Melton Times Sports Awards 2017: Calibre of winners hits the heights

The class of 2017 - our latest crop of Melton Times Sports Awards winners EMN-180802-225657002
The class of 2017 - our latest crop of Melton Times Sports Awards winners EMN-180802-225657002
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Our biggest-ever audience saw the culmination of a two-month campaign on Thursday as the winners of our 14 Melton Times Sports Awards were revealed.

The evening culminated with our sports personality awards, as decided exclusively by your votes.

Our biggest-ever audience of almost 220 guests await the results EMN-180802-225709002

Our biggest-ever audience of almost 220 guests await the results EMN-180802-225709002

Thai boxing world title-holder Lexie Peters lifted the junior trophy, while the senior version produced joint winners for the first time.

Four-time martial arts world champion Brent Penniston, and Melton sport champion and tennis coach Brent Horobin polled the exact same number of votes.

And a great week got even better for Metaltek cycling team boss Andy Swain as he was the surprise winner of our first Special Recognition Award - just three days after becoming a dad for the first time.

One of the most poignant stories of the evening saw Will Andrew named Coach of the Year.

Junior Sportsman of the Year James Bartley with Mark Bendle, of sponsors Brooksby Melton College, and finalists Finn Noble (right) and Liam Tew EMN-180802-225720002

Junior Sportsman of the Year James Bartley with Mark Bendle, of sponsors Brooksby Melton College, and finalists Finn Noble (right) and Liam Tew EMN-180802-225720002

Will battled through serious illness, barely missing a match, before winning a league manager of the month award for his success with Kirby Muxloe.

Rising cycling star Tom Chandler, a former Junior Sportsman of the Year, took the senior version after a year in which he claimed his first senior national title at the Scottish Track Cycling Championships.

Stilton Striders’ leading lady Natalie Teece was named Sportswoman of the Year as the working mum enjoyed a consistent year of success on the county running circuit.

Mount Group Riding for the Disabled volunteer and rider Christine Durrance was our first Disability Sportsperson of the Year after her gold medal-winning exploits at the Special Olympics National Games.

Junior Sportswoman of the Year Saskia Davies with finalists Libby Duncan (left) and Isabelle Pymm (right) EMN-180802-225731002

Junior Sportswoman of the Year Saskia Davies with finalists Libby Duncan (left) and Isabelle Pymm (right) EMN-180802-225731002

And Rob Beers won the Clubperson of the Year honour after his work pioneering the phenomenally popular Melton Running Club for beginners.

Saskia Davies picked up the Junior Sportswoman of the Year award after competing for the Great Britain softball team at the World Junior Championships, and prolific young swimmer James Bartley was Junior Sportsman of the Year after a ground-breaking year on the county, regional and national circuit.

Holwell Sports stalwart centre-half Ian Bitmead walked away with the Footballer of the Year award after helping his club to their first County Senior Cup final in almost 20 years last season.

And Egerton Park all-rounder Tom Glover was Cricketer of the Year after his best season for the Melton club with bat and ball.

Sports Recognition Award winner Andy Swain (left) with Melton Times Sports Editor Chris Harby EMN-180802-225646002

Sports Recognition Award winner Andy Swain (left) with Melton Times Sports Editor Chris Harby EMN-180802-225646002

Melton Indoor Bowls Club won the Team of the Year after winning their second national team competition in three years, and the Year 8 girls at Priory Belvoir Academy were Junior Team of the Year after enjoying county success in a hatful of different sports.

JUNIOR SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Brooksby Melton College): James Bartley.

Finalists: Finn Noble and Liam Tew.

JUNIOR SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR: Saskia Davies.

Finalists: Libby Duncan and Isabelle Pymm.

SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR (sponsored by SAQ International): Tom Chandler

Junior Team of the Year, Priory Belvoir Academy Year 8 Girls, with sponsor Colin Moulds, and finalists Long Clawson Primary School cross country and Melton RFC Under 10s EMN-180802-225742002

Junior Team of the Year, Priory Belvoir Academy Year 8 Girls, with sponsor Colin Moulds, and finalists Long Clawson Primary School cross country and Melton RFC Under 10s EMN-180802-225742002

Finalists: Bill Orridge and Mick Wilson.

SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Ragdale Hall): Natalie Teece.

Finalists: Amelia Coltman and Emmadee Fox.

DISABILITY SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR: Christine Durrance.

Finalists: Tom Birley and Colin Wagstaff.

JUNIOR TEAM OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Colin Moulds): Priory Belvoir Academy Year 8 Girls

Finalists: Long Clawson Primary School Cross Country and Melton RFC Under 10s

TEAM OF THE YEAR (sponsored by B and H Midland Services): Melton Indoor Bowls Club.

Finalists: Melton Mowbray Tennis Club Men’s First Team, Melton RFC First XV and Melton Young Farmers Ladies Tug Of War

COACH OF THE YEAR: Will Andrew

Finalists: Tim Lee and Clare Marlow.

FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Specsavers): Ian Bitmead

Finalists: Josh Clark and Charlie Sheridan.

CRICKETER OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Tom Flowers Cricket Coaching): Tom Glover

Finalists: Simon Claricoats and Harvey Stokes.

CLUBPERSON OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Melton Borough Council): Rob Beers

Finalists: Brent Horobin and Margaret Shufflebotham.

JUNIOR SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Samworth Brothers): Lexie Peters

Finalists: Olivia Gilbertson and Freddie McGrady.

SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Melton Mowbray Town Estate): Brent Horobin and Brent Penniston

Finalist: Les Gillett.

SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD: Andy Swain.

Our join Sports Personality of the Year winners Brent Penniston (left) and Brent Horobin EMN-180802-225753002

Our join Sports Personality of the Year winners Brent Penniston (left) and Brent Horobin EMN-180802-225753002