Awards for Hackney’s young sport stars

The sporting achievements of Hackney s young people were celebrated at the third Hackney Youth Sport Awards at Hackney Empire on Monday 20 October.

The awards were a celebration of the local youngsters aged five to 16 who have taken part in a variety of sporting events during the past year, including the London Youth Games - Europe’s largest youth sports event which all London boroughs compete in.

Choice FM DJ and entertainer, Kat B, hosted the event and presented awards with help from Hackney Mayor Jules Pipe, Councillors Nargis Khan and Rita Krishna and Paralympic athletes Dervis Konuralp and Ade Orogbemi.

More than 30 awards were presented to teams and individuals for their sporting successes over the last year. They included Female and Male Sports Achiever of the Year; Highest Placed Team in Disabled Sports Competition; Most Improved Team; Youth Sport Fund; Paralympic School Sports; Schools Challenge Award; Fair Play and, for the first time, the Mayor’s Award for Services to Sport in Hackney.

Lo’relle Mitchell, Patryk Stefanowitz, Lara Everall and Jill Danskin were singled out for their exceptional individual achievements and contributions. Cardinal Pole School Years 7 & 8 Boys Athletics Team; Disability Football Girls Team, Sports Hall Athletics and Mini Boccia were among the many teams that also received awards.

Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe said: "The awards celebrate the talent and achievements of young people in Hackney, and are also an important way to recognise the wonderful efforts of outstanding teams and individuals. I hope they continue to be an inspiration for even greater sporting contributions in years to come."

Special guests Paralympians Dervis Konuralp, swimmer and Hackney’s first Olympic and Paralympic Ambassador, and Ade Orogbemi, wheelchair basketball player and Beijing medallist who grew up in Hackney, enthralled the audience with their inspirational speeches, describing their experiences and challenges as athletes and at the Beijing Games.

This year a new award, the Mayor’s Award for Services to Sport in Hackney, was presented in recognition and celebration of the people who have made significant contributions to sport in the borough. The recipient Janette Hayes, Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) Football, was rewarded for her commitment and work in the borough since 2002, setting up the first football team made up entirely of players who have or are recovering from mental health problems.

Janette’s dedication has helped raise the profile of the unique football league that now has 18 teams from across London and is an excellent example of how sport can help to provide focus and positively impact recovery, improving people’s health and wellbeing.

Hackney Youth Sports Fund Awards were also presented in support of talented young people and the organisations working with them to develop their chosen sport. The Fund has already given backing to over 40 individuals and 14 clubs and organisations in the borough.

The evening’s entertainment was provided by two, high-energy, dance acts from Hackney Community College and X7, students of Hackney Empire education programme, both of which drew massive applause from an appreciative audience.

Hackney Youth Sports Awards was organised by the Council’s Sports Development Team and 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Unit.