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A great sporting celebration from The Comet

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World record holders, international competitors, school sport stars and dedicated club members were among those to take centre stage at the 15th Comet Sports Awards.

North Herts sports stars packed into Letchworth’s Icknield Centre on Friday 27 January for the annual celebration of sporting achievement - hosted by Formula One commentator David Croft.

New Comet editor Nick Gill’s welcoming speech opened the evening, ahead of a buffet - before David Croft spoke of some of the nominees’ achievements and the winners were revealed.

Each winner was interviewed on stage and spoke of their achievements over the past year and their careers - with some inspirational stories told.

One such tale was that of Hitchin Swimming Club’s Mark Evens, winner of the Paul Pearce Disability Award, who has set four Down syndrome world records in 2016.

Other winners on the night included:

• Coach of the Year: Brian Bailey • Youth Achievement Girls: Leona Lee • Youth Achievement Boys: Callum Ilott • Youth Team of the Year: Stevenage Storm U13 Netball Team • Team of the Year: Hitchin Ladies Rugby • Veteran Achievement: Deborah Wren • School of the Year: Giles Junior School • Club of the Year: North Herts Road Runners • Paul Pearce Disability Award: Mark Evens • Sports Personality: Luke Mossey • Sports Photograph: Ann Tryssesoone • Service to Sport: Richard Harbon

Nick Gill, Editor of The Comet said “It’s fair to say doing my first public speech in front of an audience of 250 people was a little bit daunting, but the 15th Comet Sports Awards was a huge success with incredible stories of sporting achievement and dedication throughout.

“I’ve had many people contact me since the awards thanking the Comet for a wonderful evening, and that speaks volumes.

“Bringing the community together is an important part of what we do, and the events team did a fantastic job to make the night a real spectacle. It is without doubt an important part of the local sporting calendar and long may that continue.”

© Archant Ltd 2013