HEROES galore are celebrating after becoming the best of a fantastic bunch in the Hartlepool Mail Sports Awards.
Meet the winners who picked up the trophies at a glittering ceremony held at the Hardwick Hall Hotel in Sedgefield.
Each of them lived up to the awards slogan of “everyday people ... outstanding talent.”
There were amazing achievements from the likes of Pip Bell, a shining light in encouraging women’s rugby in Hartlepool and who is now celebrating 25 years in the sport at just 33 years old. She won a special achievement award.
There’s Megan Atkinson, 12, who lifted the disabled sports person title after shining in sports such as swimming, and track and field. Megan, who has achondroplasia ( a form of dwarfism), hopes to compete at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.
There were plenty of cheers for the Hartlepool Sportability Club which won the title of Contribution to Disability Sports after judges told of the club’s “significant” achievements in helping others.
And the applause kept ringing as town dance crew Ruff Diamond performed a new routine, before lifting the Inspire Award for the way they had inspired dance.
Umpire Michael Gough was crowned sports official of the year for his achievements at international level, including officiating at the T20 match between England and Australia at Durham in August.
Coach of the year Micky Early has been described as an inspiration for his work at the Tees and Hartlepool Yacht Club while Kath and Anthony Evans jointly won the unsung hero award for their tireless work in promoting town tennis and badminton.
The honours just kept on coming. There were awards for Hartlepool Indoor Bowling Club for the way it had promoted the sport to people of all ages - and for its recent resurgence in the sport at a national level.
And Barbara Brown was a popular winner in the lifetime achievement category after the judges enthused at the way she had produced international level performers in netball. The founder of the Oaksway Netball Club was hailed as a “brilliant coach”.
These were just some of the winners who also included sports personality of the year Savannah Marshall for her outstanding achievements in boxing, and golfer Cameron Wallace as young sports personality of the year.
The full list of winners can be found in the roll of honour link below.
And watch out for more reaction, pictures and coverage of the awards evening’s proceedings in a Hartlepool Mail supplement to be published next week.