There was a welcome winner at the Blackburn with Darwen Sports Awards as one of our own brought home one of the titles.
With Ewood Park playing host to the annual ceremony for the first time in its 51-year history, it was apt to see Blackburn Rovers Community Trust BTEC in Sport student Jade Elliott claiming one of the crowns.
Her triumph contained an element of surprise, having arrived at the venue believing she was nominated for the Young Volunteer of the Year Award. However, her all round efforts were deemed by the Sports Council's executive committee to be worthy of a wider accolade, with her combined efforts ensuring that she picked up the Junior Sports Personality of the Year.
For Jade, who was the first ever female player to complete a season in the EFL Trust's futsal competitions in 2015/16, the title was an acknowledgement of the extensive effort she has put in for the good of local people and Blackburn Rovers in general. Aside from her studies, she has been the driving force behind the creation of the Youth Action Board, which helps to involve more young people in the Community Trust's NCS programme, as well as helping to recruit an all-female team to compete in this season's futsal competitions.
She has also volunteered to help deliver coaching to female players on the Premier League Girls' Football programme at Tauheedul Islam Girls' High School, assisted at Community Trust tournaments and become part of the matchday pitchside team, including chaperoning Rover The Dog!
The event itself was a great success, with Cllr Hussain Akhtar, the Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen joined by Blackburn Rovers Community Trust trustees Cllr Maureen Bateson MBE and Phil Watson CBE to hand out the prizes to dozens of local grassroots sports stars. All the major prize winners now progress to the Lancashire Sports Awards in Blackpool later this year, with all of the Blackburn with Darwen nominees having their places sponsored by the Community Trust.
Potential future students for Blackburn Rovers Community Trust's BTEC in Sport programme for 2017/18 and beyond should email firstname.lastname@example.org
to find out how they can follow in Jade's footsteps, combining education with football and having access to great career opportunities at the same time.