Gallery: Team Ipswich Sports Awards

UNSUNG hero Tommy Woodward was in a state of shock after receiving his award at last night's Team Ipswich Sports Awards.

Nick Garnham

UNSUNG hero Tommy Woodward was in a state of shock after receiving his award at last night's Team Ipswich Sports Awards.

Woodward, who has been involved with Whitton United Football Club for 43 years, was presented with the accolade at the awards organised by Team Ipswich and held in the showrooms of John Grose at Ransomes Europark.

Woodward, who has served the club as a player and committee member, was described by compere Karen Pickering , the Team Ipswich Sports Ambassador, as someone who has always remained very modest about the impact he has made at his club.

And after picking up the Jewsons' Unsung Hero award he said: “I had no idea I had even been nominated. I thought I was just coming along to watch the awards and see some of the great achievements of other people in the town.

“This award means everything to me,” added Woodward, who will now go forward to the BBC Sports Awards.

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Badminton administrator Stephen Smith, who received the Ipswich Mayor's Lifetime Achievement award, revealed that he almost did not attend the evening.

The 79-year-old said: “Originally I was not going to come until Tony Bristow, the county president, encouraged me to attend.

“I am absolutely delighted to receive the award,” added Smith, who has been involved in the sport's administration since 1952 and has represented Suffolk on the Badminton of England Council.

There was a poignant side to the evening with Annalise Ryan, sister of talented tennis player and footballer Sian Ryan, who was killed in a car crash earlier this year, presenting an award.

Annalise presented the Evening Star Sian Ryan Young Sports Personality of the Year award to gymnast Molly Taylor.

The 11-year-old, who trains at the town's Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club, is the only female gymnast ever to be British champion at all three levels, and has worked hard to maintain her number one ranking in Great Britain.

He proud father Mark said: “Molly trains 26 hours a week - her level of commitment is immense - and she is fortunate that Ipswich School are very good to her.”

Molly, who was tipped for stardom at the age of four when she took up gymnastics, represented Great Britain in Italy this year.

RECORD-BREAKING swimmer Chris Walker-Hebborn is the Ipswich Sports Personality of the Year for 2009.

The Team Ipswich swimmer represented Great Britain at the 13th FINA World Championships in Rome this year, where he broke the British record for the 200m in a time of 1.56.05.

The 19-year-old, whose sights are set on next year's Commonwealth Games in India and the 2012 Olympics in London, was unable to attend as he started studying at Bath University this week, so his mother accepted the award, sponsored by John Grose, on his behalf.

Ipswich Jaffa Running Club, who helped to bring the Ipswich Half Marathon back to the town this year, were named the White Space Club of the Year.

Team Ipswich Swimming, who have dominated the London League and the 40 teams in it for the last three years, picked up the Lucozade Senior Team of the Year.

The KLH Architects Junior Team of the Year went to the Ipswich Town Girls' Centre of Excellence Under-16s, who were champions in their age group at the Dana Cup in Denmark, winning all their games.

Basketball coach Nick Drane, who led the Ipswich Tomcats Under-13 side to the national title, won the Freerin Coach of the Year award.

A total of 70 nominations were received for this year's awards, following on from last year's inaugural event, with all the winners going forward to the forthcoming Suffolk Sports Awards.

- Team Ipswich Sports Awards winners:-

John Grose Sports Personality of the Year

Winner - Chris Walker-Hebborn; runner-up - Nicky Hunt

Evening Star Young Sports Personality of the Year

Winner - Molly Taylor; runner-up - Ryan Jay

White Space Club of the Year

Winner - Ipswich Jaffa Running Club; runner-up - Orwell Panthers

Lucozade Senior Team of the Year

Winner - Ipswich Swimming Club; runner-up - Ipswich & District Indoor Bowls Club

KLH Architects Junior Team of the Year

Winner - Ipswich Town Girls' Centre of Excellence Under-16s; runner-up Ipswich Basketball Club Tomcats Under-13 Boys

Freerin Coach of the Year

Winner - Nick Drane; runner-up - Tracey Davidson

Ipswich Mayor's Award Lifetime Achievement

Winner - Stephen Smith; runner-up - Ian Young

Coes Contribution to Disability Sport

Winner - William Smith; runner-up - Warner Duff

Ipswich Community Radio Innovative Project of the Year

Winner - The Suffolk New College Disability Sporting Endeavour Project; runner-up - Ipswich Gymnastics Centre Youth Night

ASDA School of the Year

Winner - Cliff Lane Primary School; runner-up Ravenswood Community Primary School

ITFC Community Trust Young Community Volunteer of the Year

Winner - Alistair Stafford; runner-up - Luke Shaw

Ramada Encore Triumph Over Adversity

Winner - Joshua Margereson; runner-up - Karen Cook

Jewsons Unsung Hero

Winner - Tommy Woodward; runner-up William Smith

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