Olympic trio in line for top award

THREE Olympians head the list of nominations for the Suffolk Sports Awards 2008.Hockey star Jo Ellis, cyclist Ross Edgar and three-day eventer Sharon Hunt, who all represented Great Britain at the Beijing Olympics earlier this year, have all been shortlisted for the Sports Personality of the Year award.

Nick Garnham

THREE Olympians head the list of nominations for the Suffolk Sports Awards 2008.

Hockey star Jo Ellis, cyclist Ross Edgar and three-day eventer Sharon Hunt, who all represented Great Britain at the Beijing Olympics earlier this year, have all been shortlisted for the Sports Personality of the Year award.

Ellis, who has just been voted Team Ipswich Sports Personality of the Year, was part of the Great Britain squad that finished sixth in Beijing after battling back from suffering a collapsed lung in Australia earlier in the year.

Edgar, from Newmarket, was a member of the highly-successful British Cycling Track Team in Beijing, winning a silver medal in the Kerin final, beaten only by GB team-mate Chris Hoy. He also won silver at the World Championships in Manchester as part of the Team Sprint at the start of the year.

Great Saxham rider Hunt fulfilled a lifelong dream after scooping a three-day eventing bronze medal as part of the five-strong GB team. Hunt and her horse Tankers Town narrowly missed out on the individual medals. They also finished fifth at the 2008 Badminton Horse Trials.

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The winners of the awards, organised by Suffolk Sport in partnership with BBC Radio Suffolk, will be announced at a gala evening at Trinity Park, Ipswich on Sunday, October 19.

Chloe McMorran, Sports Development Officer, Suffolk Sport, said that the judging panel had a difficult task when it came to shortlisting nominations in each of the 12 categories.

She said: “We had an overwhelming amount of nominations and the overall strength of each category was outstanding.

“The panel had some difficult decisions to make but we are delighted and proud of not just the shortlisted and highly commended but all the nominations assessed, a true reflection of the diversity and success we have in Suffolk.”

All shortlisted candidates have been invited to the ceremony, which promises to be a glittering occasion.

During the evening there will also be a special presentation to the Suffolk-based Olympians and Paralympians by Lord Tollemache, Lord-Lieutenant of Suffolk, in partnership with Adam Baker, Suffolk's 2012 project manager.

Tickets, priced £15 each, for the evening are currently on sale to the public. If you wish to attend please contact Chloe McMorran, Suffolk Sport on 07770 543509 or chloe.mcmorran@waveney.gov.uk

Those shortlisted and highly commended are as follows:

The Larking Gowen Sports Personality of the Year Award

Shortlisted: Joe Ellis (hockey), Ross Edgar (cycling), Sharon Hunt (three-day eventing).

Highly commended: Stefanie Biller (swimming).

The Hunters Land Rover Ipswich Young Sports Personality of the Year Award

Shortlisted: Alessia Thomas-Jackson (alpine skiing), Chris Walker-Hebborn (swimming), Ellis Jackson (swimming), Matti Mortimore (javelin).

The BBC Radio Suffolk Unsung Hero Award

Shortlisted: Donna Mills (hockey), Don and Pat Neate (swimming), John Halls (rugby).

The Sport 4 Suffolk Coach of the Year Award

Shortlisted: Andy Wood (gymnastics), Ian Cotton (swimming), Steve Benson (athletics).

Highly commended: Jane Jiggins (rollerskating), Nigel Brown (rugby).

The Suffolk Disability Sport Academy Contribution to Disability Sport Award

Shortlisted: Alan Taylor (Warren School), Claire O'Brien Ellington (wheelchair football), Suffolk Spartans Power Lifting Club).

The Hunters Land Rover Ipswich Club of the Year Award

Shortlisted: Ipswich Basketball Club, Orwell Panthers Athletics Club, Stowmarket Badminton Club.

The Touchline Sports Senior Team of the Year Award

Shortlisted: Ipswich Hockey Club women's indoor first team, Ipswich Wolves futsal team, Lowestoft Town Football Club.

The Harrod UK Junior Team of the Year Award

Shortlisted: Farlingaye High School U13 boys' rugby team, Kirkley High School U16 girls' football team, Suffolk FA U18 football team.

Highly commended: Bury Rugby Club U10 squad.

The Suffolk School Sport Partnerships School of the Year Award

Shorltisted: Debenham High School, Leiston High School, Sir Robert Hitchams Primary School, Framlingham.

Highly commended: Kingsfleet Primary School, Breckland Middle School.

The Nemisys Enterprises Ltd Innovative Project Award

Shortlisted: Game On and Jumpers for Goalposts, James Lucy, MEGA Project.

The Suffolk County Council Spirit of the Games Award

Shorltisted: Edwin Mhende, Rosie Wowk and Ashlea Smith, St Edmundsbury boys' hockey team, St Edmundsbury athletics team.

The Fitness Unit Triumph over Adversity Award

Shortlisted: Evangelina Edwards, George Chanarin, Gordon Merfield (triathlon).

Highly commended: Zoe Newson, Oliver Hedgley.

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