Rhinos Women’s team pick up top awards at Sport Leeds Awards

Leeds Courtney Hill (c) lifts the trophy after victory over Castleford.

Leeds Rhinos Women and their former head coach Adam Cuthbertson picked up top awards at the annual Leeds Sports Awards at the first direct arena on Thursday evening.

The Leeds Rhinos Wheelchair team were also honoured on the night with James Simpson took away the Sportsman Disability award alongside David Stone MBE and team mate Nathan Collins won the Young Disability Award. Coach Joshua Gardner was also highly recommended on the night.

Nicola Adams MBE and Jamie Jones-Buchanan were also presented the Sporting Pride of Leeds Award having brought an end to their glittering careers in 2019.

Adams was recognised for her trailblazing career which saw her retire as the undefeated WBO Flyweight Champion after her final bout with Maria Selines, while Jones-Buchanan brought his 21 year career to an end having won seven Grand Finals, three World Club Challenges and League Leaders Shields and a Challenge Cup with his hometown club.

17 winners were crowned at the 17th annual Leeds Sports Awards, organised by Sport Leeds and Banana Kick.

The awards celebrate sporting achievements and recognise the contribution of coaches and volunteers from elite performance to grass roots sport.

Undefeated IBF World Featherweight Champion Josh Warrington and Team GB triathlete Jess Learmonth were recipients of the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards, respectively.

Warrington received the award on the back of his two successful title defences against Kid Galahad and Sofiane Takoucht last year, while Team GB star Learmonth was recognised after a successful year in the World Triathlon Series saw her claim second in the World Rankings.

There was further success on the evening for Leeds Rhinos with their women’s team claiming the Club Performance Award, after their Challenge Cup and Grand Final winning season, while former coach Adam Cuthbertson was named Coach of the Year.

Leeds Rhinos’ Wheelchair Rugby League team captain James Simpson received the Disability Sportsman of the Year Award alongside Paralympic cycling champion David Stone MBE with fellow Team GB Paralympian Hannah Cockroft MBE receiving the Disability Sportswoman of the Year Award.

The awards also recognised the efforts of young sports people, community clubs, volunteers and university athletes and clubs who have performed at the top level or helped to inspire others.

Peter Smith, Chair of Sport Leeds, said: “It was a fantastic night celebrating the incredible sporting talent across Leeds,

“We had the first direct arena filled with world class athletes alongside the people who make sport and physical activity happen across the city.  It’s a truly inclusive event and the range of awards and winners reflect that.

“I’d like to congratulate all the winners; the highly commended finalists; and the finalists – their achievements last year were outstanding.  I’d also like to thank Banana Kick who led the event on our behalf and all our sponsors and partners for their contribution to making the 2020 Leeds Sports Awards the outstanding event it is.”