SOME of Chorley’s top sporting talent were honoured at a prestigious awards ceremony last week.
More than 100 athletes, coaches and teams gathered with their families at St Joseph’s Social Club on Harper Lane to find out who picked up the top prizes in the annual Chorley Council and Chorley District Sports Forum organised event.
Pole-vaulter Holly Bleasdale was named Individual Elite Performer of the Year while Chorley FC was awarded Performance Club of the Year for their heroics in winning promotion from the Unibond First Division North play-offs.
Magpies manager Garry Flitcroft, picked up the Coach of the Year trophy.
Among the other winners included: Young Volunteer of the Year Eden Harris, Grassroots Community Club of the Year Euxton Villa FC and special recognition award to Steve Fisher.
Megan Davis was named 2011’s Rising Star for her achievements in swimming; and Frank Henry was given the Lifetime Achievement award for his contribution to local cricket and Chorley CC.
Coun John Walker, who is responsible for sports and leisure at Chorley Council, said: “We have some fantastic athletes, clubs and coaches in the Chorley borough and they thoroughly deserve to be recognised for their hard work and contribution.
“We had quite a lot of nominations for the awards this year and it was really difficult to choose a winner in each category as everyone who was nominated is talented in their own way.
“This is the seventh time the council has organised a dedicated sports awards and it’s important we continue to foster and support talent in the borough. I’d like to congratulate all the nominees and we hope our winners will go on to represent the borough across the region.”
Lifetime Achievement award winner, Frank Henry, 74, has been a member of Chorley CC since 1952, said: “I was shocked and surprised when I found out I had been nominated for this award. There are a lot of talented people involved in sport across Chorley and I am honoured and proud to have won.
“I couldn’t be there on the night but my family attended on my behalf and this award also goes to them for the support they have given me over the years.
“Cricket is very popular in Chorley and it’s great to see so many young people getting involved. I’d also like to thank Chorley Council for the support they provide and their dedication to developing sport in the borough.”
Swimmer Megan Davis, 16, who is from the Great Knowley area of Chorley and won with the 2011 Rising Star award, said: “I was thrilled to win the rising star award and I am really pleased that my sister Lucy was also highly commended in the elite category. The support we have received from Chorley Council and the Chorley Sports Forum has been brilliant and we really appreciate it.”
Other highly commended individuals in the Elite Performer of the Year category included Wigan Rugby League’s Josh Charnley, local swimmer Lucy Davis, Curtis Means for sailing and cricket-player, Tom Smith.