Sporting Stars Celebrated

Sportspersons from all over Wandsworth Borough recognised at Town Hall event

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A Paralympic bronze medallist was one of 18 people whose sporting success was celebrated at an annual awards ceremony.

Aaron McKibbin, a 21-year-old table tennis player from Wandsworth, was named the Sports Person of the Year (25 years and under) at the sixteenth Active Wandsworth Awards on Thursday (February 7).

Last summer, Aaron represented Team GB at London 2012 – winning a bronze medal in the men’s team, class 6-8, competition. However, he took the top prize last week, narrowly beating BMX under 16 World Champion Quillan Izidore into second place.

In the Sports Person of the Year (13 and under) category, athlete Saskia Millard took top spot following a successful track and cross country season.

All Star Coaching was recognised as the Sports Club of the Year, Herne Hill Harriers Girls under 13 cross county team was named the Team of the Year, and Kiyo Jason won the Coach of the Year award for his achievements in developing and extending girls cricket development at Spencer Cricket Club.

The ceremony, which saw awards handed out by three time Olympian and British Judoka Winston Gordon at Wandsworth’s Civic Suite, also set about recognising all the hard work that is done behind the scenes in the borough’s sporting community.

More than 200 gathered guests watched Sid Khan, from Earlsfield Boxing Club, win the Outstanding Contribution to Sport award for spending 15 years developing the club and dedicating endless hours to coach young people – which this year has produced three national champions.

Award winners with Mayor Knowles  

Odette Batteral won the Mayor’s award for her work encouraging blind or partially sighted people to take up tennis, and various other sports, as well as being instrumental in developing Sound Ball tennis.

Ryan Gordon was recognised as the Young Volunteer of the Year for dedicating over 10 hours a week to Ernest Bevin Judo Club through refereeing and coaching.

In addition, eight volunteers were recognised with a Voluntary Services to Sport award for their dedication throughout 2012 in helping to make grass roots sport develop and thrive.

The final two awards acknowledged achievements in the 2012 London Youth Games. Tim Livingstone received the David Burns award for his individual performances in various events in the competition and the boys judo team won the JWE Davis award, having won the overall title for the third time in three years.

Wandsworth’s leisure spokesman, Councillor Jonathan Cook, said:
“Last year was one of the most exciting and successful years for sport we have had in a long time. Whether a Paralympic medallist, a sports star in the making or a dedicated volunteer, all of the Active Wandsworth winners fully deserve to be recognised for their efforts. They have set a high benchmark for the year ahead – and I for one am looking forward to seeing what new sporting success stories the borough can produce.”

As well as celebrating the winners, the audience last Thursday was treated to performances from the Games Maker Choir and winners of the 2012 Young Performer of the Year competition, The Individuals.

The eight recipients of a Voluntary Services to Sport award were:
Nathan Bawuah (Ernest Bevin Phoenix Judo Club)
Dennis Booth (Roehampton Football Academy)
Geoff Jerwood (Herne Hill Athletics Club)
Claire Khan (Earlsfield Boxing Club)
Joshua Lino Da Costa (FC Porto of London Dragons FC)
Sam Mackenzie (Graveney School)
Alison Roche (Leander Swimming Club)
Dennis Twumasi (Chelsea Kickz programme)

February 12, 2013