Sam takes top honour at Dales Sports Awards

Cameron Orr gets his award
Cameron Orr gets his award
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Wushu competitor Sam Mak is the 2016 Derbyshire Dales Sportsperson of the Year.

The Matlock martial arts specialist took the top honour at the District Council’s annual awards night on Monday after coming home from the 2016 European Wushu Championships in Moscow with two silver medals and a bronze representing team GB - the best return on the British team.

Ben Brindley

Ben Brindley

Sam beat last year’s winner, Olympic trap clay target shooter Caroline Povey from Tansley, into second place as the winners in a variety of categories were announced at the Matlock Town Hall ceremony.

Taking the Young Sportsman of the Year title was cyclist Cameron Orr, of Bonsall, who is supported by British Cycling’s performance pathway and races for the SRAM Youth Development squad in the U18 Category. Cameron was second overall in the international Youth Tour of Holland and competed for Team GB in the MTB World Championships in the Czech Republic.

Young Sportswoman of the Year went to skier Isobel Brown, of Norbury near Ashbourne. At only 16 Isobel has represented Great Britain at not only the Junior World Championships but also the Youth Winter Olympics.

Tideswell Running Club chairman Ben Brindley took the Unsung Hero – Service to Sport Award. In addition to his work with the friendly all-inclusive club of road, trail and fell runners, Ben ran seven marathons in seven days in July this year to raise more than £1,500 for Buxton Mountain Rescue Team.

Isobel Brown

Isobel Brown

PeaksUp Paddle Boarding won the Club of the Year title. Formed last summer with just three people, the club now has a membership of 40 and has gained affiliation to the sport’s governing body, the British Canoe Union.

The Team of the Year award went to Derwent Hockey Academy U14s, which finished runners-up in North League, beating sides from clubs who are higher up the league pyramid. Eleven boys from the squad gained county honours, with four going on to represent the Midlands.

Stephen Greene was named Coach of the Year. Head coach of three Derbyshire Dales triathlon clubs and assistant manager of East Midlands Regional Development squad, Stephen also set up a kids’ triathlon club in Ashbourne.

Volunteer of the Year went to Helen Watts, who works closely with all aspects of Baslow Sportsfield Trust, fundraising to keep the facilities and the Trust in good order. She manages and coordinates the walking football in Baslow and organised a junior football festival this year featuring almost 200 young players.

Grace Pickford was named Young Sports Leader of the Year. The Matlock Highfields School Sports Leadership Academy member has completed a level 2 Community Sports Leaders award this year and the level 2 Volunteering award. Grace has completed well over the 200 required hours of service and was a Level 4 volunteer at the National School Games in Manchester.