The Isle of Man’s elite athletes were yesterday honoured at the annual Isle of Man Sports Awards.
Graham Cregeen MHK, Minister for Education and Children, said:
‘For a small Island, we abound with sporting talent and our athletes’ success at the highest level does much to boost our reputation internationally.
‘Tonight’s awards show the breadth of talent we have in the Island and demonstrates how our investment in top quality facilities and programmes is paying off.
‘The athletes recognised tonight dedicate massive amounts of time and effort to achieve their potential and it’s wonderful to have been surrounded by so many current and future stars.
‘In recognising our achievement on the world stage, we must pay tribute to those stalwarts who contribute to sport at grass roots level and give up time to nurture the talent of the future,’ the Minister went on.
‘The Programme for Government aims to get more people more active more often and via this and our 10-year Strategy for Sport, we are nurturing those who will be winning medals, breaking records and standing on this stage being recognised in the years to come.’
The Sportsman of the Year award was won by ‘The Manx Missile’, Mark Cavendish, silver medallist in the Olympic cycling omnium and winner of four stages of the Tour De France.
Swimmer Charlotte Atkinson, took the title of Sportswomen of the Year after becoming a British champion in the 100m and 200m butterfly.
Moto GP rider Cal Crutchlow, won the Isle of Man Ambassador Award, while cyclist Matthew Bostock was named Under-21 Sportsman of the Year and motorcycle trials rider Ella Doherty took the Under-21 Sportswoman award.
Coach of the Year was won by Raj Nandha, of the Isle of Man women’s hockey team, who has refined his coaching skills and learning as part of Isle of Man Sport’s Coach Development Programme.
Swimming’s Ben Grainger picked up his third successive Disability Sportsperson of the Year award.
The Isle of Man sidecar trials team saw off competition to scoop the title Team of the Year.
Tony Mepham was awarded Administrator of the Year for his tremendous work and effort within football.
The Veteran Sportsperson was awarded for a second time to 2016 Parish Walk winner Richard Gerrard, who continues to excel in race walking on and off Island.
There was a standing ovation for Dursley Stott as he was awarded the 2016 Lifetime Achievement recipient in recognition of his many years of work within the Commonwealth Games and shooting.
Dursley was a member of the first Isle of Man team to compete at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games, held in Cardiff in 1958.
Professional snooker player Darryl Hill was inducted into the Hall of Fame for his European Under-21 Championship win in 2015, earning himself a place on the professional circuit.
The Sports Awards committee is led by Gary Corkhill, the executive chairman of Isle of Man Sport, and comprises IoM Sport members Sarah Corlett and Richard Radcliffe and Business Administrator Paul Callow; Paul Bridson, Head of Sport, Leisure and Recreation with the Department of Education and Children; Chris Quine, Sports Performance Co-ordinator with the DEC, and sports journalists John Watterson (Isle of Man Newspapers) and Tim Glover (Manx Radio).
‘It was another fantastic night at the Villa Marina and we have once again demonstrated that our Island punches above its weight in the world’s sporting arena.
‘The ongoing success of local athletes at international level in 2016 made our deliberations difficult and we must congratulate not only our award winners but all those who were shortlisted.’
Ian Perry, Director of Premium and Business Banking with sponsor Isle of Man Bank, commented:
‘It is incredible to see the pace at which sports development on the Island continues to move and it’s a privilege to celebrate this with some of our elite athletes.
‘I’d particularly like to congratulate Mark and Charlotte, winners of the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year titles respectively, and wish all of those shortlisted every success for their future sporting careers.’
Guest of honour at the event was Kate Richardson-Walsh OBE, who captained Great Britain’s Olympic gold medal-winning women’s hockey team in Rio and was team GB flag-bearer at the games’ closing ceremony.
The evening also saw the presentation of Isle of Man Sport Aid scholarships to up and coming athletes who will receive financial and other support over the coming year.
Also recognised on stage was Daniel Richardson, from St Ninian’s High School, who contributed the most hours in 2015/16 in the Sure Sports Leader Programme of the 43 young people who signed up.
The full list of award winners is:
Sportsman of the Year sponsored by Isle of Man Bank – Mark Cavendish (cycling)
Sportswoman of the Year sponsored by Isle of Man Bank – Charlotte Atkinson (swimming)
IOM Ambassador of the Year sponsored by Department of Economic Development – Cal Crutchlow (cycling)
Under 21 Sportsman of the Year sponsored by SMP Partners – Matthew Bostock (cycling)
Under 21 Sportswoman of the Year sponsored by Newfield – Ella Doherty (motorcycle trials)
Team of the Year sponsored by Mylchreests Group – Manx Sidecar Trials Team
Coach of the Year sponsored by Crowe Clark Whitehill – Raj Nandha (hockey)
Sports Administrator of the Year sponsored by Conister Bank – Tony Mepham (football)
Disability Sportsperson of the Year sponsored by Manx Radio – Ben Grainger (swimming)
Veteran Sportsperson of the Year sponsored by Microgaming – Richard Gerrard (walking)
Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by Isle of Man Newspapers – Dursley Stott (Commonwealth Games and shooting).