Tennis starlet serves up ace at awards night

Freya Christie
Freya Christie

IT WAS game, set and match to Hucknall’s world-class tennis starlet Freya Christie when she picked up a top trophy at the annual Active Ashfield Sports Awards.

The 13-year-old was crowned Junior Sportsperson Of The Year during a ceremony at the Festival Hall Leisure Centre in Kirkby on what proved to be a successful night for Hucknall.

Carole Bloomer

Carole Bloomer

For two other locals also picked up accolades. Paul Singleton, head coach at Hucknall’s St George Amateur Boxing Club, took the Service To Sport Award, while Sue Day, a teacher at Hillside Primary School in the town, was honoured for a 30-year contribution to PE in Ashfield.

But pride of place went to tenacious Freya, of Beardall Street, who has carved out a reputation as one of Britain’s most promising, up-and-coming tennis prodigies.

In July, the youngster announced her arrival on the world stage by winning the prestigious Corfu Cup in Greece, which is open to under-18s.

Freya, who is a former Dispatch Baby Of The Year, is currently away with the Great Britain under-18s squad in Malaysia, so the award was presented to her mum, Carol Bloomer.

Clinton McPhilbin

Clinton McPhilbin

As for Paul, he has dedicated 38 years to boxing and is the figurehead of the St George club based at the former Peveril Street Community Centre in Hucknall. He has masterminded the progress of the outfit from small beginnings in ramshackle premises to one of the top sporting set-ups in the town.

Sadly, he couldn’t be there to collect his award becsuse of illness.

A message of congratulations was posted to Paul on Facebook from Mark Ritchie, who also received a Bronze Club Award on behalf of St George. He said: “Well done Paul, you deserve it.

“You’re a true credit to the sport. You never ask for help or praise. You do what you were born to do and love it so much. Three cheers for ‘Singo’.”

Co-presenter on the night, Andrew James from BBC TV Sport, congratulated the winners and thanked the award sponsors.

He added: “Active Ashfield is second to none in showcasing the wealth and variety of talent that exists in Ashfield.

“All the nominees, winners and performers are a credit to themselves and the district.”

The evening focused on Olympic and Paralympic values and Active Ashfield events inspired by the upcoming London 2012 Games. There was also a performance to a medley by rock band Queen from Simone Witherden’s Hucknall-based Let’s Dance studio to mark 20 years since the death of Freddie Mercury.