The Isle of Man's top sporting heroes were honoured at the Isle of Man Sports Awards, held at the Villa Marina. The event, which is sponsored by Microgaming PlayItForward saw the Island's sporting family congregate to toast the outstanding achievements of 2017. In attendance was guest of honour and five-time Paralympic swimming champion, Ellie Simmonds OBE.
Graham Cregeen, Minister for Education, Sport and Culture, said:
"The Isle of Man has so many sporting success stories and the Sports Awards is the perfect platform to highlight how well our athletes are doing on the national and international stage.
"To see the current and future sporting starts picking up their awards made everyone feel proud of our great island and it shows that our continued investment in the Sport Aid programme is paying dividends."
The Sportsman of the Year award was won by FIM Enduro World Championship rider Jamie McCanney, who saw off the other nominees in a hugely competitive category.
In the Sportswoman of the Year category, it was British swimming champion Charlotte Atkinson who took the title for the second year in a row.
‘Manx Missile' Mark Cavendish MBE took home the Isle of Man Ambassador Award, while under 23 European track cycling champion Matthew Bostock was named Under 21 Sportsman of the Year. Commonwealth Youth Games silver medal winning cyclist, Tara Ferguson, claimed the Under 21 Sportswoman award.
Coach of the Year was won by Douglas Rugby Club's first-team coach, Carl Murray - and there was a ‘double' for Douglas Rugby Club, as their first team collected the Team of the Year trophy.
All-round sportsman Lawrence Dyer was awarded the Disability Sportsperson of the Year trophy.
IOM Cycling Chairman Richard Fletcher was awarded Administrator of the Year for his work within the association and his efforts in ensuring that the Isle of Man held a round of the British Cycling Championship in 2017.
Veteran Sportsperson was awarded to Gail Griffiths, who continues to excel in veteran running on and off Island.
The 2017 Lifetime Achievement award was posthumously presented to Murray Lambden, who sadly passed away in 2017. Murray was the heart and soul of athletics on the Island and everyone in the Royal Hall gave a standing ovation as his name was announced.
Cycling duo Thomas Bostock and Tara Ferguson were inducted into the Hall of Fame for their respective gold and silver medal haul at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas.
The award for Outstanding Achievement in the Isle of Man went to Mikey Evans, for being only the third Manxman to win both the junior and senior races at the Manx Grand Prix in the same year.
Senior Internal Brand Manager for Microgaming PlayItForward, Kate Moughtin, commented:
"It was inspirational to see the sporting achievements of our Island's elite athletes. I'd like to congratulate all of the winners and wish those who were shortlisted every success in their future sporting endeavours."
The Sports Awards committee is led by Gary Corkhill, the executive chairman of Isle of Man Sport, and comprises: IOM Sport members Sarah Corlett and Richard Radcliffe, and Business Administrator Paul Callow; Paul Bridson, Head of Sport, Leisure and Recreation with the Department of Education, Sport and Culture; Chris Quine, Sports Performance Co-ordinator; and sports journalists John Watterson (Isle of Man Newspapers) and Tim Glover (Manx Radio).
Gary Corkhill said,
"Once again we have been treated to an array of the best sporting talent the Island has to offer. It is particularly pleasing to see that a number of the winners have been supported and subsequently blossomed through the Sport Aid system".
The evening also saw the presentation of Isle of Man Sport Aid scholarships to up and coming athletes who will receive financial and other support over the coming year.
The full list of winners
Sportsman of the Year sponsored by Microgaming PlayItForward - Jamie McCanney (enduro)
Sportswoman of the Year sponsored by Microgaming PlayItForward - Charlotte Atkinson (swimming)
IOM Ambassador of the Year sponsored by Department for Enterprise - Mark Cavendish (cycling)
Under 21 Sportsman of the Year sponsored by Newfield- Matthew Bostock (cycling)
Under 21 Sportswoman of the Year sponsored by SMP Partners - Tara Ferguson (cycling)
Coach of the Year sponsored by Conister Bank - Carl Murray (rugby)
Team of the Year sponsored by Crowe Clark Whitehill - Douglas Rugby Club First Team (rugby)
Sports Administrator of the Year sponsored by Manx Radio - Richard Fletcher (cycling)
Veteran Sportsperson of the Year sponsored by Mylchreests Group - Gail Griffiths (athletics)
Disability Sportsperson of the Year sponsored by IOM Newspapers - Lawrence Dyer (athletics)
Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by Keystone Law - Murray Lambden (athletics)