Dan Barlaser - Wor Jackie Trophy

Our final two awards focus on Newcastle United - and what a different club it looks compared to twelve months ago. Our football club represents this city like no other. So here’s hoping our winners can make their mark as we enter the next half century of Sport Newcastle. The first of our football awards honours the United great Jackie Milburn. The Rising Star of Newcastle United singles out the best player to emerge from the club’s Academy and this year it goes to a local lad from just across the river in Gateshead. Rafael Benitez has obviously seen plenty to impress him. He’s already handed this 20-year-old England Youth international his first team debut in the heart of midfield, celebrati

Max Forster - 2017 Rising Star

Another racket player is up next - this time from the squash court. And what a year it’s been for this outstanding talent from Dame Allen’s School who in October became British Under 15 Champion. And he did it the hard way. He was seeded three but knocked out the top seed and England number one in the semi-final, before another splendid display saw him overcome the number four seed from Cumbria to lift the title. He was already county champion at under 17 level as well as his own under 15 category. He’s since confirmed his new status with victory in the Under 15 event at the Irish Junior Open. From the Northumberland Club here’s MAX FORSTER.

Emily Harrison - 2017 Rising Star

Newcastle has an excellent badminton centre these days and Sport Newcastle has supported the work being done to build a stronger county youth team. So it’s good to see a Northumberland player among the Rising Stars. This sixteen-year-old from Newcastle High School for Girls is a county regular at senior level and has won seven senior titles at county and regional level last year. Her national rankings are up too - 5th at mixed doubles and seventh at level doubles. Let’s hope it’s another year of progress for EMILY HARRISON

Danny Horta - 2017 Rising Star

Basketball is usually represented among our Rising Stars which is a reflection on the great development work going on at Newcastle Eagles. In fact our next award winner has worked his way along the Eagles performance pathway right up to the first team where he’s starting to get more regular court time and making an appearance on the scoreboard. Northumbria University have played an important role in this 20-year-old’s sporting education as he looks to forge a professional career. Congratulations to DANNY HORTA

Freddy Nelson - 2017 Rising Star

The excellent Newcastle Gymnastics Academy has a long association with Sport Newcastle and this year they’ve put forward one of their boys who’s only twelve years old. British Gymnastics has already sent the Men’s National Coach up to the Academy to advise on training for this outstanding prospect who goes to the Royal Grammar School. Not surprising really, as this young lad has finished top 6 All Around at the English Championships and top ten at Great Britain level. But his star performance was in becoming the English and British vault champion for his age group. And no local gymnast at any age has achieved this for more than fifteen years. He’s ranked the number one gymnast in the north a

Toby May - 2017 Rising Star

Fencing makes a regular appearance in this honours list and we have another Great Britain international with us. He’s only 14 but he’s still represented Britain at Under 17 level four times in the last few months. In fact he’s worked his way up to number 3 in the National Under 17 rankings despite giving his rivals a few years advantage. He’s a student at Dame Allen’s School and trains with Newcastle Fenc- ing Club who have their own permanent Fencing Centre these days. Let’s Fence also present a special poignard alongside this Rising Star award which goes to TOBY MAY.

Lois Jackson - 2017 Rising Star

Over the years our rising stars have covered an impressively wide range of sports but we’ve not had too many downhill skiers. So let’s meet a 15-year-old from Newcastle High School for Girls who leads an interesting sporting life. Much of her time is spent in Austria with Team Evolution, which is a training programme for the most promising British skiers. Our rising star on the slopes is on the British Alpine Under 16 ski team, having been part of the England development squad since 2014. Away from the snow, she’s a member of the Ravens Ski Racing Club, based at the Silksworth Sports Centre and on the dry slope has been England Champion at Under 14 and twice at Under 16. An impressive record

Emily Stewart - 2017 Rising Star

We’re staying with athletics for another individual award, this time for the Rising Star of Disability Sport. It goes to another Gateshead Harrier who’s a real all rounder with outstanding success across an impressive range of events. In the Cerebral Palsy World Games she won gold at 100m, 200m and the long jump - plus a silver in the shot put. But recently it looks as though her shot putting is becoming her strongest event, as she’s won the UK Age Group Championships and is up to 5th in the world rankings. She also won silver at 400m. The Tim Lamb Trophy goes to 16-year-old EMILY STEWART.

Joy Eze - 2017 Rising Star

Over at Gateshead Harriers they love their middle distance runners but now it looks as though they’ve got a real sprinting talent in their club. This young lady is only twelve. She lives in Walker and goes to St Mary’s Catholic High School. And what really makes her stand out, even at 12, is that she’s a winner. Indoors, she’s England’s fastest under 13-year-old girl having won North East and Northern titles. Outdoors she won the sprint double at the North East Championships, setting a 200 metre championship record in the process. Then an eye-catching performance on BBC TV - as she won for Newcastle/Gateshead in the Great City Games. Last year she won 27 out of 32 sprints at regional and nat

Rhian Purves - 2017 Rising Star

Athletics is up next - and it’s great that in this our anniversary year, one of our core sports is well represented. First we go to Gosforth Harriers, one of the clubs Sport Newcastle was pleased to support recently with a grant towards their winter training programme. Twice a week they’re out in all weathers running up and down the Great North Road. One of the girls in green and white is a 15-year-old from Kenton School who’s making genuine progress in the highly competitive 1500 metre category. She’s won titles at Northern Schools and North East Counties level - and has been top three in the last four Junior Great North Runs. Now she’s marking her mark at national level and is currently up

