Local sport and community celebrated at Teignbridge’s glittering awards ceremony

There was double celebration for retired teacher and volunteer Richard Parker as he was crowned People’s Champion of the Year 2017 along with receiving the Lifetime Achievement award at Teignbridge’s Sports and Community Awards.

The former Teign School teacher has dedicated more than 40 years’ service in education, integrating his love for the outdoors in the school curriculum. Dick was also the recipient of the Army’s Platinum Award for this work on the Ten Tors.

It was also double joy for young Ethan Kirby as he picked up the title of Junior Sportsperson of the Year to sit proudly alongside his Personal Achievement award received earlier in the evening.

The Newton Abbot Athletic Club runner achieved a bronze medal at the world junior para athletics tournament this year and has aspirations to compete in the Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo 2020.

Richard and Ethan were among a number of sporting stars celebrating success at the glittering awards night staged at the Langstone Cliff Hotel, Dawlish Warren, on Friday 1 December. The glittering awards ceremony recognises athletes, volunteers, sports teams, committee members, coaches and community champions who all go the extra mile to help keep Teignbridge active all year round.

Richard’s Wish is a local charity that donates wishes to children, teenagers and young adults who are battling cancer. Richard Cridge was an enthusiastic rugby player and scout member who was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma at the age of 15 and sadly lost his battle in September 2007. His family were determined to remember all of Richard’s fantastic work and in doing so, created Richard’s Wish. Responsible for donating thousands of wishes to young people throughout our district, the charity was recognised as the Overall Community Champion.

The Teignbridge Sports and Community Awards 2017 saw prizes given across 12 different categories, representing the diversity of sporting talent and community spirit across the district. For the first time the People’s Champion was decided by an online vote leading up to and on the night of the awards, receiving over 4000 votes across all the nominees in contention.

Kitsons Solicitors was the headline sponsor for the fourth year running and many other well-known and established businesses sponsored categories. Other key partners were the Breeze FM, Mid-Devon Advertiser, Ripple Events, Pinnacle Photo Agency and radio and television presenter Ben Moseby.

The winners and finalists were:

Overall People’s Champion - sponsored by Kitsons Solicitors

Dick Parker

Sport, health and community champion – sponsored by Sport England’s Sports Bug Project
1.TBirds - Teignmouth Thunderbirds Netball Club
2.Carole-Anne Barr - Carol-Anne Fitsteps
3.Maria Shelton - Active Mums ride leader

Personal achievement award – sponsored by Ripple Events
1.Ethan Kirby – Para-athletics
2.Darren Maynard – Isca Hash House Harriers
3.Charley Ellis Belka – Ballroom dancer

Unsung hero award – sponsored by Active Devon
1.Glynn Ballman – Shaldon Optimists Cricket Club
2.Claire Twitchin – local charity fundraiser

Coach or manager of the year – sponsored by Lamars Decorators Ltd
1.Chantelle Cox – Teignbridge Titans Netball Club
2.Matthew Hodgson – Dawlish United U16s Girls FC
3.Angela Rimmer – Teignmouth Thunderbirds Netball Club

Community school of the year – sponsored by Complete Estate Agents
1.Rydon Primary School
2.Bovey Tracey Primary School
3.South Dartmoor Community College

Junior sportsperson of the year – sponsored by Seymour Horwell Volvo Specialists
1.Ethan Kirby – Newton Abbot Athletics Club
2.Jack Willis – Teignmouth Surf Life Saving Club
3.Sam Taylor – South Dartmoor Community College

Senior sportsperson of the year – sponsored by Bayside Graphics
1.Lauren Dolan – Mid-Devon Cycling Club
2.Emily Green – Decoy BMX Race Club
3.Elliot Fay - angling

Team of the year – sponsored by Westcountry Services
1.Buckland Athletic Ladies FC
2.South Dartmoor U15 cricket team
3.Haldon Tug of War team

Business contribution to sport and/or community – sponsored by Breeze FM

Dartmoor Classic – event of the year

Firewatch Ltd and Sherwoods – joint business winners

Charity contribution to sport and/or community – sponsored by Breeze FM

Richard’s Wish Charity

Young person’s services to sport and/or community – sponsored by Dartmoor School Sports Partnership
1.Paul Corbiere – The Lodge Indoor Skatepark charity
2.Megan Lowe – South Dartmoor Community College
3.Rob Gale - South Dartmoor Community College

PR and media in sports and-or community – sponsored by Mid-Devon Advertiser
1.Georgina Davie – Haldon Tug of War
2.Graydon Widdicombe – Teignbridge Trotters

Lifetime achievement award – sponsored by Langstone Cliff Hotel
1.Dick Parker – retired teacher and volunteer
2.Ray Moore – Rotarian and community volunteer
3.Iain Palmer – Teignmouth Beach Surf Life Saving Club

Overall Teignbridge Community Champion of the Year 2017

Richard’s Wish

Overall Teignbridge Sporting Champion of the Year 2017

Buckland Athletic Ladies FC

James Cross, Managing Partner at Kitsons Solicitors, said:

“We were delighted to be part of such a wonderful event. Hearing such positive stories of sporting successes and achievements in our local community over the last twelve months was a privilege and delight. Once again Teignbridge District Council have given us all a fantastic evening which we at Kitsons were very pleased to sponsor.”

Cllr Jeremy Christophers, Teignbridge District Council’s Leader said:

“Congratulations to all the winners and nominees for their hard work, commitment and dedication in making our district the most active in Devon. Everyone has a story to tell and it is particularly inspiring to see and hear about those who sacrifice their own time to help others and provide opportunities at all levels. On a personal level, I was not alone in being moved by the story and inspiration behind Richard’s Wish and this is exactly what these awards are all about.

“It is events like this which make me proud to represent Teignbridge and my thanks go out to everyone who was involved with organising and supporting such a fantastic awards night that was enjoyed by all.”

Cllr Phil Bullivant, Teignbridge District Council’s executive for recreation and leisure said:

“The reputation of our Sports and Community Awards is growing every year. In Teignbridge we have a wide range of success stories that make us a proud to live here. Sponsors and winners alike came together for an evening dedicated to those in our community who achieve personal success on the sports field and those who help deliver support to their local communities.

“The range of activities represented in the awards were impressive and thoroughly well deserved by all. On behalf of Teignbridge District Council I congratulate all of those who took part, I thank the organisers and sponsors who made the evening possible and I look forward to next year’s event.”

A raffle on the night raised £411 for the council’s chairman’s charity, the Devon Memory Café Consortium. Donations totalling £1500 were also made to the “Give Me Five” campaign which supports the Rotary Youth Games Charitable Trust, including a generous donation of £600 from Will Smith, Managing Director of Complete Estate Agents.

Cllr Timothy Golder, Teignbridge District Council’s Chairman said:

“What a fantastic evening and I was honoured to be in the company of so many enthusiastic and committed people, each with an inspiring story to share.

“A huge congratulations to all the nominees and award winners on your special night. I would like to also extend my thanks to the Teignbridge members of staff who have made this happen and worked tirelessly behind the scenes, along with the sponsors who have supported this event.”