INSPIRING and hard-working sports people have been honoured at an annual awards ceremony.
Clubs, teams, volunteers and athletes in the borough were among those recognised at the 2012 Sports Awards event organised by Waltham Forest Council.
Among the winners in the 12 categories were Eton Manor Women's Athletics Team, Waltham Forest Hockey Club's Forest Flyerz group for disabled people and the ELBO BMX Club, which all scooped gongs for increasing local participation in their respective fields.
Dave Rowan, of Wadham Football Club, was given the 'Outstanding Services to Sport' accolade for his tireless volunteering work, which includes managing 12 teams and 170 young people, since 1994.
'Sports Person of the Year' went to runner Jermaine Hamilton, who is currently ranked the under 17s number one in the UK for the 200m and 100m.
The Year 10 Volleyball team at Norlington School for Boys scooped 'Under 18s Junior Team of the Year' for their “dramatic” improvement in 2012 and their silver medal at the London School games.
Lifetime achievement award went to Jim Howell, who has been coaching and teaching sport for more than 50 years.
Other winners included Matt Lovell of Waltham Forest Hockey Club for 'Volunteer of the Year', Ridgeway Rovers as 'Under 11s Junior Team of the Year', 11-year-old Taekwondo star Ilyas Hussain for 'Under 16s Sports Person of the Year', Natasha Quyyam for 'Under 16s Volunteer of the Year', Natalie Robinson for ‘Outstanding Contribution to London Youth Games’, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation's Think Fit Project for best 'Physical Activity and Health Project' and 'Coach of the Year' Mike Beasant of Highams Park Cycling Coaching Centre.
Other success stories that were celebrated included Ricky Haynes, who won the British Judo Association's Coach of the Year award, ten promising athletes who received the borough’s ‘Boxing Kangaroo’ sporting bursaries earlier this year and the winners of the Six Host Boroughs swimming championship.
The awards were handed out during a ceremony at Walthamstow Assembly Hall by Paralympic powerlifter Ali Jawad, council leader Cllr Chris Robbins and
Cllr Ahsan Khan, cabinet member for health and wellbeing.
Cllr Khan said: “The Sports Awards are always inspiring and I think the recent excitement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games really gave this year’s event an extra special edge.
“Grassroots clubs are the heart and soul of this country’s sporting achievements and it’s important that we recognise the hard work and successes of local athletes and the many coaches who go out of their way to train up tomorrow’s sporting stars.”
Visit http://goo.gl/33huJ for more information about sports clubs and facilities in Waltham Forest.