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Caroline wins sports personality award again

Tuesday, 20th September 2011.

Haverhill paralympian wheelchair basketball player Caroline Maclean has won the Sports Personality of the Year award for the second time at the 2011 St Edmundsbury Sports Awards held on Sunday night.

Caroline, 35, from Haverhill, has her sights firmly set on an amazing fourth Paralympic Games in London in 2012 and is one of the most experienced female basketball players in Great Britain.

She has represented Team GB in the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Paralympic Games. The GB team chalked up a second straight victory over Germany at the BT Paralympic World Cup and a first ever gold medal in Manchester this year.

Caroline could not attend the awards night as she was taking part in the European Championships where the team collected a bronze medal. Paralympian Brian Alldis accepted the award on her behalf.

The St Edmundsbury Sports Awards, run each year by Abbeycroft Leisure, recognise outstanding sporting achievements made by sports men, women and juniors throughout the year and to celebrate the huge amount of work that takes place within sport in the borough of St Edmundsbury.

Last night’s glittering awards ceremony was held at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds in front of 250 guests including the Mayor of St Edmundsbury Cllr Christopher Spicer.

Haverhill Running Club won the Club Of The Year which was accepted by its chairman Trevor Bunch. Formed 12 years ago as a social group, the club now has 80 members of all abilities.

Over the past two years the club has worked hard to improve the standard of coaching it offers. The club is driving a project to set up permanently marked running routes around Haverhill, aimed at encouraging community participation in running for fitness and for sport.

An exciting year at the club has seen 13 members qualify as leaders in running fitness, with funding secured for a coach development plan that will qualify three leaders to coach level.

The enhanced coaching capacity at the club has enabled it to start running groups aimed specifically at beginners, an initiative which helped nearly 40 people to start running in a safe and supportive environment last year.

The club competes in races almost every week, representing both the club and the town around the region.

Trevor said: “I am very proud of the club and what we have achieved in the last 12 years and especially what we have achieved in the last two years in taking the club to the next level.”

West Suffolk Tigers, which meets at Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centres, is a hub of activity with a total of 26 different families participating across St Edmundsbury and ranging from young children with hearing difficulties to older members with Downs Syndrome.

Each session is a different sport or activity delivered by sports clubs including West Suffolk Swimming Club, Bury Bombers, and Rougham Table Tennis Club.

Two of the West Suffolk Tigers, Catherine Plant, 16, from Bury St Edmunds, and Ted Sullivan, 11, from Haverhill, competed in the recent Suffolk Youth Games.

Michelle Banfield-Curran, Abbeycroft Leisure’s sports development officer, who organised the awards, said: “The standard of nominations this year has been extremely high and in such a variety of sports from running to rugby and wheelchair basketball to snooker.

"We are thrilled that people have taken the time to nominate these very special sports men and women who age from six to 60-plus. It really is a great testament to the sports talent that is in St Edmundsbury and the wonderful people who volunteer their time to make these clubs and teams happen.”

The awards could not take place with the support of sponsors: Haldo Signs & Graphics, Wilby & Burnett, Towergate Risk Solutions, Bury Free Press and Haverhill Echo, Big Wave Media, C2C Wines, St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Unison, West Suffolk College, Tesco Bury St Edmunds, Baker Tilly, Frames and Conservatories Direct and Simply PR.

The full list of Haverhill nominees was:
Sports Personality of the Year, Vicky Forkes – WASH Sailability part of St Edmundsbury Sailing and Canoeing Association; Caroline Maclean; John Oakes – Haverhill Running Club.

Young Sports Personality of the Year, Ben Warren – Haverhill Rugby Club Under 7s.

Club of the Year, Haverhill Rovers Football Club; Haverhill Running Club.

Coach of the Year, Shirley Fowler and Kim Gregory – Haverhill Running Club.

Junior Team of the Year, Samuel Ward Academy Girls Football Team

Contribution to Disability Sport Award, Vicky Forkes – WASH Sailability part of St Edmundsbury Sailing and Canoeing Association; Tim Squires – TJS Snookerbility Haverhill; West Suffolk Tigers.

Haverhill Online News

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