An audience of over 130 gathered last week to hear who would walk away with the prestigious prizes at this year's Rochdale Borough Sports Awards. This Link4Life annual event recognises the achievements of the many people who are either actively involved in supporting, or taking part in, sport in the Borough.
Rochdale Football Club added its support to the event, with Dale’s Corporate Sales and Marketing Manager, Iain Johnstone, presenting the Club of the Year award, which went to The East Lancashire Road Club.
This racing cycling club is a fully inclusive club that has shown massive increase in numbers over the past year and supported the recent Tour de France Grand Depart. Supporting all members, male or female, no matter what their age, their aim is to provide a range of competitions that encourage members to push themselves and have the potential for individual recognition from winning a trophy.
Other awards handed out on the night included Coach of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and Unsung Hero.
Special guest speaker, Middleton based Joanna Rowsell MBE, shared her experiences of her journey from a 15-year-old with no interest in sport to one of Great Britain’s shining lights in the world of cycling. Joanna is a member of the Great Britain Cycling Team and competed at the London 2012 Olympics where she won Gold in the Women’s Team Pursuit. She is currently the National, European and World Champion, and also the World Record Holder for this event. On her way to Olympic gold the team set their 6th successive World Record for the 3km event.
Joanna continues to compete on the track and is a five times World Champion - four in the Team Pursuit and one in the Individual Pursuit. She recently won Gold in Glasgow to become Individual Pursuit Commonwealth Games Champion and is now working towards her goal of competing at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Joanna, 25, continues to ride for Wiggle Honda Women’s Pro Cycling Team and competes on the road in both the UK and Europe.
Winners of the Rochdale Borough Sports Awards will now go on to represent the borough at the Greater Manchester Sports Awards in November to be held at The Point, Lancashire Cricket Club.
Iain Johnstone commented: “A great night was had and it was fantastic to hear first-hand about the many sporting talents that we have across the Borough.
“It was also a real honour to be in the company of Olympic and Commonwealth Gold medalist Joanna Rowsell. She is a true inspiration.”