Peak Stand Up Paddle Boarding (PEAKSUP) were the toast of the Derbyshire Dales after winning the Club of the Year Award at last week’s Derby Telegraph Sports Awards, held in Association with Derbyshire Sport and Champions UK.
The Carsington Water-based club were one of 14 winners at the prestigious ceremony, staged at the Roundhouse in Derby, which brought together the leading contenders from across the county in elite and grass roots sport.
Formed only last summer, with just three people and with a membership of 35, PEAKSUP has three male instructors and plans to train three female coaches.
The sport is the fastest growing in or on water in the country, with the club encouraging all abilities to give it a go to get fit, keep healthy and make new friends.
Based at Carsington Water, membership is predominantly from Ashbourne, but participants come from as far afield as Chapel-en-le-Frith and Burton-on-Trent to take part. PEAKSUP beat off the challenge of Glossop North End Juniors AFC, who were going for a third consecutive Club of the Year Award, and City of Derby’s Darkstar Volleyball. Said vice-chairman and club safety officer Dave Duncker-Brown:
“We weren’t expecting to win this award, but it’s amazing. We were up against such established clubs involved in established sport, so for a little niche club we set up to win this in our first proper year is incredible. “I would like to think the judges were impressed by how quickly we have grown and because of how inclusive we are. We focus on all ages and genders and it’s not just about elite performance, but having fun and having time to yourself.
“The club is entirely based on volunteers and they are passionate about what they do. We enjoy being active and hopefully we can contribute to Derbyshire Sport’s aim (of getting 50,000 people living more active lives by 2021).”
In addition to PEAKSUP’s triumph a host of other Dales finalists were awarded certificates as category runners-up.
Olympic trap clay pigeon shooter Caroline Povey, from Tansley, has had a fantastic year, competing for Great Britain this summer in the World Cup and European Championships, and is the current British number one and the reigning UK, English Open, Home International and Derbyshire Champion.
But the reigning Commonwealth Games bronze medallist from Glasgow 2014 was beaten to the Sportswoman of the year prize by Belper hockey player Hollie Webb, who shot to national fame in the summer when her penalty stroke clinched victory for Great Britain in an exciting women's Olympic hockey final against the Netherlands.
“It was always going to be a tough ask to beat Hollie after what she has achieved, but I’m delighted to have the recognition of being a finalist. As ever, the Derbyshire Institute of Sport (DIS) and Derbyshire Sport have given me terrific support and I’m hoping for more success next year.”
Another runner-up was Matlock’s wheelchair rugby player Ryan Cowling, who lost out to South Derbyshire Paralympic bronze medal-winning swimmer Lewis White in the Disabled Sportsperson of the Year category.
He was part of the Great Britain squad to take on some of the best teams in the world including Canada and Australia.
“Rio was a tremendous experience, my first Paralympics, and it was a huge success following on from the London Games,” said Ryan. “Even though we didn’t get the results we wanted, we have closed the gap to the top four nations in the world.
“It’s not just a proud moment to represent your country, but also your local area and county too. It was a surprise to be nominated, and I’m not one for accolades, but it was great to be here with so many other talented athletes, volunteers and coaches.”
The race for the Young Sportswoman of the year title was keenly fought, with Ashbourne’s Isobel Brown, a skiing competitor for Great Britain at the Youth Winter Olympics and World Junior Championships, just edged out. She lost out to North East Derbyshire heptathlete Niamh Emerson, who beat the British age group record twice, won a European Junior heptathlon bronze medal and also a Commonwealth Youth Games gold medal in high jump.
“Competing at the Youth Olympics was an amazing experience for me and you meet so many great people. To go to the county awards is brilliant.”
It was a close run thing in the Young Sportsman of the Year category where Bonsall cross country mountain biker Cameron Orr, who competed for Great Britain at the World Championships was runner-up to City of Derby badminton player David Hong, who won a European Under-15 Junior Championships bronze medal.
And the Dales’ roll of honour was completed by Helen Watts, who was runner-up in the Volunteer of the Year category to City of Derby’s Matthew Dalley. She has carried out volunteer work across several sports in Baslow, including fund-raising and administrative work in bowls, walking football and junior football.
The evening was hosted by television presenter and sports reporter Gary Newbon and weather presenter Emma Jesson and saw around 300 guests in attendance, with money raised for Rainbows Children's Hospice.