Finalists announced for the 21st annual Devon Sports Awards

Mary Youlden
Authored by Mary Youlden
Posted Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 1:09pm

Twenty five exceptional individuals and community groups have been chosen as finalists for the prestigious 2018 Exeter Foundation Devon Sports Awards. Those shortlisted include coaches, clubs, volunteers and sportspeople from right across Devon. This year they reflect a really diverse range of sports including surf lifesaving, community fitness, swimming, football and gymnastics.

The Awards, which will take place on 22nd June at Sandy Park, celebrate sporting contributions and achievements from community level coaching and workplace fitness right through to the next generation of elite sports performers. The main purpose of the Awards is to recognise those who inspire people to participate at all levels of sport and physical activity.

“Each year the Exeter Foundation Devon Sports Awards go from strength to strength and help to recognise the truly outstanding work that is being carried out throughout the county at all sporting levels” said Tony Rowe OBE, Chairman of the Exeter Foundation.

A glittering evening beckons and finalists will be presented with their trophies and certificates by Conrad Humphreys who has spent over two decades as a professional yachtsman, including three round the world races.

The expert judging panel, coordinated by Active Devon who are overseeing the Awards in partnership with the Exeter Foundation and Exeter College, have carefully whittled the entries down to the final 25 individuals, teams and clubs from an extremely strong pool of nominations.

Rob Bosworth, Vice Principal - Schools, Partnerships & Curriculum, Exeter College, said:  "Exeter College is delighted to be a partner in the Devon Sports Awards and recognise the contributions made by those who inspire sports performers at all levels. We are especially pleased to be able to recognise the unsung heroes that keep sport and physical activity thriving in Devon.”

In addition to the 7 main Award categories and those recognising Performances in Community Sport, the most prestigious honour of the evening is for Outstanding Contribution to Sport in Devon. It is awarded from amongst the winners of each category and will be announced right at the end of the celebration evening.

“The judges really do have a tough time having to choose from such a strong pool of entries” said Matt Evans, Chief Executive of Active Devon. “We are always keen to recognise the people who work so hard in their sports and so often go unrecognised. The Devon Sports Awards is a special way in which we can celebrate their achievements. We want to thank everyone who nominated someone special in their sport and say ‘keep up the good work!’ ”.

The full list of finalists are:

Devon Coach of the Year

Chantelle Cox, Teignmouth Thunderbirds (sport Netball) - Teignbridge

Mike Beagley, Falcons Gymnastics (sport Gymnastics) - North Devon

Matt Hodgson, Dawlish United FC, (sport Football) - Teignbridge

Devon Young Coach of the Year

Josh Hardwidge, The Wave Project (sport surfing) - Plymouth

Nathaniel Rookes, Tavistock Swimming Club (sport swimming) - West Devon

Devon Volunteer of the Year

Sue Jennings, Lets Ride Plymouth (sport Cycling) – Plymouth

Sean Philpot, Apollo Sports Club (Circuit Training & Football) – Torbay

Dave Skeet, Just Jog Bideford (sport Running) - North Devon

Devon Young Volunteer of the Year

Paul Corbiere, The Lodge Action Sports Club (sport Skateboarding) – Teignbridge

Ieuan Noakes, Tavistock Swimming Club (sport Swimming) - West Devon

Molly, Joe & Phoebe, Wellity (sport Various) - Exeter

Devon Club of the Year

Freemoovement (sport Community fitness) - Exeter

Barnstaple Ability FC (sport Football) - North Devon

Storm Running (Running) - Plymouth

Contribution to Inclusive Sport

Barnstaple Ability FC (sport Football) - North Devon

The Wave Project (sport Surfing) – Plymouth

Sam Towers, Hub Club (sport Swimming) - Plymouth

Business Contribution to Sport in the Community

Bright Solicitors (sport Various) – Plymouth

Business Contribution to Staff Well Being through Sporting Activity

The Environment Agency (sport Various) – Exeter

Performances in Community Sport

·   Buckland Athletics Ladies FC (sport Football) - Teignbridge     

·   Cameron Williams, Dartmoor Darts Aquatic (sport Swimming) - Plymouth     

·   Ethan Kirby, Newton Abbot Athletics Club (sport Athletics) - Teignbridge     

·   Jack Willis, Teignmouth Surf Lifesaving Club (sport Surf Lifesaving) - Teignbridge

·   Lauren Dolan, Mid Devon Cycling Club (sport Cycling) – Teignbridge

·   Robin Delve, Mid Devon Cycling Club (sport Cyclo-cross) – Exeter

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