Hackney's sporting talent recognised at awards
More than 600 people cheered on the borough’s sporting stars as they were presented with awards for their achievements over the past year.
The 10th annual Hackney Sports Awards celebrated the sporting excellence of local schools, students, older people, coaches and volunteers, on 4 November, at the Hackney Empire.
Compere for the evening, Kat B, presented awards to many of those who had helped Hackney take seventh place in the London Youth Games – the borough’s second highest ranking in the competition for over 30 years.
He was joined by Rebecca Romero MBE, who is the only British athlete to have won Olympic medals in two different sports.
Rebecca said: “I love coming to support young people – they are the next generation of Olympians.”
Lifetime Achievement went to former teacher Jan Coombs, who has devoted the past 45 years to encouraging hundreds of young people in the borough to play tennis.
Kamil Hajdrych received the Mayor’s Award for Services to Sport in Hackney for his hard work in promoting disability sports over the past five years.
Thanks to Kamil’s efforts, this year Hackney entered all of the disability sports events in the London Youth Games, securing second place in the Para Games London Trophy competition.
He said: “This summarises my work with all the young people I work with. It is dedicated to them and this award gives me great satisfaction.”
Other award winners included tennis player Lauryn John Baptiste who was named Under 25 Sports Person of the Year. Lauryn is ranked in the top 500 in the world at junior level and this year competed at Wimbledon in the girls singles event.
Basketball player Wura Ijelu, 17, who was runner-up in the same category, said: “I’ve been representing Hackney for four years and it’s been a joy playing. I’m absolutely chuffed with the award.”
Diver Noah Williams was named Under 16 Sports Person of the Year. He represented Team GB at the Junior European’s, finishing third in the springboard synchro and first in the 3m springboard. He also won the gold in the London Youth Games for the fourth year running.
The winner of the New Age Games, a Council-run activity programme for over-50s, was Maria De La Paz Tissier. In 2009, the 55-year-old was diagnosed with osteoporosis which meant she had trouble walking and found it hard to do basic movements. She discovered the New Age Games programme in 2013 and began running. She has now dropped three dress sizes and ran her first half marathon earlier this year.
Further awards were presented by Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe; the Speaker of Hackney, Cllr Sade Etti; Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Cllr Jonathan McShane; and Phil Lane Head of Sport and Legacy for GLL, the Council’s leisure partner.
The awards prove Hackney is home to outstanding sporting talent with so much to celebrate.
It was an honour to be able to recognise all those who have done the borough proud both in their chosen field and behind the scenes.
I would like to congratulate all the winners, nominees, as well as Council staff, for making the event a very special night
The evening also saw a performance from Marawa’s Majorettes, a hula hoop troupe who wowed the audience with their fast-moving, colourful hula moves.