Outstanding Sporting Talent is Rewarded at the Darlington Sports Winners Scheme Grand FinalPrint Page
A FUTURE golf champion has teed off an inaugural award at a glittering celebration to honour grassroots sporting achievements.
Ten-year old Oliver Millichap became the first ever recipient of the Ron Lewis Award for sporting excellence at the annual Darlington Sports Winners Scheme awards.
Rising star Oliver, of Darlington, who is ranked in the top 20 junior golfers in the UK and Northern Ireland, plays off an adult handicap of 19 and already represents the county at under 14 level.
Over the past 12 months he has won multiple junior competitions, both locally and nationally, and became the first ever player to take consecutive Junior Winter League titles at both Darlington Golf Clubs.
As well as qualifying for this year’s Junior European Championships, the young Polam Hall School pupil has also been selected for the England under 16 coaching trials and has been picked by the European Elite Coaches for the England futures squad.
Oliver’s father Andrew Millichap said: “As a family we feel extremely proud. When he was about six Oliver picked up one of his granddad’s clubs one day and it just all started from there.
“Since then he’s put in a lot of practice and hard work to achieve what he has and it is fantastic that it has been recognised here by the Darlington Sports Winners Scheme.”
Oliver, who also represents the district as a junior swimmer for Darlington Swimming Club, hopes one day to emulate his golfing hero Seve Ballesteros.
“I watch all the old footage of Seve when he played and I’d love to be golf pro when I’m older,” said Oliver, who also collected the award for overall Primary Sports Achiever.
“I was really shocked to win the Ron Lewis Award as there were so many people here and so much sporting talent – but I’m really happy.”
An audience of civic dignitaries, friends and family attended the 39th Darlington Sports Winners Scheme award ceremony staged at Darlington College.
Sponsored by Vauxhall dealers Sherwoods, Darlington Borough Council, Tees Valley Sport, Paul Bielby’s Master Skills Sporting Academy, Rotary Club of Darlington and MTE Ltd, the spectacular event outlined the courage, determination and success shown by sports enthusiasts young and old across the town.
Opening the event organising committee member Brian Dobinson celebrated the nation’s sporting achievements over the past 12 months and acknowledged the many people who had helped to make the make the awards scheme a success over the past 39 years.
Chairman of Darlington College and managing director of Sherwoods Alasdair MacConachie added: “This is a really special event in Darlington’s calendar because it celebrates very special people, the youngsters who commit themselves to sport and the coaches and parents who have dedicated their lives to helping them.”
Services to Sport Over 17 Award – Helen Rondo
Services to Sport Under 17 Award – Katie Sisk
Over 17s Team/club Award – Darlington Mowden Park Rugby Football Club
Under 17s Team/club Award – Darlington Mowden Park Rugby Football Club
Under 11s Team/club Award – Darlington Gymnastics Club
Further Education Team Award – Queen Elizabeth Sports Management Team.
Secondary School Team Award – Polam Hall Badminton Club
Primary School Team Award – Springfield Orienteering Team
Disability Sport Award – Sam Coleman
Further Education Sports Achiever – Joe Craggs
Secondary Sports Achiever – Max Clyde
Primary Sports Achiever – Oliver Millichap
Lifetime Achievement Award – Robin Rutherford
Mulheim Cup Presentation – Hummersknott Badminton Club
Ron Lewis Award (Overall Winner) – Oliver Millichap