World Cup star Jo wins top award

HOCKEY star Jo Ellis was last night crowned Suffolk's first sports personality of the year.Ellis, who has recently returned from representing England at the Samsung Women's World Cup in Spain, won the major individual award at the Suffolk Sports Awards.

HOCKEY star Jo Ellis was last night crowned Suffolk's first sports personality of the year.

Ellis, who has recently returned from representing England at the Samsung Women's World Cup in Spain, won the major individual award at the Suffolk Sports Awards.

She received the Larking Gowen Sports Personality of the Year Award from Roger Girling before an invited audience of more than 200 at the Galleria at Portman Road, Ipswich.

Ellis, who earlier this year won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne to add to the silver she won in Manchester four years ago, joined Ipswich Hockey Club more than 10 years ago.


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She pipped Stowmarket-based international bowler Mark Royal, who is ranked 10th on the world indoor bowls circuit, and Ipswich triathlete Abbie Thorrington, who this year represented Great Britain at the European Cup in Croatia, finishing in third place, to the prestigious award.

Ellis, 25, said that winning the award helped to soften the blow of England finishing seventh in the World Cup.

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She said: “I am delighted to win this award. It is nice to be recognised individually within a team sport. An award such as this can only help to promote the sport of hockey.

“I read the achievements of the other nominees who were up for the award and must admit I was quite surprised to win it.”

Gymnast Rosalie Hutton, who represented Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in March, received the Grassroots Young Sports Personality of the Year Award.

Rosalie, who trains at Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club in Ipswich, took the award ahead of Ipswich Caribbean Karate Club's Adele Lloyd, whose achievements included winning gold at the British International Open for the under-21 team and Ipswich Harriers athlete Ellie Sprake, who was the first English competitor home at the World Schools Cross County Championships in Italy.

Felixstowe & Suffolk Bowls Club, winners of the English National Top Club Championship for the second time in four years, won the Touchline Sports Team of the Year, while Woolpit Cricket Club were voted the Harrod UK Club of the Year.

The BBC Radio Suffolk Unsung Hero Award went to Felixstowe-based Pete Kaznica of Ipswich Basketball Club and the Ipswich Town Coach of the Year to Steve Benson of Ipswich Harriers.

The Your Sport School of the Year Award, sponsored by the East Anglian Daily Times and presented by editor Terry Hunt, was won by Westley Middle School in Bury St Edmunds.

The awards were organised by Suffolk Sport in association with Archant, publishers of the East Anglian Daily Times, and BBC Radio Suffolk.

Awards winners

The Larking Gowen Sports Personality of the Year Award: Winner - Jo Ellis; runners-up - Mark Royal and Abbie Thorrington.

The Grassroots Young Sports Personality of the Year Award: Winner - Rosalie Hutton; runners-up - Adele Lloyd and Ellie Sprake.

The BBC Radio Suffolk Unsung Hero Award: Winner - Pete Kaznica; runners-up - Allan Girot and Ann Negus.

The Ipswich Town Coach of the Year Award: Winner - Steve Benson; runners-up - Kevin Boardman and Keith Preston.

The Team Ipswich Contribution to Disability Sport Award: Winner - Bobbie Wilson; runners-up - Kevin Curtis and Ian Wood.

The Harrod UK Club of the Year Award: Winner - Woolpit Cricket Club; runners-up - Scorpion IFKKA Martial Arts Academy and Waveney Gymnastics Club.

The Touchline Sports Team of the Year Award: Winner - Felixstowe & Suffolk Bowls Club; runners-up - Lowestoft Kuk Sool Won Martial Arts Club and Mildenhall Cricket Club Under-15s.

The Your Sport School of the Year Award: Winner - Westley Middle School, Bury St Edmunds; runners-up - Brandeston Hall School and Elmsett Primary School.

The Suffolk School Sports Partnership Innovative Scheme Award: Winner - Woodhall Community Primary School; runners-up - Ipswich Gets Fit and Sport Newmarket.

The Unilever Spirit of the Games Award: Winner - Ipswich Team; runners-up - Mid Suffolk Athletics Team Managers and Stewart Turner.

For more on the 2006 Suffolk Sports Awards see Wednesday's Your Sport in the EADT.

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