Celebrating top sporting talent and great personal achievement was the theme at this year's sports awards at TyneMet College.

Staff, students, key partners and special guests celebrated the end of another fantastic sporting year at TyneMet, which saw a huge number of individual and team successes.

The event was also a chance for the college to say thank you to all those who contribute so positively to sport at TyneMet College and the North East Sports Academy.

After a high-energy demonstration from NESA Basketball Development Centre students, TyneMet Principal Jon Vincent opened the ceremony. He said: "Sport and physical activity are a fundamental part of the fabric of TyneMet College. The North East Sports Academy, and sport in general, has been at the heart of numerous recent successes for the college and the principal I'm keen to see more and more TyneMet student getting involved in sport."

TyneMet Governor, Dr Graeme Cruickshank was compare for the evening, telling the audience that he was moved to become involved with the college after coming into contact with a number of players from TyneMet's Rugby Development Centre.

The first presentations of the evening were for achievement by Development Centre students in the 5 NESA focus sports; Men's Football, Basketball, Rugby Union, Badminton and Women's Football. NESA Development Centre coaches took to the stage in turn to announce their award winners and the trophies were presented to the winners by Newcastle Eagles Player/Coach Fab Flournoy and Ruth Sutcliffe of Newcastle United Women's F.C.


Awards for outstanding national achievement were presented to English Schools U19 Judo Champion, Neil McNamara, Special Olympics Swimming gold medallist, Tyrone Critchlow and GB Gymnast Matthew Hennessey, showcasing the fantastic individual talent which exists at TyneMet.

The foundation studies 5-a-side football team were presented with an award for outstanding teamwork and fair play after their performances in numerous tournaments around the region. Tyrone Critchlow and Liam Kermode proudly accepted the award along with their tutor and coach Geoff McKnight.


NESA Men's Football Development Coaches Ian Bogie and Derek Forrest were then each presented with a special award marking their outstanding contribution to TyneMet sport over a number of years. The award marked the end of an era at TyneMet as Ian has taken a full-time management role with Gateshead F.C. Everyone at TyneMet wishes him the best for the future. Derek will remain in his role with NESA and will continue to offer the fantastic development opportunities which Men's Football students have always enjoyed.

The final individual awards of the evening were for TyneMet Sportsman of the Year and Sportswoman of the Year. With so many outstanding performers, it was incredibly hard to select the winners. However, the achievements of two individuals were thought to stand out above the rest.

The Sportsman of the Year award was presented to Steven Baptist who, after 3 years in the NESA Men's Football Developmet Centre has just signed a professional contract with Gateshead F.C. to play in the Blue Square Premier Division.

NESA Basketball development Centre student Rachael Bland was the winner of Sportswoman of the Year, after fantastic commitment to the NESA Basketball programme, playing national league basketball for Team Northumbria and securing a place at Leeds Metropolitan University on the basis of her potential to be an elite athlete.

The final presentation of the evening was the Team of the Year award. This went to the NESA Basketball Development Centre Women's Team who represented TyneMet and the North East Region at the BCS National Finals in April. The girls finished the tournament as runners up behind perennial winners Hackney College, confirming them as the second best team in the country, a fantastic achievement in their first full year as a team.

The NESA and Learner Services staff would like to thank all those who attended what was a hugely successful and enjoyable evening, and would like to thank all those who helped in the organisation of the event, including the estates team, the college caretakers and hospitality and catering.

The full list of winners was as follows:

NESA Men's Football

Overall Player of the Year - Tom Bridgett

ECFA Player of the Year - Matthew Speedie

NECL Player of the Year - Tom Illingworth

Development Player of the Year - Patrick N'Gora

Most Committed Player - Steven Baptist

Student of the Year - Alex Clafton

Outstanding First Year - Dan Young

Top Goalscorer - Dan Young

NESA Rugby Union

Player of the Year - Brian Naisbitt

Most Committed Player - James Leckie

NESA Basketball

Player of the Year - Ross Wilson

Most Committed Player - Connor Cole

Student of the Year - George Gray

Most Improved Player - Modeste Kande

NESA Badminton

Player of the Year - Nicolle Henry

Most committed Player - Lee Wise

Student of the Year - Kristie Campbell

NESA Women's Football

Player of the Year - Natalie Henderson

Most Committed Player - Daniell Parker

Individual and Team Awards

Outstanding National Achievement in Judo - Neil McNamara

Outstanding National Achievement in Swimming - Tyrone Critchlow

Outstanding National Achievement in Gymnastics - Matthew Hennessey

Outstanding Teamwork & Fair Play - Foundation Studies Football Team

Outstanding Contribution to TyneMet Sport - Ian Bogie

Outstanding Contribution to TyneMet Sport - Derek Forrest

Sportsman of the Year - Steven Baptist

Sportswoman of the Year - Rachael Bland

Team of the Year - NESA Basketball Women's Team