MORE than 300 East Hampshire sports stars, and the people who support them, gathered to celebrate the East Hampshire Sports Awards.
The awards, organised by East Hampshire District Council, recognised sporting achievements and the commitment of coaches and officials who make success possible.
Guest speaker Alex Danson talked about her stellar hockey career which began at Alton Hockey Club and has continued all the way to an Olympic bronze medal at London 2012 and an Olympic gold at Rio 2016.
Her inspirational speech had a particular focus on the people in the room being the next generation of sporting success in Great Britain.
Alex said: “I started in the same seat you are in, I dreamt of playing hockey for my country and I did everything that I could to make that dream become a reality.
“I urge you all to do the same, you will get knock downs and times where you feel like you aren’t going to succeed, but getting through these moments are the best parts of your career and lead to amazing things.”
The evening, held at the Old Thorns Manor Hotel, in Liphook, was hosted by Fred Dinenage, who is a long-time supporter of the event.
Alton Sports supported the event and provided goody bags to each nominee to go with their certificate and trophy for the winners.
The awards included winners from a variety of sports such as football, cricket, hockey, athletics, trampolining, volleyball, shooting, rugby and martial arts.
Cllr Julie Butler, portfolio holder for customer service, said: “The talent recognised was the best we have ever had at the awards - every year the talent gets stronger and the judging gets harder.
“I feel very lucky to be a part of such a fantastic event that each year gives the recognition and reward that the people who dedicate the majority of their life to sport deserve.”