Melton Times Sports Awards 2016: Rugby club collect awards hat-trick

Our Melton Times 2016 Sports Awards winners EMN-160630-224400002
Our Melton Times 2016 Sports Awards winners EMN-160630-224400002
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You voted in record numbers for our sports personality awards, and last Thursday, Paul Jacobs and Rhys Hill were named our winners.

We received more than 3,000 votes to decide the Sports Personality and Junior Sports Personality honours which formed the traditional finale to another wonderful sports awards evening.

TV sports broadcaster Ivan Gaskell once more anchored the show, and our special guest was world champion sprinter Sophie Hahn, her appearance coming hot on the heels of a call-up to Team GB’s Paralympic squad.

Sports teacher Paul, who is closing in on his 100th marathon, was nominated for years of dedication within John Ferneley College, and most recently for his fundraising efforts for pupils with cystic fibrosis.

Asfordby FC hotshot Rhys, meanwhile, earned 666 votes after banging in more than 60 goals last season.

Melton RFC were big winners on the night following a historic league and cup double-winning season, picking up Team of the Year for the second successive time, and Coach of the Year for Gareth Collins.

The club’s under 9s also got in on the act, landing the Junior Team of the Year award after a season of consistent success and sportsmanship.

The first award of the evening - Junior Sportsman of the Year - went to Melton Swimming Club’s British champion Will Graham, while national eventer Heidi Coy took the Junior Sportswoman accolade.

British international para-cyclist Simon Price was named Sportsman of the Year after retaining his national time trial title for a third straight year and winning his first World Cup medal in May.

And Mari Smith’s 12 months of national and international firsts was rewarded with the Sportswoman prize.

An impressive season of development into the senior ranks won young up-and-coming goalscorer Shaun Smith the Footballer of the Year gong, and Zaheer Hussain became our first-ever overseas winner.

The Australian all-rounder was named Cricketer of the Year after his runs and wickets helped Egerton Park to several trophies and County League promotion.

And the unsung hero award, better known as the Clubperson of the Year, went to Melton Town FC chairman Sam Ellis for his work in helping his club gain a new home ground and, ultimately, promotion to their highest-ever level.