Sports awards celebrate area’s top young talent

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YOUNG athletes and sporting stars were recognised at a presentation evening put on by Mid Suffolk Sports Development.

Twenty-six athletes and their families gathered at Cedars Hotel, in Stowmarket, on Tuesday for Grants for Outstanding Young Sports People presentation.

The youngsters were honoured in the ceremony, receiving a certificate acknowledging their achievements and a grant to provide financial help in their quest for sporting excellence.

Cllr Diana Kearsley and Harry Martin, international hockey star and Suffolk Sports Aid scholar, presented the awards.

National level awards were presented to motor racing driver Joshua Webster, from Mickfield, bowls player Katherine Rednall, from Baylham, and swimmer Will Blackaby, from Elmswell.

Will, 17, who is studying his A-levels at Northgate High School and swims for Stowmarket Swimming Club, said: “The grant will go towards annual fees at the swimming club and any entry fees for competitions.”

Regional level awards went to bowls player Hogan Cobbold, from Stowmarket, swimmer Ryan Clay, from Stowmarket, and gymnast Dean Collins, from Thurston.

Bethany Manser, from Finningham, and Aidan Riches, from Stowmarket, both received county level awards for playing bowls.

Beth Lincoln, from Onehouse, Samantha Carson and Ellie Rossiter, from Stowmarket, all received county level awards for football.

Stowmarket High School pupil Ellie, 14, plays football at Ipswich Town Football Club and has attended trials for the England under 16s squad. She said: “It means a lot to be here, it’s really nice to be recognised and to have all the support.”

Cameron McKie, from Wickham Skeith, Stephen Smith, from Elmswell, Adam Cripps, from Woolpit, and Sophie Tooley, from Thurston, were all commended for athletic events at a county level.

Isabel Lucas, from Stowmarket, and Ryan Newcombe, from Woolpit, received county level awards for badminton.

Cricketer Dale Watling and rugby player Jordan Murton, both from Stowmarket, also celebrated county level awards.

Athletes Helena Coe and Hannah Maher, cricketers Kristian Williman and Kate Thompson, and show jumper Chloe Winchester also received county level awards.

Samantha Witherall, an artistic roller skater, received a regional level award and basketball player Benjamin Mead received a national level award.