NEARLY 200 people joined together to celebrate outstanding sporting success at the Malvern Hills District Community Sports Awards.

The ninth annual event, which was held at the Bank House Hotel in Bransford, recognised the area’s best sports men and women, as well as the commitment of the volunteers and coaches who support athletes and clubs across the district.

Run by the council in association with Freedom Leisure, which runs the Malvern Splash leisure complex and Sport Dyson Perrins, the event saw awards handed out in 12 different categories including Positive Change of the Year and Sports Personality of the Year.

The awards were announced by compere Andrew Easton, radio presenter for BBC Hereford and Worcester.

Dance in Motion Academy put on a spectacular opening show and Amanda Smith, community services manager at Malvern Hills District Council, spoke of the council’s sporting success and projects over the last 12 months.

This year, the keynote speaker was Paralympian Mel Nicholls who is a wheelchair racer, endurance handcyclist and adventurer.

Mel told her inspiring story, including her successful world record attempt to become the fastest person to handcycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats in June this year.

Cllr Tom Wells, portfolio holder for community services on Malvern Hills District Council, said: “The sports awards were a spectacular success and a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of some of the district’s most talented sports-people, coaches and volunteers.

“We should be extremely proud of our inspirational residents who are out there making a difference to people’s health and well-being through sport.

“Thank you to our sponsor Freedom Leisure and to everyone who came to show their support on the night.”

Community Project of the Year (sponsored by Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire).

Winner: The Friday Night Project. Runners up: MTFC Junior Club Matchday Experience and Pendock Spring Chicken Run.

Inclusive Project of the Year (sponsored by Three Counties Showground).

Winner: Leigh and Bransford Badgers Football Club Inclusivity and Increased Participation Project. Runner up: Swim Inspiration.

Sports Schools of the Year (sponsored by Rural South Worcestershire Community Safety Partnership).

Winner: Tenbury CE Primary Academy. Runner up: Pendock Primary School'

Team of the Year (sponsored by Automated Packaging Systems). Winner: Motionesque. Runner up: Leigh and Bransford Badgers Football Club U12 Saints.

Coach of the Year (sponsored by Malvern Hills District Council). Winner: Gemma Hinton. Runners up: Adele Hodges and Jazz Kristy.

Club of the Year (sponsored by Fortis Living). Winner: Malvern Buzzards Running Club. Runners up: Kempsey Tennis Club and Leigh and Bransford Badgers Football Club.

Positive Change of the Year (sponsored by YMCA Worcestershire). Winner: Nicola Turrell. Runner up: Bronwen Matthews.

Volunteer of the Year: (sponsored by Melton Group). Winner: Bradley Barnes. Runner up: Simeon Foreman.

Young Female Sports Personality of the Year (sponsored by Malvern Panalytical). Winner: Bryony Heasman. Runners up: Charlotte Martin and Sarah-Jane Ollis.

Young Male Sports Personality of the Year (sponsored by Cue Events), Winner: Malachi Cashmore.

Runner up: Charlie Bennett and Daniel Day.

Sports Personality of the Year (sponsored by Worcestershire County Cricket Club). Winner: Ellen Cochrane. Runner up: Esme Ruff and Harriet Harnden.

Unsung Hero of the Year (sponsored by Freedom Leisure). Joint winners: Lisa Stride-Turner and Peter Daffin