Hogan Cup finals for the past two years. His Referee Development Officer has given him excellent reports.
Jacob has also gained his Lifeguard certificate and is working towards his Silver Duke of Edinburgh award.
AWARD EIGHT: ENDEAVOUR AWARD
James, 14, was born profoundly deaf and wears a hearing aid and a cochlear implant. James plays Futsal at the North West Centre of Excellence for visually and hearing impaired, playing in goal.
Last season he suffered an injury and was unable to play for six weeks. Instead of sitting at home feeling sorry for himself, he attended sessions every week to help out as a sign language communicator.
He has played for Morecambe Deaf FC for the past three years. He has also helped out there as communicator for an eight-year-old girls and he now assists the club’s hearing coach.
James also plays for the Lancashire Deaf Cricket squad and uses sign language to assist the coach, who is deaf.
Prior to 2014, 11-year-old Robert could have been described as a shy and retiring boy. However, his playing of several team sports and his commitment to them have allowed him to develop the confidence to become house captain for AKS juniors and be elected school council representative by his peers.
Robert plays rugby for Fylde Under 11s and is part of the team that recently won the Tarleton Tournament and the Fair Play award at Manchester Tournament. In addition he won the most improved player award for his team.
Robert also plays cricket for both his school and Lytham CC and was named captain of both teams.
He has also recently taken up hockey, and despite having played for only for two months was asked to train with the Lancashire squad .
Robert also represented his school at a swimming tournament, winning all three of his races and helping AKS juniors to win the overall competition.
This year has seen Robert grow in maturity and confidence through sport. He embodies all that a true sportsman should stand for in his conduct both on and off the field.
He is seen by his peers and coaches as a vital member of the teams he represents and he always gives 100 per cent.