The local sporting world came together last Thursday (22 November) for an evening of celebration at the Active Harlow Sports Awards.
Members of Harlow’s sporting community were honoured at the event at the Civic Centre, which is organised by Active Harlow supported and funded by Harlow Council. The event was also supported by Active Essex and Phoenix Resource Centre who were the production partner. Decathlon Harlow provided the prizes and Paringdon Sports and Social Club contributed to the goody bags. Harlow College hospitality students from Skylight restaurant provided canapes and hospitality.
The Sports Awards celebrate local sporting talent in Harlow and recognise the contributions made by the people that make sport and physical activity happen.
Over 100 public nominations were received and the standard of nominations was exceptionally high. This highlights the tremendous contribution that many volunteers make to providing positive opportunities for Harlow people to get involved in sport and physical activity.
The ceremony, which was attended by approximately 150 people, was led by the Chair of Harlow Council, Councillor Maggie Hulcoop, and the awards were presented by international gymnastics coach Scott Hann MBE, who is from Harlow and coaches double Olympic Gold Medallist Max Whitlock and Brinn Bevan amongst other international gymnasts..
Councillor Maggie Hulcoop, Chair of Harlow Council, said:
“Harlow has produced a vast array of sporting talent over the years. This includes people from Harlow who have represented their country at the highest level possible, people who have broken world records and won medals at events such as the Olympics, the Paralympics, Commonwealth Games, World Championships and more. It was fantastic to see some of this talent present at the awards.
“I hope we continue to produce elite athletes, but it’s also so important to recognise the contributions and dedication that so many local people put in to making Harlow a great place to live. The sporting community in Harlow would be very different without you.
“The standard of nominations was extremely high this year and it wasn’t an easy task for the judges to pick the winners. Congratulations to everyone involved.”
International netballer Jo Harten, wheelchair racer Richard Chiassaro and Harlow Penguins’ Nicola Arnold have all made it through to the Public Vote categories of the Active Essex Sports Awards, whilst HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd, Garry Leach (Flight Trampoline Club), Abbotsweld Primary Academy and Church Langley Primary School all made it through to the judged categories. Whilst not nominated for the Active Harlow Sports Awards, Harlow Penguins have also been shortlisted as finalists for the ceremony which takes place on 5 December at Chelmsford Racecourse.
The full list of winners, runners-up and finalists is below:
Winner: Nicola Arnold (Harlow Penguins)
Runners-up: Tara Whittle (Nordic Walking); Roy Stevens (Harlow Running Club)
Finalists: Emma Hastings (Northbrooks FC) ; Kaylee Holgate (Barracuda Swimming Club)
Winner: Isobelle Morris (Harlow Penguins)
Runners-up: Thomas Penketh (Harlow junior parkrun)
Changing Lives through Sport and Physical Activity
Winner: Little Scrummers
Runners-up: Tara Whittle; Dave Gordon (St. Mark’s West Essex Catholic School)
Finalists: MGM Clinics; Harlow parkrun; Changing Lives; Pemberley Academy; Harlow junior parkrun
Community Club of the Year
Winner: Harlow Judo Club
Runners-up: Harlow Tri Club; Frontiers Youth FC
Finalists: Little Scrummers; Northbrooks FC
Coach of the Year
Winner: Mick Ellis (Harlow Judo Club)
Runners-up: Garry Leach (Flight Trampoline Club); Luke Shipwright (Harlow Jiu-Jitsu Club)
Finalists: David Stacey (School Games Organiser); Tom Kavanagh (Little Scrummers); Paul Eynon (Harlow Rugby Club); Rebecca Conway (PE Teacher, Passmores Academy)
Education Champion of the Year
Winner: Pemberley Academy
Runners-up: Abbotsweld Primary School; Passmores Academy Sports Leaders
Finalists: Church Langley Primary School
Young Sports Personality of the Year
Winner: Sheri-Anne Smith (Equestrian and Cheerleading)
Runners-up: Kai Boggon (Triathlon); Owen Lambert (Judo)
Finalists: Daniel Mckenzie (Bowls); Curtis and Sophia Elton (Ice Skating)
Disability Sports Personality of the Year
Winner: Richard Chiassaro (Wheelchair Racing)
Richard broke the T54 World Record for 800m earlier this year and was co-captain for Team GB at World Para Athletics European Championships. Richard also won a bronze medal at London 2017 World Para Athletics Championships and improved his own 400m European Record. Earlier in the year he represented England at the Commonwealth Games in Australia. As well as competing Richard coaches his own wheelchair racing squad and supports the High Rollers Wheelchair Basketball Club.
Sports Personality of the Year
Winner: Jo Harten (Netball)
Jo competed for England at the Commonwealth Games in Australia where she scored a dramatic last second goal to claim victory against Jamaica in the semi-final. She went on to play an important role in a thrilling final against Australia where the team won a gold medal. Jo is part of the England Netball Team who won Team of the Year at the Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year awards and is also nominated for BT Sport Team of the Year.
Runners-up: Steven Mitchinson (Bowls); Richard Chiassaro; Gail Nicholls (Triathlon)
Services to Inclusive Sport
Winner: Barracuda Swimming Club
Runners-up: Tara Whittle (Nordic Walking)
Active in the Workplace
Winner: HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd
Runners-up: Christopher Tuckett (Princes Alexandra Hospital, Physiotherapist); Harlow Council