Suffolk Sports Awards 2017: Meet the nominees for sports personality of the year, club of the year and school of the year
The annual Suffolk Sports Awards will be held at Kesgrave Hall this Friday night. In the second of a two-part preview, Mark Heath takes a look at the nominees – including the contenders for the top award
The Harrod UK Suffolk Sports Personality of the Year Award
Adrian Last, clay pigeon shooting
Over the past twelve months Last has won the Disabled Sitting High Gun at the English Open Sporting 2017 adding to his English, British and World Championships and other prizes last year.
He has been an inspiration to everyone involved with the Disabled Clay Pigeon shooting group and shoots better than most abled-bodied shooters.
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Nathaniel Wilding, Paralympic powerlifting
Wilding has enjoyed an outstanding year of progress and performance, winning the first-ever British Weightlifting English Para-Powerlifting Championships, lifting a three kilogram competition personal best bench press of 162 kilograms.
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This performance saw him selected for his second international competition, the Edgar 2017 Powerlifting Cup in Hungary, where he won a gold medal, his first senior international title.
Steph Hanratty, rugby
Hanratty has had open heart surgery and is severely hard of hearing but has continued to push for the sport she loves, rugby. She was selected to represent England in the England Deaf Ladies Rugby Union this season and will travel to compete in Australia next year.
Hanratty also helped to transform the performance of the Bury Foxes Rugby team from a one match winning team to only losing one game and winning the league.
The South Suffolk Leisure Club of the Year Award
Finborough Ladies Netball Club
Over the past year the club’s number of teams has increased from seven to nine and they’ve won divisions two, five and six, with the junior team being unbeaten within in the South Suffolk league.
The club delivers a wide range of programmes for all ages and abilities; back to netball sessions, mother and daughter netball family nights and a new veteran team.
Jetts Netball Club, Bury St Edmunds
Jetts Netball Club have encouraged young and old to get involved in netball. The club has 200 members ranging from five years to 80-years-old and has entered the West Suffolk League with eleven teams.
They hold nine training sessions per week including high fives, juniors and seniors, along with back to netball and walking netball sessions to encourage adults to take up the sport again.
Woolpit Cricket Club
Woolpit recently upgraded their facilities; extending the pavilion, creating new changing areas, toilets, kitchens and social areas, after raising £151,000.
The club provides cricket for all ages with eight adult teams and over 250 youngsters from the age of five and is a community resource offering facilities that the whole village can use.
The Abbeycroft Leisure School of the Year
Birchwood Primary School, Ipswich
Physical education is an essential part of the Birchwood Primary School ethos, encouraging pupils to make healthy lifestyle choices.
85% of pupils currently participate in organised sport outside of school. The effective use of sports funding has ensured that almost all pupils regularly take part in sport each week, keeping themselves fit and healthy.
County Upper, Bury St Edmunds
County Upper provides a network of extra-curricular sports activities across a wide range of sport.
During the 2016/2017 academic year the school has provided opportunities for every student to participate in high quality PE while 50% of their pupils take part in extra-curricular sports activities each week.
Copleston High School, Ipswich
Copleston pupils have made it through to 21 county finals in eight different sports, two at a regional level.
The school has good links with local clubs, including Ipswich Basketball Club and Ipswich and Woodbridge Rugby Club. Through the Basketball Academy the girls won a national title and five students have gained full scholarships in Canada and the USA.