In pictures: A night to remember at the Active Burnley Awards
There was no shortage of local sporting superstars at this year’s Active Burnley Awards.
By John Deehan
Published 7th Jul 2023, 15:26 BST
Updated 7th Jul 2023, 15:26 BST
Hosted by former Lionesses goalkeeper turned TV pundit, Rachel Brown-Finnis, the awards are held each year to celebrate those in the borough who work tirelessly to support individuals or clubs, for the love of the sport or their community.
Here’s a closer look at all the big winners from a glittering night at the Burnely Mechanics:
1. Lifetime Achievement Award – Stuart Nicolson
The climax of the evening was the Lifetime Achievement Award for someone who has shown a commitment of at least 20 years to sport and active lifestyles, won by football referee Stuart, who has been involved in the game at all levels for more than 60 years. Over the decades, he progressed his career until officiating at Football League Youth Lions Under-21s matches from 1985 until recently. His claim to fame includes refereeing a Lancashire Youth League game - Manchester United vs Bury - when he made it into the tabloid press for cautioning Sir Alex Ferguson for dissent! Stuart has refereed in the Lancashire Amateur League for over 40 years, and in 2018 was appointed LAL president. He has also been president of the Burnley Referees’ Association, manager of Brunlea Juniors and the fourth official at Burnley FC’s Turf Moor ground many times and is well known for being an avid Burnley FC fan. The judges said: “Stuart has been instrumental in coaching and training new referees for future generations, and as he reaches a ripe old age and his career will be coming to an end in the near future, this is the perfect year to recognise his dedication to refereeing and football over the last 61 years.” Photo: Andy Ford
2. Primary School of the Year – Cherry Fold Community Primary School
This award is given to the primary school that has gone above and beyond to support its pupils’ physical and mental wellbeing. Cherry Fold Community Primary School has been awarded the Platinum Schools Games Mark accreditation, progressing from the Bronze Award in it acquired in 2015 - a huge achievement for a school in a highly deprived area of the town. As part of a drive to deliver the 30 active minutes a day, the school has implemented a Daily Mile and through this pupils have travelled all over the virtual world and linked it to the wider curriculum The school supports Sports Leaders, where the older children deliver structured activities on the playgrounds at break and lunchtimes for Early Years Foundation Studies (EYFS), Key Stage 1, and Key Stage 2. Alongside this, staff run a daily sporting event on the Key Stage 2 yard at break/lunch open to all children. After-school swimming lessons are offered to pupils to develop water confidence. Expert coaches are invited in to deliver specialist sessions such as golf, rugby, dance, bike safety, and fundamentals skills. Photo: Andy Ford
Richie is a talented seven-year-old golfer already competing at international level, having recently taken part in the World Junior Golf Championships in Portugal where he came joint 5th. Ritchie is enjoying a superb 2023 - he is the current leader of the Robert Rock junior tour order of merit; he’s won all four of the first four junior majors of the year, including the British Masters champion, held at the Belfry along with qualifying for World Junior Golf Championship again for February 2024. He has also raised over £3,000 for Pendleside Hospice at various events over the past 12 months. Photo: Andy Ford
Oliwia has been at the Dragons Kickboxing Club for the last eight years. She trains four times a week and now, at the age of 16, competes at the sport’s highest level and has more than 100 fights to her name. She is the current British WKO -55kg full contact kickboxing champion as well as WKA, ISKA, AFSO, and WFMC champion in her weight division. During an unbeaten 2022, Oliwia won English, British, European, and World open tournaments. Oliwia is due to undertake her black belt this year and will be attending some of the biggest martial arts tournaments of 2023, with great results expected. Photo: Andy Ford