Sarah Stevenson wins Yorkshire Award for Sport

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Sarah Stevenson
Image caption,
Sarah has achieved sporting triumph in 2011 despite personal loss

World Taekwondo champion Sarah Stevenson has won the Yorkshire award for sporting achievement.

The 28-year-old, from Doncaster, received the award at a ceremony in Leeds on Friday evening.

But her joy at winning her third World Taekwondo championship in May has been overshadowed by family tragedy.

Her father, Roy, died from a brain tumour in July and her mother, Diana, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in January.

Ms Stephenson said: "I don't know how I won the world championships with all that going on but I was there for mum and dad and that was the most important thing."

Eight awards

While she has been spending as much time as possible with her family, Sarah still has her sights set on next year's London Olympics, where she is the favourite for a gold medal.

"Mum and dad always wanted me to do well and to go to the Olympics and I've just got to do it and do well."

Image caption,
Sue King founded a drug rehabilitation programme 16 years ago

Eight awards were given out at the annual ceremony in Leeds.

Actors Brian Blessed, who grew up at Goldthorpe in South Yorkshire, and Hull-born Maureen Lipman were named Yorkshire man and woman respectively.

Whilst the entertainment award went to jazz singer Clare Teal, who grew up at Kildwick near Skipton.

Sir Bernard Ingham, who for 11 years was Margaret Thatcher's chief press secretary, received the lifetime achievement award.

This year's community hero award was given to Sue King, director of the Agape Project in Bradford.

The Christian-based organisation provides rehabilitation to help drug users kick the habit and rebuild their lives.

Andy McMenemy won the award presented in memory of Richard Whiteley.

Mr McMenemy, from Harrogate, ran 66 ultra-marathons in 66 days, round each of the UK's cities earlier this year.

The business award was won by Arla Foods, which runs the UK's biggest dairy at its base in Stourton near Leeds.

The Yorkshire Awards recognise people and organisations who have had an impact on Yorkshire.

Award recipients are chosen by a committee made up of representatives of the main sponsors of the awards.

This year sponsors include BBC Yorkshire, Welcome to Yorkshire and Yorkshire Bank.

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