Deserved honours at Devon Sports Awards

By Contributor in Other Sports

WEST DEVON is proud to have sporting talents among the winners of this year’s Devon Sports Award.

Martial artist Tate Budge of the Trenic/Yiewsley Taekwon-do Academy was one of the winners of the Performance for Community Sport award.

Tate, aged 17, who has just completed a BTEC in sport, was delighted to be chosen by the judges for his success in Taekwon-do.

He told the Times: It was great to be nominated and thank Active Devon and the Exeter Foundation for considering him for the honour. I would like to thank all my instructors and especially Mark and Wendy Richards from Richards TKD.’

Tate has now stopped competing in Taekwon-do for now as he sets his sights on a career in the Royal Air Force.

His competition tally from start to finish is 18 national titles, five overall UK titles, one European Bronze medal and two world titles‘

Another winner was Amber Francis of Tavistock Swimming Club, who earned Devon Young Volunteer of the Year. Her club also sported two other nominations as finalists — Esther Rookes, as Devon Volunteer of the Year, and Nathaniel Rookes, Devon Young Coach of the Year.

Tavistock Swimming Club coach James Lake said of their success: ‘Huge congratulations guys. You’ve done yourselves proud, the club proud and Tavistock proud.’

Vice president Sue Dunstan added: ‘Well done Tavistock Swimming Club and all the people who make the club thrive and flourish. At this particular time we thank Amber, Esther and Nathaniel and of course the main man himself, James, for putting the club well and truly on the map.’

A spokesperson for the judges told the Times: ‘Tate Budge showed huge commitment to his sport of Taekwon-do during 2016 and had a fantastic year in terms of silverware too. The judges were impressed by these two factors and also his mentoring of younger members and willingness to give back to the club that helped him achieve so much.

‘Amber Francis has shown dedication to her club and to other swimmers, often helping and supporting new and nervous young swimmers as well as engaging in the clubs committee.

‘Amber completed the ASA volunteer programme and regularly commits to long days coaching and helping out even when not swimming herself. It was clear from her nomination that she was an outstanding asset to her club.

The 20th Devon Sports Awards were held at Sandy Park, Exeter to honour Devon’s community sporting heroes and heroines — recognising and celebrating the best of both community and professional sport in Devon. The annual celebration was organised by a partnership of the Exeter Foundation, Active Devon and Exeter College.

BBC Spotlight’s Jenny Walrond led proceedings with special guest star for the evening, James Cracknell OBE, former rowing World Champion and double Olympic gold medallist.

Coaches, clubs and sportspeople were nominated from over 45 different sports.

The full list of winners on the night were: Performance in Community Sport — Alyssa Oates, Underwater Hockey (Plymouth Underwater Hockey Club); Elyse Leech;   Athletics (Torbay Athletics Club); Felicity Ayres, Gymnastics (Falcons Gymnastics Academy, Barnstaple); Kendal Brown, Tennis (Torquay Tennis Club); Molly Canham , Athletics (Exeter Harriers); Tate Budge, Taekwon-Do (Trenic/Yiewsley Taekwon-do Academy).

Devon Young Coach of the Year — Matthew Rhymer, Academy of Beach Sports; Devon Coach of the Year — Helen Reddy, Honiton Gymnastics Club and Ivybridge College.

Devon Young Volunteer of the Year - Amber Francis, Tavistock Swimming Club, Devon Volunteer of the Year - Jeremy Rice, Honiton Rugby Club. Contribution to Inclusive Sport - Bobby Singh, ROC Active and Torbay Ability Club. Business Contribution to Sport in the Community - The Exeter Business Contribution to Sporting Activity in the Workplace

Department for Work and Pensions. Devon Club of the Year - Fremington Youth FC.

Outstanding Contribution to Sport in Devon - Helen Reddy, Honiton Gymnastics Club and Ivybridge College.

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