LIZZIE Armitstead and Joe Root were the big winners at Thursday evening’s Leeds Sports Awards where Leeds Rhinos and Yorkshire CC shared both the team and coach of the year awards.
Armitstead and Root were unable to attend the glitzy ceremony at New Dock Hall with recently crowned new cycling world champion Armitstead taking the sportswoman of the year award won by diving star Becky Gallantree last year.
Gallantree had to settle for being highly commended alongside kayaking ace Claire O’Hara, with multiple gymnastics medallist Nile Wilson and diving supremo Jack Laugher just missing out for the male award.
Yorkshire’s Ashes hero Root instead scooped the award won by Alistair Brownlee last year with Root’s county cricket club Yorkshire sharing the team of the year award with treble-winning champions Leeds Rhinos whose inspirational Kevin Sinfield was handed a lifetime achievement award.
Yorkshire CC’s Jason Gillespie and Leeds Rhinos chief Brian McDermott also shared the coach of the year award ahead of Leeds gymnastics coach Dave Murray.
Notably, the city’s swimmers also made a splash at the event with the City Of Leeds Swimming Club named young team/club of the year ahead of the City Of Leeds Diving Club’s European Games team and Leeds Schools FA Under-11s who were both highly commended.
The swimming success did not end there with Georgia Coates taking the young sportswoman of the year accolade ahead of club-mate Layla Black who was highly commended alongside diver Lois Toulson.
Another young diver, Matty Lee, once again picked up the young sportsman of the year award ahead of archery ace Joe Fairburn.
Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council’s executive member for health wellbeing and adults, and a member of the Sport Leeds Board, said: “It was a real honour to attend the Leeds Sports Awards and come together as a city to celebrate the amazing achievements of so many people in sport over the last year.
“We are extremely fortunate to have an array of sporting stars and teams based in Leeds, who through their performances are rightly revered not just here but right around the world. “It was fantastic to be able to recognise their accomplishments, but what is great about the Leeds Sports Awards is that we also have the chance to thank our unsung heroes who are giving up their own time to teach and inspire people of all ages and levels on a day-to-day basis.
“Without dedicated people working at the grassroots we would not be able to produce the Leeds sporting stars of today or indeed tomorrow, and it was fitting therefore that all of their hard work and effort was recognised.”
SENIOR ACHIEVERS (over 18s)
Sportsman Of The Year: Winner - Joe Root; Highly Commended - Jack Laugher, Nile Wilson.
Sportswoman Of The Year: Winner - Lizzie Armitstead; Highly Commended – Becky Gallantree, Claire O’Hara.
Professional Club/Team Award: Winners – Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Leeds Rhinos RLFC.
Non-Professional Club/Team Award: Winner – Leeds City Athletics Club; Highly Commended – Leeds Gymnastics Club, Yorkshire Jets
Sportsman Of The Year (disability): Winner – James Brown; Highly Commended – James Simpson.
Sportswoman Of The Year (disability): Winner – Hannah Cockcroft MBE; Highly Commended – Kadeena Cox, Sophie Carrigill.
Coach - Performance Award: Winners – Jason Gillespie, Brian McDermott; Highly Commended – Dave Murray.
Coach - Participation Award: Winner – Pam Hardaker; Highly Commended – Dan May, Paul Fletcher.
Award for Student Sport: Winners – Leeds Beckett University Men’s Rugby Union, Matthew Dobson.
Sports Volunteer Award: Winner – Jane Halkier.
Outstanding Service to Sport Award: Winners – Paul Cave, Sheila Gooch, Dave Blong.
Service to PE and School Sport Award: Winner – Chris Ness; Highly Commended – Harry Pieniazek.
Special Achievement Award: Winner – Kevin Sinfield MBE.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Winner – Lewis Jones.
YOUNG ACHIEVERS (under 18s)
Young Sportsman Award: Winner – Matty Lee; Highly Commended – Joe Fairburn.
Young Sportswoman Award: Winner – Georgia Coates; Highly Commended – Lois Toulson, Layla Black.
Young Club/Team Award: Winner – City of Leeds Swimming Club; Highly Commended – Leeds Schools FA Under 11’s, City of Leeds Diving Club (European Games Team).
Junior Sportsperson (Under-14) Award: Winner – Macy Wood; Highly Commended – Jake Frood, Tommy Dawson.
Young Sportsperson (disability) Award: Winner – Izzy Palmer.