There were celebrations aplenty last night as the winners of the Comet Sports Awards 2017 were revealed.
Letchworth’s Icknield Centre was the setting for the awards, hosted by Formula 1 commentator David Croft, where finalists across 11 categories showed why our corner of the world is renowned for its sporting achievement.
In the multi-sport award, Hertfordshire’s football community was recognised across a number of categories as Stevenage Borough Juniors, Stevenage Starlets, Hitchin Belles and Codicote FC all received prestigious awards.
The Coach of the Year award, sponsored by Any Kitchen Ltd, was won by the infectiously enthusiastic Kieran Lambert of Stevenage Cricket Club. Twelve-year-old Letchworth badminton player Leona Lee won the Youth Achievement award after a flurry of national titles and tournament wins, which have seen her playing five years above her own age group.
The Youth Team of the Year award, sponsored by the Stevenage FC Foundation, was won by Stevenage Borough Junior Under-13s Girls.
Stevenage Borough Junior Under-13 Girls receive their Youth Team of the Year award from Stevenage FC Foundation head Joe Goude. Picture: Cathy Benucci Photography
Letchworth Sports & Tennis Club Ladies 1st Team won the Team of the Year award after winning 10 consecutive championships – losing only two matches out of 54 last season. The Veteran Achievement award was won by Brian White, 62, a remarkable athlete who continues to pick up countless gold medals in marathons, duathlons and more.
Luke Matthews won the Sports Photograph of the Year award for his picture of Hitchin Belles coach and under-10 player Paul and Isobel Dean.
Paul and Isobel Dean, subjects of Luke Matthews' winning Sports Photograph of the Year, accept his prize on his behalf from Comet editor Nick Gill. Picture: Cathy Benucci Photography
Royston’s Greneway School won the School of the Year award, sponsored by Super Star Sport, after winning national, county and district titles in sports ranging from football and rugby to athletics and basketball.
The Club of the Year award, sponsored by the Hertfordshire FA, was won by Stevenage Starlets FC – the town’s only all-girls football club, which is still less than a year old.
Club of the Year award winners Stevenage Starlets FC with their prize, presented by Karl Lingham, Joint Acting CEO of the Hertfordshire FA. Picture: Cathy Benucci Photography
The Paul Pearce Disability Award was won by Jack Gladman, who has made superb progress as a self-funded Para athlete and is now ranked ninth in the world. The Sports Personality of the Year award, sponsored by Stevenage Borough Council, was won by 21-year-old flat-green bowler Glenn Williams.
And, finally, the Service to Sport award was won by stalwart Codicote FC chairman Jim Bundy, whose passion has seen the village club reach the highest level in its 104-year history.
Service to Sport winner Jim Bundy receives his award from Councillor Alan Millard, chairman of North Hertfordshire District Council. Picture: Cathy Benucci Photography
Comet editor Nick Gill said:
“Congratulations to all the winners and finalists on what was another fantastic evening. And a huge thank you to all our sponsors – without your support this much-loved event simply wouldn’t be possible.”
For more information and pictures from the night, have a look at cometsportsawards.co.uk