Suraj Soren - 2017 Rising Star

Judo may be one of the most traditional martial arts but our next rising star is a follower of one of the oldest forms of unarmed combat. Jiu Jitsu was developed in feudal Japan to combat Samurai warriors. It’s all about throwing, pinning and holding your opponent rather than striking and landing blows. And at Northumbria University they have a 20-year-old student whose consistent success has been quite outstanding. He won the British Universities title in his first few months at Northumbria and has twice defended his crown since - recording maximum points on each occasion. It’s the third time he’s been dominated for a Rising Star award - and this year he’s got his recognition. Congratulatio

Maisey Hawthorne - 2017 Rising Star

They keep churning out top quality performers at Newburn Judo Club and this year we have a 14-year-old who’s already on the road to international recognition. She’s another student at Walbottle Campus School and her silver medal in the National Age Group Championships played a major part in earning her a place in the England Cadet Squad. Everything was going really well till she sustained a bad hand injury - playing basketball at school (I bet that went down well with her judo coach!) But she’s come back strongly and again reached the national final where she narrowly missed out on the gold. Her coaches say she gives it everything, in every training session. Well done to MAISEY HAWTHORNE.

Ellen Stephenson - 2017 Rising Star

Our second swimmer also competes for Newcastle Swim Team and has made fantastic progress since she joined them two years ago. She’s only twelve, a pupil at Gosforth East Middle School and she competes in the S14 category for Down’s Syndrome swimmers. Now the Down’s Syndrome competitors have their own National Championships and our rising star came back with a full set of gold, silver and bronze. She’s also set S14 world records for her age group in four different events - two of which have now been officially ratified. Now she’s joined the Great Britain training camp and is aiming for a place on the Down’s Syndrome British team. Good luck to ELLEN STEPHENSON

Niamh Page - 2017 Rising Star

There’s a very defined pathway to progress in swimming - county competition , then regional, finally to national level. And this 14-year-old pupil at Newcastle High School for Girls is working her way relentlessly through the field. She’s a back- stroke specialist across a range of distances from 50 to 200 metres though it’s the longer trip that brings out the best in her. Last year saw her a regular presence in national finals and she ended the season ranked top six in her age group over four lengths. And despite all those 5.30am starts she still manages to help her school netball team win the county title. A natural all-round athlete - NIAMH PAGE.

James Wilson - 2017 Rising Star

Let’s start with a sport that I’m sure personal experience has taught many, is just about the hardest game to crack - golf. Representing golf at this years awards was 17-year-old James Wilson a student at Walbottle Campus. They've been playing the game at Tyneside Golf Club for 137 years but nobody had ever won the junior and the senior club championship in the same year - until James managed to win both in 2016. Nor had anybody repeated the feat at County level in Matchplay competition. This eye-catching form has brought England selection at Under 16 level and England Schools honours at Under 18. James also achieved consistent success at senior level regionally by making 12 out of his last

The 2017 Sport Newcastle Rising Stars

The Sport Newcastle Rising Stars Awards is an annual showcase for the young men and women who are making an impact at national level and often higher. Over the next few weeks we will be introducing all sixteen of our 2017 Sport Newcastle Rising Stars and will keep you up to date with their progress during the year. These awards have changed dramatically over the years - more nominations, more sports - and very noticeably far more girls. The Rising Stars are at the very heart of what Sport Newcastle is all about, providing support at grass roots level and encouraging the next generation. This year's awards are being backed for the first time by a major national company with an important role

THE NEXT HALF CENTURY

Sport Newcastle aims to continue unearthing and supporting potential sports stars. Here are just 3 of our recent crop of your talent who are already making a name for themselves. 2012 Rising Star Calum Johnson is a triathlete who trains alongside the Brownlee brothers at Leeds Triathlon Centre. Calum was awarded his rst Great Britain vest in 2016 and capped a successful season by anchoring the G.B. U 23 mixed team to 2nd place at the World Championships. Callum Chick’s Rising Star award in 2014 recognised his leadership qualities in captaining England U.16 rugby union team. He has since gone on to play for England U.18’s and U.20’s and to play 1st team rugby for Newcastle Falcons. In swimmin

SPORTS SCHOLARS

Some of the most promising young sportsmen and women we support progress to becoming Sports Scholars. This is a major commitment, renewed annually, where the scholar receives a higher level of grant and is linked to a special business or company who have provided the sponsorship funds. Our most famous scholar is undoubtedly Olympic champion cyclist Victoria Pendleton who was supported by Sport Newcastle when she was a student at Northumbria University. Victoria went on to win gold at both the Beijing and London Olympic Games as well as winning nine world titles in a dazzling career.

RISING STARS OF SPORT

For many of the sports enthusiasts who have loyally supported Sport Newcastle’s Annual Dinner through its 40 years, the evening’s highlight is the announcement of the year’s Rising Stars of Sport. These awards have spotlighted the best of the city’s young sportsmen and women making their mark at national or international level. Teenagers like Paul Gascoigne and Jonny Wilkinson went on to become genuine superstars. For many though, the Rising Star award was a first major acknowledgement of their progress and a huge encouragement to take their talents as far as they could. Now reaching Rising Star status is an important step in securing valuable personal grants.

SPORT NEWCASTLE - UNSUNG HEROES

Sport Newcastle may have helped some household names in the early stages of their career but its overriding commitment is to the grassroots. Here are a few names who have made a major contribution to our sporting way of life. Businessmen and brothers Ian and Roy Caller launched the cricket festivals in Jesmond that helped pave the way for the arrival of the first class game in the region. Founder of business software giants Sage, Graham Wylie, has been a significant force in horseracing before transforming Close House Golf Club into an international venue. Football scout Jack Hixon worked far from the spotlight discovering talent like Alan Shearer. Lennie Heppell was a unique coach who adapt

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