Sporting excellence celebrated at Sport Pembrokeshire awards evening

The 2017 Sport Pembrokeshire Award Finalists. Picture by Pembrokeshire Photography

The 2017 Sport Pembrokeshire Award Finalists.
Pictures by Pembrokeshire Photography

Head of BBC Wales Sport, Geoff Williams, presents Jacob Thomas with the Lifetime Achievement Award

The achievements and hard work of sportspeople, coaches and volunteers in the county were celebrated at the prestigious Sport Pembrokeshire awards ceremony on Friday – undoubtedly one of the highlights of the local sporting calendar
Now in its 11th year, the gala ceremony at Folly Farm was attended by more than 600 guests, and hosted by sports journalist Bill Carne and Cllr Huw George.
Fourteen award-winners were announced in a variety of categories, together with the winners of two special awards – the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Special Achievement Award.

Paralympian Jacob recognised with ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award

Head of BBC Wales Sport, Geoff Williams, presents Jacob Thomas with the Lifetime Achievement Award The winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award was Paralympian and former international Boccia champion, Jacob Thomas of Bethesda near Narberth.  
Jacob, aged 23, claimed several international titles and achieved a place in the final sixteen in the London 2012 Summer Paralympics prior to his retirement last year.
Among his successes were the coveted gold medal at the World Student Games in Brazil, the pairs’ bronze at the European Championships, and bronze and silver in the World Championships in Beijing.
Jacob was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Geoff Williams, Head of Sport at BBC Wales.
He praised Jacob’s exceptional achievements and said that he was a ‘true champion in every sense of the word’.
“With his extraordinary degree of skill, determination and perseverance, Jacob is quite simply one of the most inspirational figures ever to come before us in the Sport Pembrokeshire Awards,” said Geoff.
It was a view shared by the audience, who stayed standing throughout the presentation and during a moving thank you by Jacob’s dad Michael.

Marie’s fund-raising recognised by the chairman of PCC

The Special Achievement Award, presented by the Chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council, Cllr Paul Harries, was won by Marie Tilley of Narberth.
After her sister and son were diagnosed with diabetes, Marie set up ‘Marie’s Mission’ in 2014, a quest to raise funds to help improve the treatment and diabetes and contribute towards finding a cure.
Since then, she has completed many endurance events, including cycling the punishing La Marmotte in France – 110 miles of mountainous terrain – and raised more than £15,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
She has also set up ‘Marie’s Marvels’ – a running and fitness group comprising more than 30 women – and is currently establishing two further fitness groups for youngsters.
“Her dedication to helping others, while managing her own son’s condition, is nothing short of inspirational,” said Cllr Harries.

Special recognition for ‘amazing’ Lily

The awards ceremony also featured a screening of a music video by Tom Fletcher, previously of McFly, featuring the amazing skills of Tenby WCMX champion Lily Rice, winner of the 2016 Junior (U16) Disability Sport Award.
The Sport Pembrokeshire awards were organised by Sport Pembrokeshire, Pembrokeshire County Council’s sport development team, which also sponsored the awards together with the Western Telegraph, Valero, Radio Pembrokeshire and Folly Farm.
Sponsors of individual categories included Strength Academy Wales, Arrive Trains Wales, Sport Wales and the Pembrokeshire Youth Service.
Coach of the Year
Chris Barker (Squash)
Female Sporting Achievement
Abbie Williams (Triathlon)
Male Sporting Achievement
James Tomlinson (Athletics)
Boys (U16) Sporting Achievement
Iori Humphreys (Athletics)
Girls (U16) Sporting Achievement
Lowri Hart (Badminton)
Disability Sport Award
Jack Lloyd (Bowls)
Junior (U16) Disability Sport Award
Libi Phillips (Wheelchair Rugby)
Unsung Hero
Sam Rossiter (Cricket)
Club Organiser of the Year
Mel Marshalsey (Netball)
Team Achievement of the Year
Sam and Daisy Coleman (Powerboating)
Junior  (U16) Team Achievement of the Year
Ysgol Preseli under 16’s rugby team 2016/17
Contribution to School Sport award
Rick Walton
Student Contribution to School Sport award
Nina Garcia (Greenhill School)
 Club of the Year
 Just Tri Junior Triathlon Club