Tyne and Wear sporting talent awarded for their dedication and success

The North East Disability Sport Awards (NEDSA) took place on Monday 19 March, celebrating the continuing success of disability sport in the region.

The 15th NEDSA event recognised the incredible achievements of a wide range of clubs, coaches, schools and athletes across the North East. The event took place at Ramside Hall in Durham with approximately 300 guests present, including the 100 nominees attending for the ten awards on offer.

The Award for Female Personality went to Amy Carr. In July 2017 Amy was selected to represent Great Britain at the International Paralympic Committee World Junior Athletics Championships in Switzerland in the 100m, 200m and Long Jump. Competing against athletes from across the globe she won two gold medals to become World Junior Champion in the 200 metres and the long jump and one bronze medal in the 100 metres. She is now moving into the senior ranks and will gain her first senior vest in April when she competes for Team Scotland in the Commonwealth Games in Australia's Gold Coast. Amy will be contesting the long jump in the T37 Cerebral Palsy category.

Harry Thompson received the award for Male Personality of the Year. His sport is the Paralympic sport of Boccia in which he has already had a number of years of success with many achievements to date, but 2017 was his most successful yet.  He competed in six countries winning a total of two gold, two silver and two bronze medals. He competes in the Boccia classification of BC4 at the highest level both in this country and internationally

The Education Award went to Columbia Grange School in Washington for how they integrate sport and physical activity into the day. The school is a co-educational school for children with severe learning disabilities and / or autism between the ages of 2 and 11. It offers its pupils a range of sports and physical activity opportunities from Yoga to Judo and also engages with the parents of their pupils through various activity sessions.

David Marrin, assistant director at Tyne & Wear Sport said: “It’s great to see so many individuals and clubs within our sub-region getting nominated and recognised at the awards. It shows that the level of participation in disability sport is not only increasing but that it is getting more and more publicity, and we have some incredibly talented athletes locally.”

The event was organised by the four county sports partnerships in the North East, with support from sponsors Active Northumberland, BBC Newcastle & Tees, D&P Trophies, Everyone Active, Foundation of Light, House of Type, Komatsu, Metro Rod North East, Sintons and SMILE Through Sport.

 

Full list of Award Winners:

YOUNG MALE ACHIEVER – JOSH WADDELL, Sunderland

Josh competed at the School Games where he won three gold medals in the foil, sabre and epee events. His highlight and best performance of the year however came when he competed at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation World Championships in Poland. Here he won Bronze in the U17 Men's Category A epee event. He trains at the Regional Fencing Centre in Durham and hopes to emulate the achievements of previous Paralympians who have come through the Durham Centre.

 

YOUNG FEMALE ACHIEVER – GRACE MCNIFF, Stockton-on-Tees

Grace’s performances during 2017 just got better as the year progressed. They included two gold and three silver medals at the national Junior Para Swimming Championships and five golds and five personal bests at the North East Regional Para Championships. In October she was selected to join the GB Deaf Performance Squad and chosen to be in the team that will represent Great Britain in the Deaf European Championships to take place in Poland in July 2018.

 

CLUB OF THE YEAR – BRANDON & BYSHOTTLES TABLE TENNIS CLUB, Bishop Auckland

Brandon and Byshottles Table Tennis Club is a relatively new club established in 2013.   With over 100 members ranging from 10 to 86 years of age, the club prides itself on being able to adapt and offer playing opportunities to everyone wanting to try their sport. Members are always keen to develop their knowledge and the club has hosted a number of courses including Games for the Brain training on the behalf of the Alzheimer's Society and Table Tennis England Disability Awareness Training for all clubs in the region. Members are encouraged and supported to play in local, regional and national competitions including British Paralympic Table Tennis Events.

 

EDUCATION AWARD – COLUMBIA GRANGE SCHOOL, Sunderland

The Education Award went to Columbia Grange School in Washington for how they integrate sport and physical activity into the day. The school is a co-educational school for children with severe learning disabilities and / or autism between the ages of 2 and 11. It offers its pupils a range of sports and physical activity opportunities from Yoga to Judo and also engages with the parents of their pupils through various activity sessions.

 

PARTICIPANT AWARD – HARRY BROWN, Chester-le-Street

Harry Brown has been playing football with Newcastle United Foundation for around six years.  The skills and knowledge he has gained from playing football are a huge asset to his club and he works hard to impart these to the girls he coaches.  He has made a significant impact with his passion and he embodies fully the ethos of the club - "Spirit, Determination and Inclusion". 

 

SERVICE TO SPORT AWARD – HEATHER WILCOX, Middlesbrough

Heather Wilcox is a volunteer who has made a difference to sport across the North East.  The role she takes as Northern Region Secretary for Special Olympics is very much a full-time position, communicating and arranging on a day to day basis to ensure that athletes in the North East of England have access to sports within their local area, and an opportunity to develop and highlight their skills and commitment at competitions.

 

COACH OF THE YEAR – SCOTT GARTHWAITE, Sunderland

Scott coaches Sunderland Deaf Football Club. He plans the travel for his players, washes the kit, as well as carrying out the normal work of a football coach. One of the players said “He makes you feel like you are 10 foot tall and the best player in your position”. He has encouraged his players to train regularly on and off the pitch developing their skills and fitness. His commitment and support has led the team to a record breaking three League Championships in a row and he became the first manager in North East history to win the England Deaf Football League Championship and EDF Challenge Cup in one year.

 

TEAM OF THE YEAR - GYM WORLD GYMNASTICS CLUB DISABILITY SECTION, Middlesbrough

In 2017 the team decided to try something different moving into a new event in their sport which required the team to work together and to perform across three different disciplines. They competed in the British Qualification event in Edinburgh, winning the gold medal and qualifying for the British Championships. The finals took place in the Liverpool Echo Arena in July where the team again performed exceptionally well winning the gold medal and becoming national champions in the gymnastic event of TeamGym.  

 

FEMALE PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR - AMY CARR, Stockton-on-Tees

In July 2017 Amy was selected to represent Great Britain at the International Paralympic Committee World Junior Athletics Championships in Switzerland in the 100m, 200m and Long Jump. Competing against athletes from across the globe she won two gold medals to become World Junior Champion in the 200 metres and long jump and one bronze medal in the 100 metres. She is also moving into the senior ranks and will gain her first senior vest in April when she competes for Team Scotland in the Commonwealth Games in Australia. Amy will be contesting the long jump in the T37 Cerebral Palsy category.

 

MALE PERSONALITY - HARRY THOMPSON, Northumberland

Harry Thompson’s sport is the Paralympic sport of Boccia in which he has already had a number of years of success with many achievements to date, but 2017 was his most successful yet.  He competed in six countries winning a total of six medals - two gold, two silver and two bronze. He competes in the Boccia classification of BC4, which is arguably the strongest classification group for athletes, but this doesn’t deter him from competing at the highest level both in this country and internationally.

 

For more information about the event, please contact:

County Durham Sport – Jeanette Turner-Gudgeon; tel 0191 374 6127

Northumberland Sport – Kaye Scott; tel 01670 623 517

Tees Valley Sport – Catherine Woods; tel 01642 342 287

Tyne and Wear Sport – David Marrin; tel 0191 497 2324