THE exploits of our local London 2012 heroes will be celebrated at Wyre Forest District Council’s Sports Awards.

The likes of six-time Paralympic medal swimmer Claire Cashmore and Bewdley sailor Alison Young will be present as the district salutes those who excelled during a wonderful 12 months of sporting achievement.

It’s fitting in such a brilliant year of success for the area that Kidderminster swimmer Cashmore will lead the way in the individual categories when she receives the senior sportswoman and disabled sports personality of the year accolades.

She leads a fantastic list of deserving winners from the area, including golfer Henry James, Kidderminster Tennis Club coach Tony Wright and Stourport Hockey Club chairman Holly Lashford.

Samurai Judo Club have been named club of the year for a seventh time, while young members Brendan Crummy and Frankie Martson will also be presented with the junior awards.

Kidderminster Carolians stalwart Graham Maiden and the under-15s boys football team from Baxter College will receive the unsung hero and school sports prizes respectively.

The evening will open with a procession by local Olympic torch bearers. Jo Carthew, Jody Hare, Christopher Stokes, Lucy Fellows, Alex Fellows and Robin Jervis will be introduced by to the audience by Cllr Ian Hardiman.

The awards will then be given out by council leader Cllr John-Paul Campion.

The Olympic and Paralympic stars present will take part in a question and answer session with the audience hosted by The Shuttle Editor Clive Joyce.

The celebration of local sport will be held next Wednesday at Wyre Forest Glades Leisure Centre.

A host of the district’s winners have also been nominated for the Hereford and Worcester County Awards.

Mr Maiden, Mr James, Baxter College’s football team and Ms Cashmore will find if they have won during an awards ceremony held at Sixways on Wednesday, November 14.

Wyre Forest District Council Sports award winners 2012

Kidderminster Shuttle: Samurai celebrate 30 years in style

Club of the year: Samurai Judo Club

A MOMENTOUS year for Samurai Judo Club has seen it emerge as the leading centre in the Midlands and earn the club of the year accolade for a seventh time in 12 years.

The club is used to producing success on the mat but a move to a new purpose built home in Zortech Avenue over the summer has also laid down the foundations for an even brighter future.

The £350,000 facility is now also the region’s leading base for the Japanese martial art and boasts innovations such as a specially-built sprung floor, Olympic-sized mat, video analysis room, social area and viewing gallery.

Meanwhile, the club also saw five of it members officiate at the London 2012 Olympics.

Sarah Biles, Archi Simpson, Sarah Newbury and sons Ben and Stefan all volunteered their services and also witnessed silver medalist Gemma Gibbons reach the final of the under-78s kilogram category.

Samurai leads the way in referees training with Mr Shrimpton named the British Young Judo Official of the year.

Former members Kelly Edwards and Danny Williams, both originally from Telford, also competed in London.

Head coach Andrew Haffner said: “This has been a big year for the club.

“Our new home gives us security for the future and allows us to build on what we have already achieved.

“It’s an honour to win this award seven times and that’s down to the hard work of everyone at the club.”

Kidderminster Shuttle: Beijing dreams: Claire Cashmore is aiming to make a splash at the Paralympic Games.

Senior sportswoman/disabled sports personality: Claire Cashmore

PARALYMPIC swimming star Claire Cashmore will be the biggest winner at next week’s awards as her success at London 2012 saw her scoop two awards.

The 24-year-old will accept the senior sportswoman and disabled sports personality of the year accolades at next Thursday’s award ceremony after her best ever Games.

The Wyre Forest Swimming Club start, who is now based in Leeds, had her biggest haul of medals in her third Paralympics at the Aquatics Centre in London.

She won her first ever silver medal with a season’s best time of one minute and 20.39 seconds in the SB8 100m breaststroke final, behind Russia’s defending champion Olesya Vladykina, who broke the world record with 1:17.17.

Ms Cashmore won bronze as a Great British quartet won bronze in the freestyle relay. She clinched a second silver when GB were edged into second place by Australia in the medley relay.

The swimmer also just missed out on a medal when she came fourth in the individual medley 200m.

She now has six Paralympic medals to her name following on from her success at the Athens and Beijing tournaments, with four bronze and two silver.


Kidderminster Shuttle: County champion: Henry James

Senior sportsman: Henry James

GOLF sensation Henry James has been nameed senior sportsman after a brilliant year.

The 18-year-old member of Kidderminster Golf Club is on of the country’s leading young amateur players.

