It was an evening to remember at the 2015 Derbyshire Schools’ Sport Association (DSSA) awards for a Dales trio who were highly commended in their respective categories.
Dressage competitor Alex Hellings, from Lady Manners School, Bakewell, was nominated in the individual achievement (non school sport) category, and was only beaten to the prize by European Games swimming gold medallist Abbie Wood.
The 16-year-old Hellings competed for Great Britain at the 2014 European Pony Championships, winning team silver and individual bronze medals. It was the team’s first silver in 20 years, and Alex excelled, despite being a rookie rider.
Meanwhile, Sarah Needham and Callum Rose, from Highfields School, Matlock, were both nominated for the young leader/ambassador (secondary school) award.
Sarah, 18, is a platinum young ambassador and volunteered at the National School Games in Manchester. She also finished runner-up in the Sportsleaders UK national awards for the President’s Cup.
Callum, 17, is another platinum young ambassador, who volunteered at the National School Games and Derbyshire School Games, He is also a volunteer coach at Matlock Town Football Club.
Also announced on the night were the winners of the Derbyshire School Games championship trophies, with Ashbourne’s Osmaston Church Of England Primary School taking the champion primary school and champion primary (small school) titles.
The top award of the night, the secondary school sportsperson of the year, was retained by Allestree Woodlands School golfer Bradley Moore.
Special guest for the night was 25-year-old shot putter Sam Ruddock, who represented Great Britain at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, while also in attendance was the Mayor of Chesterfield, Councillor Barry Bingham.
Other category winners included: primary school sportsperson of the year, Grace Longden (cycling), of Buxworth Primary School; disability sportsperson of the year, Thomas Spicer (table tennis), of Littleover Community School; primary school team of the year, Loscoe Primary School football team; secondary school team of the year, Tupton Hall School U12 girls’ football team.