Sports awards honours for Irwin and James

Date: Friday 30th November 2018

PENRITH-based football coach Irwin Wallace and Keswick rugby player James Addyman were just two of the winners at the 34th Cumbria Sports Awards, held at the Low Wood Bay Hotel, Windermere, on Friday.

Irwin, who received the volunteer of the year award, has been instrumental in developing an approach that has supported the development of well over 1,000 footballers through the Castletown Junior Football Club, Penrith.

The club's nappy squad was developed by Irwin more than 30 years ago, and is still going strong. Every Easter, around 40 new under- 5s come together and start to learn the basics of football through Irwin's "three Fs" — fun, friendship and football.

Carlisle United skipper Danny Grainger and goalkeeper Adam Collin are just two graduates of the nappy squad.

Keswick Rugby Club's James Addyman, who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, last June and learned that he would have to lose an arm and shoulder joint, received the Be Inspired award.

He had always been an excellent rugby player, having represented Cumbria at various age groups and qualifying for a North of England under-18 trial a few years ago.

Since his operation he has remained ever positive, and in February he experienced a memorable day not only for himself, but for his whole family, when he, along with brothers Will and John, took the field together for Keswick second team’s Cumbria Shield League game against Workington Steelers, which Keswick won 29-14.

Ever modest, James, who lives at Asby, near Rowrah, said he was “happy with how it went”. "Catching the ball was a bit hard, but my tackling was OK," he said.

Not content with just playing rugby again, James is now looking at other events such as triathlons, as he continues to inspire everyone with whom he comes into contact.

Other winners were:

Sports personality of the year — Helen Housby, Wigton, netball. Junior personality of the year — Caitlin Whitehead, Kendal, golf.

Rising stars — Emie Seward, Millom, BMX racing; Elliott Hodgson, Seaton, karate; Archie Davis, Carlisle, golf.

Junior team of the year — Thomlinson Junior School, Wigton, girls Years 5 and 6 football team. Team of the year — Workington Comets, speedway.

Disability performance of the year — Ella Cooper-Holmes, Cockermouth, para swimming. Coach of the year — Kim Trotter, Carlisle, trampolining.

Young leader/volunteer of the year — Laura Robinson, Carlisle, trampolining. Community group of the year — Lanercost Sports Club, near Brampton.

Service to sport — Paul Burns, Barrow, athletics. Special award — Ellie Dickinson, Carlisle, cycling. Performance of the year — Nick Miller, Carlisle, hammer thrower. Active workplace award — Carlisle Brass.

Active education award — Fairfield School, Cockermouth.