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Awards night for sports heroes

Date: 18/11/2008           Category: Events

The achievements of Medway’s sporting stars and unsung heroes were celebrated in style at the annual Medway Sports Awards. Athletes, coaches, volunteers and teachers joined Olympic and Paralympic medallists for the annual sporting celebration at the University of Kent on Friday, 14 November. Athlete Shaunagh Brown was the only double winner of the night, walking away with the trophy for Sportsperson of the Year as well as being named as one of Medway’s two sporting ambassadors for 2008. Shaunagh, 18, is one of the country’s leading throwers and recently won a bronze medal in the discus at the Commonwealth Youth Games in India. She will be joined in the sporting ambassador role by long-course triathlete and 2008 World Championship bronze medallist Alex Fairman, 22. The sport of judo was the other big winner of the night. Medway elite athlete and British Schools Champion James Lewis, 16, was named Junior Sportsperson of the Year while his coach John Malkinson won Coach of the Year. Rainham Judo Club’s Terry Malkinson was recognised with the Lifetime Contribution to Sport award for his work within the sport at local, regional and national level, while club volunteer Margaret Bridges won the Unsung Hero award for more than 20 years of tireless service. Gillingham Jumpers Trampolining Club were named Club of the Year while Invicta Dynamos Ice Hockey Club won the Junior Club of the Year title. The Team of the Year were Medway and Maidstone Athletics Club’s senior men’s team and the Junior Team of the Year were the Black Lion Swimming Club under 14 boys’ relay team. Additional categories were added to this year’s Medway Sports Awards to recognise the importance of PE and school sport in Medway. Sherwin Knight Junior School in Strood was named Primary School of the Year for PE and School Sport and The Robert Napier School in Gillingham took the senior school title. The crown of Sports Teacher of the Year went to Pam Fincher from Rainham Mark Grammar School. The Medway Sports Awards are organised by Medway Council’s Sports Development Team and sponsored by the Medway Messenger and University of Kent. Sports development officer Tina Martin said: “It has been a fantastic year for sport in Great Britain and also for our clubs and athletes in Medway. “The standard of this year’s entries was a high as ever and congratulations to all of the winners.” Beijing Paralympic bronze medal-winning adaptive rower Alastair Mckean and Athens bronze medal-winning modern pentathlete Georgina Harland were among the sporting stars on hand to present the trophies were. They were joined by Gills striker Dennis Oli, Pakistan and Holcombe Hockey Club player Adnan Zakir and England Rugby vice captain and former Medway Sportsperson of the Year, Rachael Burford.