St Helens clubs success at regional sports awards

Members of the St Helens Sports Development team with their 'Community Project of the Year' award
Members of the St Helens Sports Development team with their 'Community Project of the Year' award

Sporting clubs from across St Helens enjoyed an evening of success at the Rio-inspired Merseyside Sporting Champions Dinner 2016, scooping four out of the ten awards on offer.

The event, held at the iconic sporting venue, Aintree Racecourse, recognised the county’s sporting talent, plus the people who make sport and physical activity happen here on Merseyside.

Roy Jones (left) was presented with his Lifetime Achiever award by Rio 2016 Para-cycling Gold medallist Lora Fachie

Roy Jones (left) was presented with his Lifetime Achiever award by Rio 2016 Para-cycling Gold medallist Lora Fachie

Steve Leather, chairman and first team manager of FC St Helens, was awarded Volunteer of the Year for his devotion to being the “heart and soul” of FC St Helens.

St Helens Sports Development’s ‘Couch to 5k’ initiative, which has seen over 1,000 inactive local people get involved in physical activity, won ‘Community Project of the Year.

St Helens Canoe Club was crowned Club of the Year for its focus on attracting young people into paddle sport.

While former chairman of the St Helens District Sports Council, Roy Jones, picked up the Lifetime Achiever award in recognition of dedicating 46 years, and thousands of voluntary hours, to sport.

Paul Smee (right) from St Helens Canoe Club collects the Club of the Year' award

Paul Smee (right) from St Helens Canoe Club collects the Club of the Year' award

Rio 2016 Para-cycling Gold medallist Lora Fachie (née Turnham), who presented Roy with his award, said: “It was fantastic to see so much sporting success in Merseyside this year, from grassroots to international level, and to see everyone to get the recognition they deserve.

“I was honoured to present Roy Jones with his Lifetime Achiever Award, as he truly deserved it and overall I really enjoyed helping everyone from St Helens celebrate their success.”

Coun Jeanie Bell, cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, who was present at the awards, said: “It was an honour for me to be in the same room as so many people who contribute so much of their time for the benefit of the community.

“There are so many fantastic sports clubs and projects here in St Helens which are run by some truly amazing and inspiring people who deserve all the plaudits they get.”

Steve Leather (right) receives his 'Volunteer of the Year' award

Steve Leather (right) receives his 'Volunteer of the Year' award

Coun Seve Gomez-Aspron, portfolio holder for leisure services, added: “These awards are a great testimony to all the hard work that sports clubs and individuals in the borough do for the benefit of the community, and it is only right that they are recognised in this way.”