First Scilly Sporting Awards Celebrated In Style

lottery cheque suzeAn audience of around 80 islanders filled St Mary’s Hall Hotel on Saturday night for the first ever islands Sports Personality Awards.

The event was the brainchild of Helen Pearce and was organised by a committee who asked islanders to nominate and vote for deserving local sportsmen and women.

The awards night was designed to raise cash for the Adam Mallon fund. A bursary, set up in Adam’s honour, helps pay for young islanders to reach their sporting potential. So far it has helped to fund bringing Plymouth Argyle trainers to St Mary’s to provide specialist football coaching, has contributed towards the costs of travel to the mainland so young people can take part in competitions and has purchased equipment such as a cricket bowling machine.

The glitzy black tie evening held at St Mary’s Hall Hotel had all the hallmarks of a TV awards ceremony with professional production thanks to Jeremy Pearson, hosting by island sporting commentators Mark Twynham, Martin Songhurst and Jim Johnson and excellent food and service thanks to the St Mary’s Hall Hotel staff.

The MC’s took the audience through each of the awards, explaining why they had been chosen, building the suspense and announcing the winners. They also oversaw some other dinner table awards including a picture quiz, hop scotch challenge, net ball and sports trivia card game.

The Nathan Woodcock award for Young Sports Personality of the Year had a strong field and islanders voted for 5 finalists from the 10 nominations. The award went to Rory Guy with Lewis Johnson and Harry Stone as runners up.

The Radio Scilly Award for Contribution to Sport on Scilly, voted on by the public, went to Andrew Hicks for his tireless enthusiasm and efforts with football. Runners up Sarah Handy and Duncan Graham were presented with champagne in recognition of their fine sporting contributions.

The Allan Greenlaw Award for Coach of the Year, voted on by the public, went to Ralph Handy for his football coaching with runners up Andrew King and Rachel Keeley.

The most hotly contended award, the Adam Mallon Award for Best Sporting Achievement 2012, was voted for on the night by the guests. Each MC stood up in turn and made a presentation to the audience as to why they should vote for one of the three finalists; the crew of ‘Tregarthens’ for 2nd place in the World Pilot Gig Championships, John Williams and Wayne Davey for their 3,100 mile ride across America and Sara Twynham and Kylie Carter, both casual cyclists, for their ‘Ride End to End’.

The presentations really did bring these amazing sporting achievements to life leaving the guests with a tough choice. It was Sarah and Kylie who won the vote for Best Sporting Achievement for their ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

And possibly the most prestigious award, lifetime contribution to Scilly sport, was not open to the public vote. Islanders put forward names and a panel of judges considered each suggestion.

They decided to give that honour to Grant Tucker.

The guests continued to celebrate for the rest of the evening and into the early hours.

The event raised funds for the Adam Mallon School Sports Fund.

Suzanne McCulloch, administrator of the Scilly Lottery, handed over a £1,000 cheque on behalf of the members of the Scilly Lottery to Martin Songhurst, trustee of the Fund.

Suzanne said, “We are proud to be supporting our Island’s young people and hope that this contribution by our lottery players will help them to reach their sporting potential.”