Lincolnshire’s sporting talent showcased at awards

Sportswoman of the Year, England cricketer Arran Brindle

The 2011 Lincolnshire Sports Awards, hosted by BBC presenter Dan Walker, celebrated the county’s best sporting talents at the Epic Centre on November 17.

England cricketer Arran Brindle was named Sportswoman of the Year ahead of runner-ups Team GB hockey player Georgie Twigg and long-standing England squash player Fran Wallis.

Brindle, who last month helped the England women’s team to a 3-0 one-day international series win away to South Africa, said: “It’s like a massive buzz for nine months of hard work and for all the people that have supported me in that time.

“It makes it register again what you have achieved. We’re usually going from one game to the next and don’t really think about (the achievements) too much until you get to a night like this. Then you realise how much people have put in and supported you along the way.”

Boxer Callum Johnson capped his first year as a full-time professional by winning the Lincolnshire Sports Personality of the Year award.

Commonwealth Games gold medal winner Johnson, who has won all three of his fights since turning professional late last year, was not present to receive his awards owing to prior commitments

At the ceremony, attended by over 300 people, Johnson also bagged the Sportsman of the Year title despite competition from local rower Chris Farrell and martial arts star Adam Beniston.

Lincoln-based Fran Wallis, who has represented England for the last 10 years, was awarded the Veteran Sportsperson of the Year honour.

Lindum Cricket Club rounded up a trophy-laden year on the field with the Sports Club of the Year accolade, while the University of Lincoln got their name in the winners’ circle as senior lecturer David Piggot was named Sports Educator of the Year.

In tribute to over four decades of work for the East Lincolnshire Combination Football League Committee, Ray Sylvestor was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award.

The 67-year-old from Louth has worked in several capacities in the league, including as a player, and has been a vital part in the development of one of the most successful leagues in the East Midlands region.

Photos by Bibhash Dash for The Lincolnite