Lifetime achievement award for Belper’s Olympic star Ross

Ross Davenport with his former Belper Marlins coach John Rossington and former City of Derby coach Svetli Tomov (far right).
Ross Davenport with his former Belper Marlins coach John Rossington and former City of Derby coach Svetli Tomov (far right).

Belper Olympian Ross Davenport, who announced his retirement from competitive swimming last week, has been presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Derbyshire Sports Awards.

The event was held on Thursday at The Roundhouse in Derby, and the ceremony was attended by 270 people.

Ross, 28, who won two Commonwealth Games gold medals and competed at three Olympic Games, won his lifetime achievement award in recognition of his many sporting successes, achieved over the years since he first started out as a seven-year-old at Belper Marlin Swimming Club in the early 1990s.

During his career, he competed at the Olympic Games in 2004, 2008 and 2012, and won four Commonwealth Games medals.

There was more Amber Valley success as Ripley Rascals and Derventio eXcel swimming star Molly Renshaw, 16, who won a gold medal in the 200m breaststroke at the European Junior Championships, breaking the British age group record, was named the Derby City Council Junior Sportswoman of the Year for the second year running.

Molly also won a gold medal at the Senior Nationals in the 200m breaststroke, and a silver at the British Championships in the same event.

Guest of honour was Sally Gunnell OBE, who won gold in the 400m hurdles at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. Joining her were some of Derbyshire’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes including Ross Davenport and cyclist Annie Last.

The evening saw trophies awarded in 11 categories, as the county’s best and brightest sporting stars, coaches and volunteers gathered with other invited guests to celebrate another year of sporting success in Derbyshire and recognise the efforts of those involved in sport at grassroots level.

Derbyshire cycling star Annie Last was crowned the University of Derby Sportsperson of the Year.

The awards are organised by Derbyshire Sport, a county sports partnership which provides the strategic lead for sport in Derbyshire.

Cllr Carol Hart, chair of Derbyshire Sport, said: “It is fantastic to see that Derbyshire has such a wealth of talented sports performers, great clubs and dedicated coaches and volunteers, who are all committed to improving sport in Derbyshire, and it is great to be able to recognise the dedication these people show and the contribution that they make.

“My congratulations go to each of the winners and I wish them many more years of sporting success.

“It was wonderful to see so many people join us at The Roundhouse to celebrate all that is great about sport in Derbyshire.”

The University of Derby was the title sponsor of the event, and other sponsors include the Derby Telegraph, Derby City Council, Origination, Derbyshire County Council, Cooper Parry, International Golf Development, Derby College, Active Derbyshire and Matrix.

In addition to being a category sponsor, Matrix also sponsored the drinks reception at the event.