Wednesday 16 November 2016


The Northamptonshire Sports Awards were hosted last Friday at Sywell Aerodrome, and members of the University joined 400 other guests to celebrate our county’s sporting finest.

The prestigious event – now in its twelfth year – recognises the achievements of sporting stars, up and coming athletes, coaches, volunteers and the unsung heroes of sport. Winners on the night are put forward to a regional event, which leads on to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year – the winner of which is crowned in December.

The University of Northampton proudly sponsored this year’s Volunteer of the Year award, and Dr Stuart Allen (Lead for Sport, Exercise and Life Sciences), Liam Bligh (Students’ Union President) and Hannah Foggett (the Students’ Union Sports Officer), attended the evening alongside guests including Rio Paralympics 2016 gold-medalist Ellie Robinson, and Northampton Town players Marc Richards and David Buchanan.

Dr Stuart Allen presented the award for Volunteer of the Year to Tracy Pepper. Tracy has helped the local Weetabix football league achieve Charter Standard, and she arranges coaching and encourages women and girls while acting as secretary of a local club.

Dr Allen commented: “The Volunteer of the Year award aligns with the values of the University and Changemaker Plus; Tracy has completed a huge number of voluntary hours over the last year by helping local communities and it is an honour to present this award for such commitment.”

The evening was hosted by Mike Sewell, BBC sports broadcaster and commentator. In all, 21 winners’ awards were given out and even more were recognised for their contribution and dedication to sport in Northamptonshire.

For further information, visit the Northamptonshire Sport website. Pictured: Dr Stuart Allen and Tracy Pepper.

The other nominees for the Volunteer of the Year award were:

  • Mark Evans from Kettering Cyclones Junior Cycle Club coaches, who runs the club and ensures junior riders can compete at races;
  • Marc Beezley, who has been volunteering at Moulton Magpies FC for the last 4 years;
  • Walter Merino, who volunteers at Northampton Judo Club and has helped two judo players get to the World Masters Championships.


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