Lakeland Sports Personality of the Year 2009

( CLICK on thumbnail to see a larger picture - CLICK anywhere EXCEPT on the larger image to return to this page)

Once upon a time, in the 1960s, a youngster who wrestled or ran, and won a pound in his village sports, could be debarred from taking part in any school sports because he was tainted with professionalism. To combat this, the Lakeland Sports Promoters Association was formed to rescue the situation by an accommodation with the Amateur Athletic Association. The original reason for the LSPA is long gone but it continues to support traditional sports meetings and each year awards trophies to the high performers at its events. Five wrestlers and five runners were nominated for the two main awards, but there was little doubt about the winners. William Hayhurst of Natland won the LSPA Junior Lakeland Sports Personality Trophy by winning prolifically at virtually all the affiliated meetings. Not only did he win at Under 18 Years, but there were few who could best him in the Under 18s.

The winner of the Lakeland Sports Personality of the Year 2009 was Richard Fox of Hethersgill. He did not attend so many of the smaller meetings in the south of the county, but at the major events, Ambleside, Grasmere, and the Westmorland Show, he showed his pre-eminence by winning his own weight and then winning again in a heavier category. Thomas Gibson of Southwaite’s successful season was recognised by his nomination at Under 12 Years; Connie Hodgson of Dent took the girls’ Under 15 nomination, and John Harrington’s double wins at Ambleside and Egremont led to his nomination.

Our wrestlers have been invited by the Scottish Wrestling Bond to take part in its Youth Championships on Saturday. Four age groups (Under 10, 13, 17 and 21) for both sexes, divided into many weights, means that there are 42 separate categories. Any of our wrestlers who struggled all summer against heavier and older opponents will be attracted by the chance to compete on equal terms.In addition, the Adult Scottish Women's Championships, at 10½ st and at All Weights, will also be held.

A week later our biggest indoor competition takes place at Bootle Station, West Cumbria, when Waberthwaite Academy hosts the Academy Shield Competition. The new Haltwhistle club has decided it would be premature to enter this year, but we expect teams from the other five academies, including Rothbury which is on the other side of the world.

Wrestlers will be concerned to hear that as I write, Joseph Robson of Grayrigg, one of our elite wrestlers, a prolific winner of championships, is on a ventilator in the Intensive Care Unit in Lancaster Hospital , fighting pneumonia.

Written by © Roger Robson. Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (February 10th 2011)

Disclaimer ©2008 Webmaster