Unsung sporting heroes from across Bucks have been recognised at a glittering ceremony at the Waterside Theatre.
This year’s Bucks and MK Sport Awards saw half of the awards being taken home by people and organisations that make a difference to sport in Aylesbury Vale.
The winners from the Vale were:
> Halton Tennis Centre (Club of the Year)
> Lee McCarthy of Bucks Hornet Basketball Club which plays in Aylesbury (Community Coach of the Year)
> Oak Green Combined School in Southcourt (Primary School of the Year)
> Jemima King, a coach at Halton Tennis Centre (Performance Coach of the Year)
> Kick Start 100, a disabled karate initiative at Stoke Mandeville Stadium (Project of the Year)
More than 200 people gathered at the theatre for the tenth version of the awards, which featured aspeech from Paralympic gold medal winning cyclist Dame Sarah Storey.
Mark Ormerod, director of Leap – the sport and activity partnership which co-ordinated the awards – said: “It shows the strength of sport in Aylesbury when 50 per cent of the trophies across such a big area as Bucks and Milton Keynes were won in and around the town.
“These awards are given specifically to the heroes of grass-roots sport, those people who form the backbone of clubs and organisations but normally never get any recognition, so this shows Aylesbury is in good shape for 2016.
“They have set a fantastic example to the local community and long may they go on doing so.”
Roger Fennemore, chairman of Leap, said: “This is the Bucks sporting version of the Oscars, which recognises the people behind the people in sport – all the volunteers who make sport happen.”
n Halton Tennis Centre was recognised after participation levels at the club doubled in the past couple of years.
The club has also built on its status as national disability tennis ‘hub of the year’ after being awarded the title by the Tennis Foundation.
Jemima King, a senior performance coach at the centre, was also a winner on the night.
She led the Halton Ladies team to the final of the Aegon National Club tournament and the Halton under 14s team to victory in the national championship.
Ex-professional player Lee McCarthy was honoured after setting up the Bucks Hornets Basketball Club to allow others to share his love of the game.
He has been instrumental in the development of two new satellite clubs in Aylesbury alongside running basketball holiday camps which are open to all.
The Kickstart 100 project, launched by the Disability Karate Federation, won the Project of the Year title.
So far, more than 100 young people aged between 11 and 24 have taken part in the sessions based at Stoke Mandeville and ten teachers who have also taken up karate are training as Activator Coaches.
Oak Green Combined School was also triumphant after competing this year in 16 different competitions organised by Mandeville School Sports Partnership.