Berwick sports stars honoured at annual awards evening
Sport Berwick hosted its annual awards ceremony at the Rugby Club on Friday, celebrating the achievements of individuals and teams throughout 2016.
In presenting the awards, chairman Dave Pick said it had been another great year for sport, and on this occasion it was determination which was being rewarded.
Special guest was former gymnast Steve Frew, who in 2002 became Scotland’s first Commonwealth gold medal winner (on the rings) in Manchester.
He said determination was key to his success as on several occasions in the past, including three previous Commonwealth Games, he had questioned his own belief and ability.
“You just have to pick yourself up and go again,” he said. “You have to be determined if you want to succeed.”
From a shortlist drawn from those nominated, awards were presented in various categories, with Jiu Jitsu as a sport picking up four awards, including top junior team, top junior female and two performance awards.
The senior team of the year was unusual in that for the first time it attracted three teams from the same club, with the result that Tillside Cricket was named Club of the Year.
The special Service to Sport award went to Anthony Hogg for his involvement in local football over many years.
The full list of winners is:
Volunteer – Freja Allen (Gymnastics)
Freja is a member of Berwick Gymnastics Club and was instrumental in helping set the club up in its new premises. She then helped coach a number of newcomers to the sport, and over the past 14 months has contributed more than 3,000 hours of voluntary work.
In 2016 Freja successfully applied for a place on the prestigious Youth Sport Trust Talent Camp at Loughborough University, where she was challenged to be ambitious and achieve her sporting best.
Coach – Kate Jackson and Carlie Moscrop (Netball)
Kate and Carlie are the present joint coaching team at Berwick Netball Club, combining their coaching commitments with their full-time jobs as teachers. The club has grown over the past few years and the coaching pair have been instrumental in developing its junior section. A number of their charges have been selected for Satellite County Development Squads, leading to some of them being selected for the County Squad and Netball Player development pathways.
Junior team – TF Junior Jiu Jitsu
2016 was an outstanding year of achievement by the TF Junior Brazilian Ju-Jitsu Team. They competed in 12 competitions, including the British Open in Coventry, the British No-Gi Championships in Wolverhampton, the British Junior Nationals, the European BJJ Championships and the 2016 Pan American Championships in California, which are regarded as the Junior World Championships for this sport. During the year they achieved 18 bronze, 19 silver and 46 gold medals – a grand total of 83.
Senior team (club) – Tillside CC
This category provided the awards committee with a unique situation in the history of the Berwick and District Sports Awards. The three teams nominated all came from the same club – Tillside Cricket Club.
The 1sts won the Northumberland Premier League for the first time in their history, the 2nds won the Northumberland 2nd Division, and the T20 team won the Thomas Wilson Cup in the Northumberland League.
Junior female – Abbi Rae (Jiu Jitsu)
Following on from an excellent 2015 at Jiu Jitsi, Abbi continued to meet with success in 2016.
She won gold at the Pan-Am Championships in California and retained both her national and European titles.
She also won three other major titles, and only a week before the awards won a bronze medal in the 2017 Pan-Ams in the USA.
Best Newcomers – Lizzie Foxton (Gyamnastics) and Chloe Ferguson (Cricket)
Lizzie was a member of Tweedmouth West First School’s gold medal winning team at the School Games and joined Berwick Gymnastics Club, where she started tumbling.
Since then she has shown such phenomenal skill and improved so rapidly that her ascent can only be described as spectacular, showing the most potential of any gymnast in the region. This year has seen Lizzie go onto the Age Group section of GB Tumbling, an amazing personal achievement, but also an inspiration for other gymnasts in our area.
Chloe is a pupil at Berwick Middle School and is a member of the school and Tillside Women’s team. She also plays for Northumberland U13s and U14s, winning the county divisional title. In football she plays for her school, the county and Lowick Ladies.
Junior male – Leon Flint (Speedway)
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Leon was unable to attend the evening as he was in Poland trying to fix a contract with a club in the not too distant future.
In 2016 Leon, who is a pupil at Berwick Academy, stepped up to the 250cc class and comfortably won the British Championship, having won the 125cc class the year before.
He rode in several countries abroad and qualified for the FIM World 250cc Final in Germany, where he finished sixth.
Only recently he signed for a club in the French League and is already making his mark there as well.
Top Junior Performance – Jevon Leighton (Jiu Jitsu and Scuba Diving)
Jevon had another outstanding year at Jiu Jitsu, winning several medals, including silver at the British Open, gold at Wolverhampton, gold and bronze in the European Championship and silver in the Pan-Ams in America.
In September Jevon qualified as one of the youngest Junior Master divers in the world and is also an open water diver, advanced open water diver, National Geographic Diver Emergency First Responder and Rescue Diver.
Inspiration award – Colleen Henderson Heyward
For over 13 years Colleen has had Parkinson’s disease. In January 2016 it had affected her mobility so badly that she could no longer drive her car and on bad days found great difficulty even lifting herself from a seat or from the floor. Colleen wasn’t prepared to accept this and with her never give up attitude she decided to embark on a busy sport and exercise programme through the Swan Centre at Berwick to try to gain back some of her lost mobility.
Colleen may not have won any trophies, represented her country in a sport, or be a household sporting name, but what she has done through participating in sport and physical activity has made a great difference to her life and also inspired many other people too.
Senior female – Margaret Robertson (bowls and curling)
Margaret plays bowls in the summer and curling in the winter.
She is a member of Berwick Bowling Club and in 2016 competed in the Scottish Seniors Ladies’ Championships, which she won at Ayr. She was then selected for the Scottish Seniors Curling team for the Seniors World Championships in Sweden, which the squad won.
Margaret was unable to attend the ceremony as she was in South Africa for a family wedding. Her trophy was collected by her daughter Lynn.
Senior Male – Cameron Tindle (Athletics)
Cameron was also unable to attend and his trophy was collected by mother Eleanor.
A winner of the 2014 Junior Sports Personality and 2015 Male Sports Personality, sprinter Cameron continued his impressive form in 2016, winning medals at the Scottish Senior Championships and the European U20 indoor and outdoor championships.
He also broke the Scottish indoor senior record over 200m at the British Championships in Sheffield in February, and by the end of the year was ranked fourth in the UK at 60m, Scottish No 1 at 100m and UK No 1 at 200m. In December he was named Scottish U20 Athlete of the Year.
Senior performance – Thiago Ferreira (Jiu Jitsu)
Thiago returned to competitive action in 2016 and took part in several tournaments.
The highlights were winning a silver medal at the World Championships in Las Vegas and silver at the European Championships. He was also promoted to brown belt during the year.
Thiago was unable to attend the event as he was competing in London and his award was accepted by Alan Ainslie.
Service to Sport – Anthony Hogg (Football)
Anthony is well known in local footballing circles, as a former player, and more recently as a local referee and chairman of both Lowick United FC and the North Northumberland League.
Quoting from a newspaper article several years ago, Anthony described football as “his first love”.
Dave Pick said: “We are very lucky to have had someone like Anthony offer his services to sport in Berwick.”