The Culture Secretary MP, Maria Miller, joined Hampshire County Council’s Chairman Cllr Andrew Joy and Leader Cllr Ken Thornber to honour Hampshire’s talented young sports stars at a special ceremony at the Guildhall, Winchester on Thursday, 6 December aided by eight of Hampshire’s Olympians and Paralympians.
The event was organised by Hampshire County Council and the Hampshire School Sports Federation.
Young people from schools and colleges across the county had their sporting achievements recognised at Hampshire Schools’ Sports Federation’s annual Michael Austin Harlick awards. The winners represent a variety of sports, from athletics and badminton to taekwondo and trampoline and they all hope to follow in the footsteps of the special guests from the London 2012 Games who will be joining them at the celebratory event.
The Michael Austin Harlick award event, in its 23rd year, recognises consistent and outstanding achievement in school sports activities throughout the academic year. Nominations are received from county schools’ sports associations affiliated to the Hampshire Schools’ Sports Federation. The awards will be presented by the Hampshire 2012 Olympians and Paralympians. The Michael May Trophy will also be awarded for the most outstanding single performance of the year and the President’s Trophy will go to the outstanding team performance of the season.
Hampshire had 32 Olympians and 12 Paralympians representing Team GB in this summer’s Games. The Hampshire Olympians achieved 10% of the medal haul. Eight of the summer’s sporting stars will attend Thursday’s celebrations. They are Adam and David Knott, Goalball; Vicki Lucass, synchronised swimming; James Foad, Olympic bronze rowing medallist; Rob Tobin, Athletics; Aaron Phipps and Ross Morrison, Wheelchair Rugby and Lucy Shuker, Paralympic bronze medallist, Wheelchair tennis. Councillor Joy, Hampshire County Council’s Chairman, will chair a question and answer session with the Olympians.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller said: “I am very pleased to be at the ceremony at Winchester’s Guildhall to recognise the achievements of Hampshire’s talented young sports stars. The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games produced a huge number of outstanding and inspirational performances, and we are determined to build on those to leave a lasting sports legacy.”
Commenting on the event Councillor Ken Thornber,Hampshire County Council’s Leader, said: “It is exciting to see the wealth of young sports talent here in Hampshire being nurtured in our schools and colleges and being honoured at this awards evening. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the young people and their coaches and supporters that so many of them will be aiming to try to compete for their country at the highest level.
“The presence of the Hampshire Olympians and Paralympians at the event is an inspiration to us all – we are extremely proud of them and the contribution they made to making the London Olympics such a huge success. Their presence at the awards will I’m sure encourage the talented young athletes to continue to strive to compete at the highest possible level that they possibly can in their respective sports.
“It is wonderful to see so many young people involved in such a range of sports and I congratulate all of the winners on their achievements. The County Council will continue to encourage the development of sporting opportunities for all young people in its schools.”