• Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

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Awards12: Darlington’s 2016 Sports Winners

Awards 29: Dedicating their life to supporting grassroots sport, winners of the Mulheim Friendship Cup Albert Oldridge, 91, and Dave Lee, 80 both of Darlington

Awards26: Overall winner of the Ron Lewis Award at the Darlington Sports Winners Scheme annual celebration Chloe Ryan, 15, with Darlington Mayor and Mayoress Brian and Doris Jones

Awards25: Special achievement award winner young sailor Adam Billany, 17, of Carmel College, Darlington

CRICKETING enthusiasts, whose age totalled 171, were bowled over to be the recipients of a lifetime dedication award at a glittering celebration recognising grassroots sport.

Loyal supporters of Haughton Cricket Club’s second team Albert Oldridge, 91, and Dave Lee, 80, were presented with The Mulheim Cup at the annual Darlington Sports Winners Scheme Awards.

Both Albert and Dave, who watch all of the team’s games, home and away, have also prepared, served and tidied up after the cricket teas for all home fixtures since the 1980s.

Accepting his award Albert, of Darlington, said: “We both love watching cricket, especially the youngsters in the reserve team.

“I think they will all be as shocked as we are when they find out that we’ve won this award for being the oldest tea-boys in town.

“It’s quite overwhelming to be nominated let alone win and it’s the first award that I’ve been given since the war.”

A keen cricketer in his youth, Dave, of Darlington, added: “I’m not one to get emotional but this has really touched me tonight.”

A packed audience of civic dignitaries, friends and family were invited to attend the 41stt Darlington Sports Winners Scheme award ceremony which was staged at Darlington College.

Sponsored by Vauxhall dealers Sherwoods, Darlington Borough Council’s Move More Scheme, Tees Valley Sport, Cleveland Bridge, Rotary Club of Darlington and Capita, the spectacular event outlined the courage, determination and success shown by sports enthusiasts young and old.

Opening the event organising committee member Brian Dobinson acknowledged the many people who have helped to make the awards scheme a success over the past 41 years.

Headline sponsor and managing director of Sherwoods Alasdair MacConachie added:

“Every year these awards just keep getting better and better. It is fantastic that our budding sportsmen and women in Darlington, both young and old, are rewarded for their commitment and dedication.”

The Ron Lewis trophy, presented to the overall winner of the evening, was awarded to footballer Chloe Ryan, who also received the Secondary Schools and Further Education Sports Achiever award.

Chloe, 15, started in grassroots football from the age of eight and the striker has played for Cockerton Primary School, Darlington Spraire Lasses, Newton Aycliffe Youth, Darlington District Secondary Schools and Durham County Girls Under 14s, and was chosen for the England Schools Under 15s squad.

She earned her first international cap helping England Schoolgirls win the Home International Tournament in South Wales.

Chloe now trains with the Teesside Sport Regional Training Club, formerly Middlesbrough Centre of Excellence and has been invited to attend the FA Regional Excellence Training Camps in York.

“I’m really shocked to have won the overall winner of winners award but also really proud,” said Chloe, of Darlington.

The special achievement award was presented to Carmel College student Adam Billany, 17, who despite living with cerebral palsy and having to endure recent painful operations to lengthen and strengthen his legs, is an award winning yachtsman with Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club.

Adam, who received the Royal Yachting Association North East Young Club Sailor of the Year Award 2016, said: “I get a lot of support and encouragement from all my family and from everyone at Carmel College.”

Other awards included:

Under 11s Club Award – Spraire Lads and Lasses under 11

Under 17s Club Award – Headlanders Under 14 Netball

Services to Sport Over 17 Award – Tony Cox

Services to Sport Under 17 Award – Will Spencer

Secondary School and Further Education Team Award – Longfield School Under 13s Table Tennis

Primary School Team Award – Darlington and District Primary Football Team

Primary Sports Achiever – Charlie Woods

Lee Vasey Lifetime Achievement Award – Paul Bielby