Sports stars get rewards

Sporting stars in Stevenage have been rewarded for some outstanding achievements. Three top awards from Sport Stevenage went to a girls football team, a dedicated athletics coach and a top young amateur boxer at the arts and leisure centre on Thursday ni

Sporting stars in Stevenage have been rewarded for some outstanding achievements.

Three top awards from Sport Stevenage went to a girls' football team, a dedicated athletics coach and a top young amateur boxer at the arts and leisure centre on Thursday night.

The Club/Team Achievement Award went to the Bedwell Rangers under-16 girls' footballers.

They had already secured Southern England and national honours but failed to repeat the trick falling at the final hurdle 2-1 to Scotland's Hibernian in the Tesco Cup final at the City of Manchester Stadium in May.

Bedwell got off to a flying start in the round robin at Eastlands seeing off Cardiff City 3-0 thanks to Nicole Hogan's double and Kate Natkiel.

But Hibernian took the title in the second and decisive match thanks to two late goals, despite Bedwell taking the lead through Hogan.

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Midfielder Megan Wynne was the player of the tournament - for the second time after also picking up the award in the Southern finals - and Josie Green named as best defender.

The Service to Sport Award went to Norma Harris from the Stevenage and North Herts Athletics Club.

After starting coaching netball two decades ago, she moved to coaching Stevenage and North Herts AC when eldest daughter Jean joined.

Over the subsequent 18 years, Norma gained her coaching qualifications and has been the lead coach of the high jump squad for the past dozen years, coaching athletes to the top 10 in national age group championships (indoors and outdoors) and English Schools' Championships in both individual and combined events for the past 10 years.

On top of coaching high jump running and conditioning three times a week, Norma has been the Stevenage and North Herts AC combined events co-ordinator, club induction manager, junior team manager, women's team manager, county women's team manager, club secretary and secretary of the Herts Athletics Development Group!

All her voluntary athletics and netball work is on top of a full-time job and a family of three children!

The awards were presented by mayor designate Sue Myson.

The Mayor's Award for Sporting Excellence was due to be awarded to Bradley Evans from Stevenage Amateur Boxing Club last night (Wednesday).

This was for winning this year's senior ABA featherweight championship (57kgs) and the best boxer of the finals. He was unable to make the awards evening as he was with the GB squad training in Sheffield.

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