He has been successful in a host of tournaments but his greatest result was at the British Boys Amateur Championship, where he finished runner-up after beating all-comers to make the final.

The tournament, which is organised by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, is played by some of the best young golfers in the world.

He also won the Boys Welsh Open at Holyhead GC as well as winning Kidderminster’s Championship.

Mr James also topped the Welsh Order of Merit and represented Wales in the HRH Duke of York Champions of Champions tournament at Royal Troon.

The young golfer, who has been a member of Kidderminster GC for seven years, regularly attends coaching sessions at Worcestershire and Celtic Manor.

He has also been selected for the Golf Union of Wales national squad.

Coach of the year: Tony Wright (Kidderminster Tennis Club)

TONY Wright has been named coach of the year after his efforts to bolster the number of junior players at Kidderminster Tennis Club.

Wright joined the club in April last year and since then the number of youngsters from the area has increased from a handful to nearly 40.

Wright is a highly qualified LTA coach, and is also a Spanish RPT and American PTR licensed coach, who is capable of teaching tennis anywhere in the world.

However, his sole goal is to help the town’s youngsters improve their skills.

“Kidderminster are a club open to children of all backgrounds,” commented Mr Wright.

“Children from the areas around it are welcome to come along and take part.

“Unlike other clubs, there are rackets provided and we want them to have a lifelong love of sport.”

The club will install new floodlights and changing rooms after receiving a £45,940 grant from the Olympic legacy fund.

This will increase the available court time and allow usage throughout the year at Kidderminster’s Baxter Gardens home on Birmingham Road.

Volunteer of the year: Holly Lashford

Stourport Hockey Club chairman Holly Lashford’s passion and tireless efforts have earned her the volunteer of the year award.

Despite holding down a full-time job, running a cattery and looking after two children alongside husband Phil, the 34-year-old has made it her mission to improve the club for the better.

Her biggest achievement over the last 12 months was to spearhead the refurbishment of the frequently used artificial pitch at Stourport Sports Club, where she also sits on the board of directors.

She led the way in the search for funding, completing extensive grant and funding applications as well organising events to help pay for the ambitious £160,000 project.

“You devote your time because you love the club but it’s always nice to get some external recognition,” said a delighted Holly.

Mrs Lashford, who has been chairman at the hockey club for over four years, also headed up the Ladies committee which has played its part in the first team’s success.

She also sits on a host of committees on both the sports and hockey clubs as well as still finding time to play.

Unsung hero: Graham Maiden

KIDDERMINSTER Carolians stalwart Graham Maiden saw his dedication to the club recognised after been named Unsung Hero of the year.

The 81-year-old has been involved with Kidderminster RFC and KCs for 59 years and held a host of roles, including first team captain and President.

He was named a life vice president several years ago and saw his dedication recognised with an award from the North Midlands RFU.

The former Brintons Carpets employee still devotes his time to the Marlpool Lane-based outfit.

He is part of a team of volunteers who share responsibility to meet and greet opposition teams and also make sure the changing rooms are safe and secure.

“I just wanted to put something back into the sport that has given me so much enjoyment over the years,” commented modest Mr Maiden.

School team of the year: Baxter College under-15s football team

Junior sportsman: Brendan Crummy (Samurai Judo Club)

Junior sportswman: Frankie Marston (Samurai Judo Club)

BAXTER College’s under-15s football team’s exploits winning the County Cup have seen then named the district’s junior team of the year.

The team, which has been playing together for four years, have become role models because of their dedication to training and sportsmanship.

They also demonstrated a never-say-die attitude, losing twice in previous finals before they saw off Nunnery Wood High School 3-0 thanks to goals for Luke Maxwell, Jack Beadsworth and Danny Leigh.

Students from Samurai Judo Club saw two of their younger members win the junior sportsman and woman awards.

Kidderminster Shuttle: Throwing stars: Frankie Marston holds kata partner Brendan Crummy.

Frankie Marston (pictured above with Brendan Crummy), will receive the sportswoman award after winning three international medals in 2012.

The 15-year-old took gold at the Brugge Open, bronze in Eernegum Open in Belgium and silver at the Brecht Open.

She also sealed gold at the British Kata Championships and bronze in the British Junior National Championships.

Her clubmate Brendan Crummy, 16, is junior sportsman of the year after taking gold at the British Kata Championships, Silver at the Brussels Open and bronze at the British Schools.

The black belt is also a highly ranked junior referee and also qualified to officiate adults at the youngest age possible. He was also nominated for both the British Young Official and Referee of the Year awards.