Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Sports Awards 2011 winners

Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Sports Awards 2011 winners
Winners at the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Sports Awards 2011

A year of sporting achievement was celebrated at the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Sports Awards in Coventry.

Thirteen awards were handed out at Thursday's event, highlighting performances and recognising the coaches and volunteers who make sport happen.

Coventry City Ladies have had an outstanding 12 months which culminated in winning Team of the Year.

The players have won back-to-back promotions and are now top of the Premier League.

The team's captain Natasha Lynch paid tribute to everyone involved: "Great management, great backroom staff, great team spirit and we are currently sitting top of the Premier League and our aim is to finish as high as we can this season."

Wheelchair basketball coaches Dan Smith and Tom Matterson won the Community Sports Award.

Smith told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire: "We are not in it for the awards but we are in it for getting into schools, getting other people playing the sport."

Taekwondo fighter Steve Merricks won the Sportsman of the Year award, while triathlete Danielle Stewart claimed the Sports Woman of the Year award after winning gold at the World Duathlon Championships in Edinburgh and finishing 10th at the World Triathlon Championships.

She is now turning her attentions to next year: "I did not expect the success this year so next year, hopefully I'll represent GB at the World Dual Triathlon."

The other winners included Rowena Cole, who picked up the Higher/Further Education Sports Person of the Year, only a few months after winning 800m silver at the European Athletics Junior Championships.

Brian Barraclough won the PE Teacher of the Year, while 16-year-old Jasmine Morris won the Young Sports Volunteer of the Year for her work as coach of the Rugby Town Under-12s girls' football team and as a member of the Football Association's Young Leaders team.

Michael Owen won the Unsung Hero award after representing Old Coventrians Rugby Club as player and chairman for more than a quarter of a century.

The Junior Team of the Year went to Kenilworth School Girls' Orienteering team. Golfer Lauren Taylor won the Young Sportswoman of the Year while the badminton player Rhys Walker picked up the Young Sportsman of the Year award.

Junior football coach David Roach won the the Community Professional Coach of the Year for his work in the borough of Rugby.

The Lifetime Achievement award went to 87-year-old Charlie Kelly, who has been a member of Coventry Godiva Athletics Club since 1972, both coaching athletes and acting as treasurer.

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