The borough’s brightest sporting talent took centre stage on Thursday, 21st July, at Burnley Sports Awards 2016.

The prestigious awards were hosted by Olympian medalist Roger Black and the evening showcased some of the very best of the community.

The event, held at Burnley Mechanics, recognised the hard work and talent shown by the people of Burnley.

It was a truly special night for Burnley Rounders Club, which not only picked up the Club of the Year Award, but also heard the special announcement that its Guinness World Record had been officially verified.

The club broke the record for the biggest game of rounders in March which saw 118 players take part, beating the former record of 76.

The club also had something else to cheer about when their very own Nicola Hedge scooped the Coach of the Year Award. She played a vital role in the development of rounders in Burnley, which now has 500 women regularly playing.

The Young Volunteer Award went to Mel Mitchell for her contribution to the local community. As a member of Volunteer Burnley programme, Mel regularly dedicates 15 hours every week to working with young people to help tackle anti-social behaviour around Burnley.

She has to balance work life and studying with her volunteer work, yet she has always been fully committed to both.

Burnley Bobcats’ coach Mandy Brown has been named the Adult Volunteer of the Year for her involvement in helping young swimmers develop their skills. Her support has been pivotal in the expansion, progression and success of the club.

The Rising Star of the Year was awarded to swimmer Katie Rennolds, who is also from Burnley Bobcats. Katie is the national champion at 400m freestyle, a multiple North West Regional Champion and record holder, England Schools National Champion and had Olympic Trials Qualification for the Rio 2016 games. She is also part of England Talent Beacon group.

This year’s Health Champion Award went to Rupali Begum, who has been a volunteer health champion in Stoneyholme for over four years. Rupali has made promoting healthier lifestyles a big part of her community outreach work and has impacted hugely on her community.

Holy Trinity C of E Primary was named the Community School of the Year for their growing PE and sports programme that is innovative, invigorating and fun. The school runs a variety of sports sessions that have a positive impact on children’s confidence and self-esteem.

The Brian Fenn Community Award went to Kevin Dand from Five Ways Boxing Academy. Kevin has been instrumental in promoting and developing Valley Street community centre in South West Burnley. He has established a boxing academy and delivered a number of community initiatives aiming to improve local people’s health and wellbeing.

Alan Brown has been presented with the Vicki Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award for his involvement and contribution to Burnley Tennis Club. He’s been involved in the club for the last 40 years, originally as a player and then in various roles such as club captain, vice president, treasurer and is currently club president.

Alan has driven the club forward as president and is always happy and supportive of new initiatives to develop the club. Due to his drive and determination the club was named National Club of the Year for the British Tennis Award 2015.

Burnley Community Sports Awards are organised annually by Burnley Leisure’s Get in2 team. This year Burnley Sports Awards was supported by Burnley College, Ring Stones, Burnley Play Partnership, KM Accountants, the Calico Group’s Girls Up and Active project, Burnley Rounders Club, and Surridge Sports.

Michelle Grimes, events and funding officer at Burnley Leisure, said: “This brilliant event saw us celebrating not just Burnley’s fantastic sportsmen and women, but also the teams of people behind them that make it possible for people in the borough to take part in sport.

“It was great to have the opportunity to celebrate the contribution that sport makes to our borough – from healthier communities to promoting Burnley as a home of great athletes.

“Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to our sponsors who made this event possible.”

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