Grantham area females take top honours at Lincs Sports Awards
Two Grantham area sporting females featured strongly at this year’s Lincolnshire Sports Awards.
Athletes, coaches, volunteers, schools and workplaces from all over the county gathered at the Epic Centre, Lincolnshire Showground, for a night of celebration and inspiration at the Lincolnshire Sports Awards on Friday.
This was the 12th year that Lincolnshire Sport has hosted the awards, and it was the biggest event yet with more than 380 guests.
Awarded two accolades was Olympic gold medal winning Great Britain ladies hockey player Shona McCallin, of Dry Doddington.
Former KGGS student Shona received the coveted Sports Personality of the Year award, sponsored by Riseholme College, which she shared with fellow GB hockey team-mate Georgie Twigg, of Lincoln, whose award was collected by her father.
Twenty-four-year-old Shona was also the recipient of the Sportswoman of the Year award, sponsored by Belvoir Lettings (Lincoln).
Shona praised the evening and its organisation and enjoyed the fact her family, including her 83-year-old grandmother, were there to share her success.
Shona said: “It looked great and it was a great evening to be sharing a room with the best sports people in Lincolnshire. It was pretty inspiring.”
Since her Olympic glory, Shona has had a pretty hectic time of it, making appearances with her GB team all over the country, at schools and various events, and she will be back at KGGS on Monday – the first time since she left school.
She said: “I’ve been busy, but busy in a good way. Everyone is really enthusiastic about hockey. It’s nice to give back to people that have given to me.”
Shona is currently unable to train due to a torn tendon in her thumb and is anxious to get fit and ready for selection for another busy year in 2017, when her GB and England teams will be keen to prove that being current Olympic and European champions was no fluke as they face the World Cup and the Euros.
Also in the spotlight on the night was England ladies’ under-17 water polo goalkeeper Naya Patel who picked up the Young Sportswoman of the Year award, sponsored by Ambitions Personnel.
Naya’s accolade comes after she won the Most Valuable Player award at the Four Nations North Sea Cup in Aberdeen a couple of months ago, in which she represented an England Select under-17 team who took on the might of the seniors from Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
Her next really big target is to compete for Great Britain in the Under-19 European Junior Championships in 2018, having been part of the embryo of the future team since its formation last year when players were first assembled for a series of training weekends, culminating in the EU Nations Cup in Denmark this year.
Naya is currently concentrating on this year’s Women’s National League in which she plays goalkeeper for Hucknall, up against top teams from around the country.
A total of 16 awards were presented throughout the night, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, which was won by Ian Turner from Pentaqua Swimming Club, and the Coach of the Year award, won by Olympic swimming coach Mel Marshall.