YOUNG sports stars have been recognised for their efforts at an awards ceremony celebrating the best of Darlington’s grassroots sports schemes.

The grand finale of the annual Darlington Sports Winners’ Scheme, held at Darlington College, was attended by families, teachers and coaches to mark a year of achievement. Brian Dobinson, one of the event organisers, told a packed audience that they had received a record number of nominations this year and the contest had been the most difficult ever to judge.

The event featured a display of martial arts by the DarlingtonTaekwondo club and a question and answer session with Roy Broadbent, who officiated at the London 2012 Games in Taekwondo.

Awards were presented to individuals, teams and coaches across a number of sports.

The Young Sports Achievers Award went to Jay McCabe, ten, for swimming and Longfield schoolboy Ellis Corrie, 13, for Thai boxing.

Team awards were presented to Darlington Amateur Swimming Club Diddy League Team and the Carmel College Athletics Team.

The Service to Sport Award was presented to Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College and Carmel College teacher Eve Hannaford, while the Special Achievements Award was given to Alisha Nevison, 11, who has cerebral palsy.

The Mulheim Trophy was awarded to the Hummersknott Cycling Team for its epic ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to David Scott, who founded Spraire Lads and Lasses football teams 30 years ago, which have now coached more than 7,000 young players.

Rotary Club member Steve Rose told the audience: “We do this to become inspired by our young people who are our future. We want to be their biggest fans as they compete for medals and when they are successful we can say it started with sports development, coaches and teachers in Darlington.”

A full round up of the annual awards will be in the Local Heroes section of The Northern Echo.