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Wandsworth comes out to celebrate its sporting heroes and those who make it all possible
On a night of celebration in the company of Olympic heroes and world champions, Aaron McKibbin was crowned the Active Wandsworth Sports Person of the Year 2012.
The 21-year-old table tennis star topped a nomination list full of sporting excellence, but his team bronze medal at the London 2012 Paralympic games, as well as team gold at the China Open and Lignano Open, saw McKibbin pip his rivals.
They included runner-up Quillan Isidore, who in May became the UCI U16 BMX World Champion, and third-placed Isabelle Hindley, who has caused a splash in the pool reaching two individual European Junior backstroke finals, as well as claiming bronze in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
The Wandsworth born and bred, and London 2012 judo star, Winston Gordon was back again to dish out the awards on a night where both young and old were recognised for their achievements.
He was presented with a special award for his commitment to the community and the awards themselves by the compere on the night, the six-times canoe marathon world champion Anna Hemmings MBE.
Anna Hemmings MBE presents Winston Gordon with a special award SP73757
Gordon said: “Nights like this are great for Wandsworth. It highlights all the success that has been brought to the area and to see everyone share in the success, the moment of glory, the celebration is a great event.
“Seeing the great and good talent coming through is why I keep coming back. I won the first sports person of the year award back in 1997, and to see people coming through in the borough where I was born and bred is great.”
He added: “I don’t think some of tonight’s winners were even born when I won but it is great to see friends and the community coming together.
“I am glad that the youth of today are pushing even harder, sport is still is pushing on in Wandsworth and I think it will be pushing on for many more years.”
Herne Hill Harriers had a night to remember as the U13 girls cross country team of Saskia Millard, Kate Brown, Katy-Ann McDonald, Elmear Griffin, Eloise O’Shaugnessy and Tatiana Cooke won the team of the year award, and Saskia went to win the junior sports person of the year – followed by Katy-Ann in the runners-up spot.
Saskia Millard, the winner of the junior sports person of the year, with her proud mum Clare SP73757
The Mayor’s award, which recognises a group or organisation that has increased physical activity and sporting opportunities for disabled people went to Odette Battarel for her work with the blind and partially sighted on the tennis court.
Odette Battarel won the Mayor's Award SP73757
Ryan Gordon topped a list full of worthy winners for the Sonny Storrie young volunteer of the year award for his tireless work competing, coaching and refereeing at judo events.
The winners of the voluntary services to sport and physical activity award SP73757
Sonny Storrie said: “What these kids do is fantastic. I’ve been coming to these awards for years and each time there are new kids doing their bit, it just goes to show that there are good kids out there and it is right that they are recognised.”
Sonny Storrie with Ryan Gordon of Ernest Bevin Judo Club - a winner of the voluntary services to sport and physical activity SP73757