Outstanding achievements in sport and culture were recognised at an awards ceremony in Knowsley tonight (Friday, 13 October).
The winners of the 2017 Knowsley Sports and Culture Awards enjoyed an evening compared by Radio City’s Steve Hothersall. Giving out the awards was this year’s special guest Frank Cottrell Boyce, children’s novelist and film-maker.
The awards took place at Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park and rewarded individuals, teams and schools who have made great achievements in sports or culture, or who have helped and inspired others to do so.
Lifetime achievement award
This year’s big award, for Lifetime Achievement, went to Vernon Davis, who has spent the last three decades as a swimming coach in Halewood, teaching thousands of young people to swim. Even at the age of 89, Vernon still loves to coach and spends up to three hours a night, three times a week, working with Bridgefield Swimming Club and is greatly respected and admired by all in the sport.
Young Artist of the Year went to 18-year-old singer Sonny Fielding, a former St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic Centre for Learning pupil.
As a young tenor, Sonny has performed at the Royal Albert Hall for the opening night of the proms, singing as part of the BC Proms Youth Choir, and has won a scholarship to study singing at the prestigious Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He has also been an active performer in the Knowsley Music Services ensembles for many years.
Also awarded on the night was Adult Artist of the Year, Gill Cowley, who, as well as volunteering with Kirkby Gallery is herself an exceptionally talented emerging artist, having won prizes for her photography and painting.
Prescot Festival of Music and Arts was named Cultural Organisation of the Year, while Knowsley South FC were Club of the Year.
The evening concluded with the awarding of the Special Award for outstanding Contribution to Health and Wellbeing, which went to Chris Wills from Knowsley Harriers running club. Chris’s dedication to giving others the opportunity to enjoy running has seen him work tirelessly to bring Park Run to the borough, and introduce Knowsley’s first ‘Couch to 5k’ programme for total beginners.
Many of Knowsley’s schools were recognised on the night too, including St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic Centre for Learning, which picked up the ‘Schools Cultural Educational Achievement of the Year’ award.
An evening of top entertainment
Guests at the awards enjoyed a packed programme of entertainment, including performances from St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School choir, Anneliese Hamilton theatre school, Mason Brown Connection Big Band and musician John O’Connell.
There was also an inspirational talk by Team GB Paralympian Jack Hunter Spivey.
Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Wellbeing and Customer Services, said:
“It’s been a fantastic night with some really talented, generous and inspirational local people recognised.
“We are so lucky to have so much rich culture and sporting success in the borough, and it’s wonderful to come together and recognise those achievements at these annual awards.
“Congratulations to all our winners – we hope that their awards will serve as a reminder that hard work and dedication can lead to great success in your chosen field.”
Knowsley Sports and Culture Awards 2017: Winners in Full
Young Artist of the Year
Winner – Sonny Fielding
Second place – Aerielle Liana Cruz
Third place – Chloe Collins
Adult Artist of the Year
Winner – Gill Cowley
Second place – Cherie Louise Grist
Third place – Gary McGillivray
Schools Cultural Educational Achievement of the Year
Winner – St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic Centre of Learning
Joint second place – Evelyn Primary School and Sophia Gosney (St Joseph the Worker)
Cultural Organisation of the Year
Winner – Prescot Festival of Music and the Arts
Second place – MATE Productions
Third place – Secret Ingredients Team Divalicious
Junior Active Achiever of the Year
Winner – Owen Galvin
Second place – Olivia Lee
Third place – Michael Ward
Adult Active Achiever of the Year
Winner – Cliff Waine
Second place – Paul Taylor
Third place – Brendan Farrell
Cultural Volunteer of the Year
Winner – Rob Howard
Second place – Pam Broadfoot
Joint third place – Janet Edmunds and David Andrew Kernick
Community Cultural Activity of the Year
Winner – Knitwits
Second place – Winds of Change – Golden Years Photography
Third place – Cronton Gala Association
Special recognition to Health and Wellbeing in Knowsley
Winner – Your Voice Your Choice
Second place – MADE Group
Third place – Men’s Walking Football
Coach of the Year
Winner – Jack Foster
Second place – Claire and Paul Cope
Joint third place – James Halewood and John Caton
Young Sports Performer / Volunteer of the Year Award (Under 18s)
Winner – Zara Shaw
Second place – Katie Piercy
Third place – Steven Owens
Club of the Year
Winner – Knowsley South FC
Second place – Knowsley Harriers AC
Third place – Quarry Green FC
Winner – Vernon Davis
Second place – Arwel Williams
Third place – Josie Bennett
Special Award: Outstanding Contribution to Health and Wellbeing
Winner – Chris Wills
School Games Mark Awards
Yew Tree Primary School
Whiston Willis Primary School
Alt Bridge School
Holy Family Catholic Primary School, Cronton
Knowsley Central School
Malvern Primary School
Northwood Primary School
St Aloysius Catholic Primary School
St John Fisher Primary School
St Margaret Mary’s Junior School
St Mark’s Catholic Primary School
Platinum Award (awarded to schools who have received more than 4 Golds):
St Laurence’s Catholic Primary School