THE city’s dominance in triathlon was made loud and clear at last night’s 11th Leeds Sports Awards – seasoned with some French flair ahead of this summer’s Grand Depart.
World championship runner-up Jonathan Brownlee took the Sportsman Of The Year award, edging out rising boxing star Jack Bateson and motor racing record-breaker Dan Cammish.
And Brownlee was joined on the winner’s podium by fellow triathlete and world champion Non Stanford who shared the Sportswoman Of The Year accolade with two Leeds homegrown aces in kayaking star Claire O’Hara and aikido world champion Laura Beardsmore.
Stanford only moved to Leeds back in 2011 with the Welsh athlete relocating to the city to further her triathlon career under Jack Maitland and Malcolm Brown. They have helped her to a world championship – and several months on a Leeds Sports Award of which Stanford will have been particularly proud.
“To have been nominated and to be even considered for your local sports awards is really nice,” said Stanford.
“I’m really touched by it and ever since I first moved here everyone has been very welcoming. I have been made to feel at home.”
Local pride and passion was certainly bursting from the roof tops last night at an event attended by over 500 guests at the New Dock Hall.
And cycling was heavily on the agenda as the city gets ready to host the beginning of this year’s Tour de France through the Grand Depart. The evening featured an exclusive preview of the event, with representatives of Welcome to Yorkshire and Leeds City Council taking to the stage to give their thoughts ahead of this summer’s mind-boggling sporting special.
Fittingly, paralympic cyclist David Stone was highly commended in the disability sportsperson of the year category along with wheelchair racer Georgina Oliver, behind world champion powerlifter and winner of the award Ali Jawad.
The event was presented by Tanya Arnold with other big winners being Leeds Rhinos who took the professional club/team of the year award while Commonwealth boxing champion Josh Warrington took the professional sportsperson accolade. And members of the all-conquering City of Leeds Diving Club were again regulars on stage with their Junior European team winning the young/club team of the year award.
Diver Matty Lee was also highly commended in the male young sportsperson category behind gymnastics starlet Nile Wilson with Leeds’ synchronised 3m springboard team of Rebecca Gallantree and Alicia Blagg highly commended in the club/team non-professional category behind the British women’s aikido team.
Leeds diving coaches Adrian Hinchliffe and Edwin Jongejans were also highly commended in the coach – performance category behind athletics coach Andi Drake while the City Of Leeds Swimming Club also showed they are again making a splash.
Sophie Taylor took home the female sportsperson award ahead of race-walker Ellie Dooley while the City of Leeds Swimming Club Age Group Team were highly commended in the young club/team category. Swimmer Danielle Bailey also won the young disability sportsperson award ahead of dressage star Isobelle Palmer. Lifetime achievements awards were also presented to Bernard Atha CBE and Cyril Villiers MBE.
For more on this year’s Leeds Sports Awards, don’t miss Lee Sobot’s Leeds Sport column in tomorrow’s YEP and online at yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk
SPORTSMAN: Winner: Jonathan Brownlee. Highly Commended: Daniel Cammish, Jack Bateson.
SPORTSWOMAN: Winners: Non Stanford, Claire O’Hara, Laura Beardsmore.
CLUB/TEAM – PROFESSIONAL: Winner: Leeds Rhinos. Highly Commended: Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
PROFESSIONAL SPORTSPERSON: Winner: Josh Warrington.
COACH – PERFORMANCE: Winner: Andi Drake. Highly Commended: Adrian Hinchliffe & Edwin Jongejans.
CLUB/TEAM – NON PROFESSIONAL: Winner: British Women’s Aikido Team. Highly Commended: Leeds Gymnastics Club, GB Women’s Synchronised 3m Springboard Team – Rebecca Gallantree & Alicia Blagg.
YOUNG SPORTSPERSON – MALE: Winner: Nile Wilson. Highly Commended: Matty Lee.
YOUNG SPORTSPERSON – FEMALE: Winner: Sophie Taylor. Highly Commended: Ellie Dooley.
YOUNG CLUB/TEAM: Winner: Leeds Diving – Junior European Team. Highly Commended: City of Leeds Swimming Club Age Group Team. Highly Commended: Leeds Spiders Under 15s.
JUNIOR SPORTSPERSON U-14: Winner: Taryn McConnell. Highly Commended: Eliot Goldthorp. Highly Commended: Matthew Revis.
DISABILITY SPORTSPERSON: Winner: Ali Jawad. Highly Commended: David Stone, Georgina Oliver.
YOUNG DISABILITY SPORTSPERSON: Winner: Danielle Bailey. Highly Commended Isobelle Palmer.
LEEDS CITY COLLEGE SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR: Winner: Sarah Lawn.
AWARD FOR STUDENT SPORT: Winner: Charlie Sansome. Highly Commended: Sarah Naylor.
SPORTS VOLUNTEER: Winner: Norman Stephens. Highly Commended: David Cottrell.
SERVICE TO PE & SCHOOL SPORT: Winner: Pat Schoﬁeld. Highly Commended: Barbara Pounder.
OUTSTANDING SERVICE TO SPORT: Winners: Mick Pratt & Danielle Jones, John Ahm, Ann Barker.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Bernard Atha CBE, Cyril Villiers MBE.