Executive Leader Cllr Kieran Quinn

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Councillor Kieran Quinn

Celebrating Tameside's Best at the Pride of Tameside Sports Awards

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Summer might have drawn to a close, but that doesn’t mean the big events are stopping in Tameside. On the contrary, all eyes were on Dukinfield Town Hall last Friday as the building played host to one of the highlights of the year: The 2017 Pride of Tameside Sports Awards.

The event, as always, celebrated some of the very best that our borough has to offer. Not just the dedication and achievements of individuals, but of our schools, sports clubs and other community organisations as well. In a sign of how prestigious and respected the Awards have become, we once again managed to bring in somebody from the top tier of the sporting world to host the festivities. Our sincere thanks goes to Olympic and Commonwealth medallist swimmer Steve Parry for picking up the mantle that has been carried in the past by the likes of Michael Vaughan and fellow swimmer Mark Foster.

This year also saw the creation of two new awards. The School Commitment to PE Award was set up to recognise the Tameside schools which have gone above and beyond to introduce their pupils to sport through extracurricular activities and afterschool clubs. The Believe and Achieve Trust, a charity set up in honour of local hero Alex Williams, also gave out their own award to acknowledge the drive of a young person in Tameside to excel in their chosen sport. Congratulations to the inaugural winners of these awards: St John Fisher RC Primary School and Jake Smith. I’ve no doubt that they will be the first of many.

A record number of nominations were received for this year’s awards, reflecting both the growth of the occasion and the sheer wealth and depth of people’s involvement with sport in Tameside. A complete list of the awards and winners can be found here, but to keep this blog a reasonable length I want to focus on some people that I found particularly inspiring. People like Sports Achiever of the Year winner Angela Oldham. A veteran of East Cheshire Harriers running club, Angela ran 10 marathons in 10 days and has also set herself the target of completing 65 park runs before her 65th birthday. People like Unsung Hero of the Year Harry Twamley. For over 50 years he has served in various roles at Curzon Ashton F.C., helping to navigate the club through the world of non-league football (and to the 2nd Round of the FA Cup) since Day One of its inception. As always, all of our winners will have a chance to gain further recognition by representing the borough at the Greater Manchester Sports Awards.

Let’s not forget either that the Awards would not have been possible without our sponsors, including New Charter Housing Trust Group, Manchester Airport, Tameside Council, Pulse Fitness, Myson, MID Communications, Sportmax, Midshire, Belle Vue Coaches, Davies Sports and Active Tameside. As well as supporting the event itself they also donated a variety of great prizes for the evening’s raffle, all of the proceeds of which went to the Believe and Achieve Trust.

All in all, we can look back on another successful year for the Pride of Tameside Sports Awards. We’re been working hard with the NHS and Care Together in recent months to show how living a healthy, active life can improve people’s quality of life and save money on vital services. As part of that, it’s more important than ever to celebrate those in Tameside who either put those ideals into practice or help others to do so. Well done to all of the winners, to all of those who were nominated and to all of those who helped make the event the showcase for the borough that it always is.

Posted by: Kieran Quinn

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