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Moorlands medals for our local sporting heroes

Celebrating sporting success in fields as diverse as martial arts and obstacle racing took centre stage at the Staffordshire Moorlands Sports Awards.

The awards, organised by the District Council, showcased local sporting talent alongside the often unsung dedication of volunteers and those who offer behind-the-scenes support to our local sporting heroes.

Winners at the Alton Towers ceremony included a young Taekwondo practitioner with an eye on the Olympics; a gold medal-winning mud obstacle racer; a record-breaking cricket team and their treasurer; an inspiration bowling teacher and committed martial arts coach; and a long-standing swimming club committee member.

Councillor Mike Bowen, Cabinet Member for sport and leisure at the Council, said: "I'd like to congratulate all our winners and all those who were nominated on their achievements. Events like this demonstrate just how much local talent we have and it's great to be able to come together to recognise the commitment and hard work of not just our winners but all those who are involved in taking part and supporting sporting activity across the Moorlands.

"We're a nation of sport lovers and it plays such a big role in so many lives. Being active makes a real difference to our health and wellbeing and I hope that the example set by the people represented at these awards inspires more of us to increase the activity in our own lives. Well done to everyone!"

The full list of winners is:

Junior Sports Achiever of the Year (sponsored by Alton Towers Resort) - Chloe Roberts, from Biddulph, started Taekwondo just two years ago and has already been named British National Champion with a ranking of number one in the UK for 2017. She is now training with GB Taekwondo coaches at the GB centre in Manchester in the 13-18 age group Olympic pathway development programme.

  • Ted Perry Senior Sports Achiever of the Year (sponsored by Bowcock and Pursaill Solicitors) - Jason Burgess, from Leek,first became interested in mud obstacle races after competing in the JCB mud run in 2012. He competes in the 40-45 age group and recently won a gold medal in the World Obstacle Course Championships in Canada. Despite his heavy training schedule, Jason has also found time to train and inspire students at Churnet View Middle School where he works to take up more sport.
  • Sports Team/Club of the Year Award - Blythe Cricket Club 1st XIwon the North Staffordshire and South Cheshire Cricket league to attain premier division status - the highest level in local cricket - in 2018 for the first time in their history. And they won in record style with more wins in a season than any in the league's history with 17 wins from 22 matches. They also have a new pavilion to welcome their premier division rivals.
  • Sport Across Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Volunteer of the Year Award - Cheadle's Angie Heathcotehas played a key role in Blythe Cricket Club's success by keeping their finances in order as club treasurer for the last five years. During 2017 this included overseeing the finances for the new community hub and pavilion as well as the fifth - and best ever - 'Cloggerfest' two-day music festival which contributes significantly to the club's running costs.
  • Sports Coach of the Year (sponsored by Dear Barber) -Biddulph's Bill Jolley and Tara Burndred, from Cheadle, were the joint recipients of this award. As a member of Biddulph Bowling and Recreational Club Billhas been involved for over two years in teaching crown green bowls. He has recently been teaching students from Wood House Academy who last year entered a junior team in the Potteries and District League and the rotary club of Biddulph sponsored shield for the team. Taraopened the Tatsu Dojo Club in 2014 incorporating all forms of martial arts and fitness training. Tara has really connected with her students encouraging them and building their confidence. The atmosphere at the Dojo is friendly and exciting with the main ethos being one of self defence, confidence and good manners and working together to achieve success.
  • The Alan Hurst Contribution to Sport Award - Leek's Christine McFaddenhas been involved with Leek Swimming Club for over 30 years and has held various roles on the committee since joining in 1989. She qualified as a British Swimming Technical Official in 2012 and has officiated at inter-club galas and open meets around Staffordshire and at the County Championships. She is currently President of the North Midlands Water Polo and Amateur Swimming Association.