Local stars align for New Forest Sports Awards

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The winners at the New Forest Sports Awards

THE annual New Forest Sports Awards, organised by the New Forest Sports Council, were hosted at Balmer Lawn Hotel last week with Ellingham & Ringwood girls section swooping up the Club of the Year award.

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The evening kicked off with the AGM which reported several funding applications had been received during the year, primarily for sports equipment, and that several applications are pending decisions. Financial awards are considered three times a year and are open to sports clubs in the NFDC area.

More than 70 people attended across sports from athletics to sailing. The tone of the evening was set by a welcome video from Poppy and Bryony Cleall, former New Forest Sports Awards winners now representing England in the Rugby Six Nations as Red Roses who wished all nominees success in their future sporting ambitions.

Guest speaker Nigel Burt then shared information about the charity Olivia Inspires, set up in his daughter’s memory, which provides hardship funding to support talented juniors in the fields of sport, STEM and the arts in the NFDC area. He presented the hotly contested Junior Sportsperson of the Year award.

There were five nominees in this category, and the winner was Santi Sesto-Cosby, who was represented by his father as he was unable to attend due to international commitments. Upon receiving his award, he thanked the Beaulieu Foundation and Rupert Scott for their continued support.

Santi Sesto-Cosby receiving his award after he was unable to attend the Awards night due to international commitments

Councillor Mark Steele then presented the rest of the awards, celebrating not only talented sportspeople but also volunteers, coaches and for services to sport.

Mark Johnson from Ellingham & Ringwood Rugby Club also shared a presentation on an initiative he has been leading locally called Rugby for Refugees, which will help settle a Syrian refugee family in the local area by providing financial assistance and also local support such as English lessons.

The evening concluded with the Club of the Year award which was presented to Ellingham & Ringwood girls section for consistent performance over several years both locally, at county and international level.

New Forest Sports Council chairman Georgina Havers told the A&T: “It was fantastic to see so many people this evening who are passionate about sport from across many different disciplines sharing knowledge and celebrating individual and team success, as well as the important work of all the volunteers that keep small clubs like those in the New Forest area running on a day-to-day basis.”

The sports council thanked all the clubs involved and encouraged more to join. Membership is £20 per club per year, and one benefit is access to subsidised training such as UK Coach Safeguarding and Protecting Children Workshop.

The next course is taking place on Wednesday 20th May, 6.30pm at Totton College. For more information, contact newforestsportscouncil@hotmail.co.uk or via Facebook page New Forest Sports Council.

  • Junior Sports Person of the Year: Santiago Sesto-Cosby (Royal Lymington Yacht Club)
  • Junior Team of the Year: Bramshaw Golf U18s
  • Junior Volunteer of the Year: Hayden Nailor (Stags in the Community – Totton AFC)
  • Senior Volunteer of the Year: Hugo Mills and Kirsten Melin (Lymington Rowing Club)
  • Coach of the Year: Amanda Barton (Endurance Riding & Pony Club)
  • Service to Sport: Collin Rudkin (Southern England Karate Federation)
  • Making a Difference Award: David Penny and Marian Elliot (Stags in the Community – Totton AFC)
  • Senior Sports Person of the Year: Liz Ferioli-Brown (Ringwood Kickboxing Organisation)
  • Club of the Year: Elingham & Ringwood girls section
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