CRICKETER Ben Stokes took the plaudits across the country when he was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

At the awards ceremony, the all-rounder was recognised for his remarkable summer, during which he played a key role as England won the World Cup, and also scored 135 not out against Australia to tie the ashes series at 1-1.

But on the same night, no fewer than 450 people packed out Hexham’s Wentworth Leisure Centre to recognise the achievements of the local sporting community.

The Sport Tynedale Awards ensures amateur sports men and women from the Tyne Valley have their moment in the limelight.

And more importantly, the voluntary-led organisation tries to help talented teams and individuals to follow in the footsteps of their famous counterparts.

The Sport Tynedale Awards were a little different this year. Due to the date clash with the BBC event, regular host Allison Curbishley, the former Commonwealth Games athlete, was in Aberdeen for the glitsy ceremony at the P&J Live Arena.

It meant the veteran broadcaster, the former ITV sports presenter Roger Tames, was drafted in to preside over the stage at Wentworth.

The man who will forever be associated with North-East sport, notably commentating on football matches involving Newcastle United, Sunderland and Middlesbrough, talked about his life-long affection for grass roots sport.

It was a good night for local golf. Hexham’s Matty Lamb, and Matfen Hall’s Zara Naughton both excelled at amateur level this year, and also demonstrated their potential to achieve at an even higher level. Fittingly for the sport, Hexham Golf Club’s head professional Andy Paisley was on stage to hand out the prizes.

Matty was named sportsman of the year, and also took the Tynedale Trophy for overall adult champion, while Zara was crowned young sportswoman of the year.

The awards date back to 1974, and the trophies, with most if not all of the originals still surviving, acknowledge the achievements of teams, indivuduals, coaches, volunteers, and those who have overcome adversity. The hard working Sport Tynedale committee members closely follow the progress of local sport all-year round.

It’s not all about rewards and recognition, however, for Sport Tynedale has another vital role to play.

As part of its commitment to helping local people from this rural community to thrive in their chosen sport, the organisation offers grant funding.

More information can be obtained by visiting