Amber Valley and England hockey star Hollie Webb secures sportswoman of the year honour
Amber Valley hockey player Hollie Webb was delighted to cap a stellar year by winning the Sportswoman of the Year category at a recent sports awards.
She landed the honour at the Derby Telegraph Sports Awards, which is held in association with Derbyshire Sport and Champions UK.
The prestigious event – celebrating its 10th year – brought together the cream of sporting talent and most devoted unsung heroes from across the county.
Former Belper hockey club player Webb was chosen for her prize after helping England win the EuroHockey Championships for the first time since 1991, beating the Netherlands in a penalty shoot-out after a 2-2 draw in the final.
The Surbiton defender, from Blackbrook, near Belper, also helped her club win the Investec Women’s Hockey League and Investec Women’s Cup for a domestic double.
The 25-year-old former Ecclesbourne School student will now hope to be gunning for glory as part of the Great Britain team which has already qualified for the Rio Olympics.
“I was very surprised to win because the other two girls who were nominated (boxer Sandy Ryan and swimmer Sarah Vasey) have achieved so much in their respective sports – there was some stiff competition,” said Hollie.
“I always love coming back to Derbyshire and I am proud of where I’m from. I owe Belper Hockey Club a lot and I wouldn’t be where I am now but for them. They have an amazing junior section and it’s where I learned to play.”
Others from the Belper shortlisted as one of three finalists in their categories, but not selected as an overall winner, were Belper Ladies Hockey Club (Team of the Year) and Rachel Basile (Community Award).
There was more joy for Amber Valley in the Disabled Sportsperson of the Year category, as paratriathlete Phil Hogg emerged victorious.
The 45-year-old Heanor racer is on the World Class-funded British Paratriathlon programme and is a strong contender to go to the Rio Paralympics.
He said: “Like many other athletes I spend hours and hours training, going out on the dark mornings and out in the rain, so to get this acknowledgement is great.”
“But it’s not all about me – this is for all the people who are behind me and support me because I have a really good team who do that.”
Local winners from Derbyshire’s nine areas were automatically forwarded as nominees at county level as part of the judging process.
The panel of sports officials and Derby Telegraph sports staff drew up the night’s shortlist – with three contenders in each category.