District celebrates sports stars at annual awards


The sporting community of Blaby District came together at Countesthorpe Leysland Community College to celebrate the ninth annual Blaby District Local Sports Alliance Awards.

Sponsored by Everyone Active, the evening honours sporting stars, clubs and volunteers who have reached the top of their chosen sport. Eight winners were honoured and presented with trophies before an audience finalists, family and friends, sponsors and specially invited guests. The evening is hosted by BBC Radio Leicester’s Ian Stringer.

Winners included Sports Person of the Year Connor Harris, the Shooting champion who became one of the youngest people in Britain to shoot a perfect score of 300. His perfect score ensure he beat his brother, Alex Harris, to the U-21 European DTL Championship by just two points.

Youngster Matthew Pietrzyk won Sport Person of the Year (with a disability). Both before and after Matthew’s kidney transplant he was part of the award-winning Leicester Panthers U-13 Dodgeball team who won the British Championships. He is also a tireless campaigner raising donor awareness.

Volunteer of the Year Was awarded to Mitch Barsby, who led a volunteer team that brilliantly organised the final rounds of the British Cycling BMX National Championships at the Pavilion Leisure Centre in Huncote. Hosting over 3,000 spectators, 900 riders, the event was hailed as the “best national of the year” and gave the Huncote Hornets BMX Club widespread publicity.

Councillor Iain Hewson, Portfolio Holder for Health Improvement, Leisure & Regulatory Services, said: “Every year these awards show us the amount of sporting talent and the selfless volunteers we have in the district is endless. We are proud of them all, and hope they continue their incredible achievements.

“I want to thank all of our category sponsors, including our main sponsor Everyone Active, for helping us to make this night possible and ensuring we can celebrate these outstanding achievements in front of finalists’ friends and families.”

All winners are put forward for the next Leicester Mercury Sports Awards.

For information on funding that can be awarded to talented young athletes in Blaby District, e-mail or call 0116 272 7703.

List of winners and runners-up:

Active4Life – Health and Wellbeing Award (Sponsored by the Mick Allard)

Winner: Kerrie Neville
Runners-up: Mary Green & Glen Parva Walking Group

Coach of the Year (Sponsored by The Pavilion Leisure Centre)

Winner: Ray Phipkin (South Leicestershire Badminton Club)
Runners-up: Katie Suffolk (White Tigers Girls & Enderby Junior Dodgeball Club), Frank Garratt

Sports Team of the Year (Sponsored by The Lime Tree, Dovecote and Copt Oak)

Winner: Leicester Sharks Diddy Team
Runners-up: Leicester Panthers U13 Dodgeball, Leicester Panthers Dodgeball Team

Young Sports Person of the Year (Sponsored by Thorps Lettings Ltd)

Winner: Sophie Holmes (Figure & Free Skating)
Runners-up: Keanna Kowal (Swimming) & Maddy Squires (Athletics)

Sports Person of the Year (Sponsored by Everards)

Winner: Connor Harris (Shooting)
Runners-up: Lizzie Warner (Archery) & Harriett West (Swimming)

Volunteer of the Year (Sponsored by Leicestershire Rugby Union)

Winner: Mitch Barsby (Leicester Huncote Hornets)Runners-up: Lewis Haslam (BMX) & Bud Franks (Football)

Sports Person of the Year (with a disability) (Sponsored by Rutland Cycling)

Winner: Matthew Pietrzyk (Dodgeball),
Runners-up: Toby Sweeney-Croft (Multiple Sports) & Fynn Kyser (Bowls)

Local Sports Alliance Special Recognition Award(Sponsored by BIG RED Magazine)

Winner: Leona Knott
Runners-up: Alexandra Hoult (Greenfield Primary School) & David Price & Stuart Carhart (Vipers RFC)