SPORTING stars from the Stratford district have been recognised for their achievements at the region’s largest community sports awards ceremony.
The tenth annual Coventry, Solihull & Warwickshire Sports Awards were held at St John’s Hotel on Warwick Road in Solihull and two winners came from the Stratford-upon-Avon district area.
The awards celebrate the cream of the sporting scene across Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire, including those who have made a tremendous contribution to sport at all levels.
A total of 16 award titles were handed out on the night, including categories covering both professional and amateur fields, as well as recognising the young and upcoming stars of the future.
Winners included Freddie Fairbairn from Southam, who was named Community Coach of the Year, while Godfrey Witts, who lives in Wellesbourne, was celebrated as this year’s Unsung Hero.
Fairbairn was recognised for coaching the University of Warwick volleyball team which qualified for the Premier League this year.
“I have such a passion for the sport, I love it so much that I have made it my career, and I just want to go as far as I can,” said Fairbairn.
“I’m too small to be a player so I really want to see how far I can get as a coach.
“The students are a great bunch of lads and work really hard for it. They fully deserve the position they are in and so far we are a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League.”
Witts, who works at Wellesbourne Cricket Club, has played an integral role at the club for over a decade after dedicating his time to help maintain the clubhouse and outfield.
He said: “I am absolutely overwhelmed. I have worked at the club for 12 years and probably work on average around 40 hours a week at least and sometimes 60 hours in the summer.
“I help to keep the club clean and put all of the flags and boundaries out. I do the mowing once or twice a week and also help to run the bar on a Saturday and during midweek games.
“I took early retirement ten years ago and now help anyone at the club that needs something doing. I’m only 100 yards up the road and have keys to the club – everything has to be spot on.”
The sports awards are organised by a representative group of partners including BBC Coventry & Warwickshire, Coventry, Solihull & Warwickshire Sport, Coventry University, Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council and Coventry City Council.
Individual awards were sponsored by Coventry Sport Network, CSW PE & Sport Strategy Group, Coventry Sports Foundation, University of Warwick, Wasps, Everyone Active, Association of Colleges, EnV, Sport Coventry and Sport Solihull.
Unsung Hero Godfrey Witts was thrilled with his honour. (s)
The winners of the 2014 Coventry, Solihull & Warwickshire Sports Awards. (s)