An exceptional dancer and a sporting all-rounder were among the talented young sports people recognised at an awards ceremony last night.

The Three Rivers & Watford School Sports Partnership staged its annual awards evening at Watersmeet Theatre, in Rickmansworth, where prizes were handed out across 11 categories.

The Reach Free School’s Kalen Henry, who is set to perform at the Dance World Cup Finals in Prague this summer, was named Key Stage 3 to 5 Exceptional Performer Award, while another student from the school in Rickmansworth, Phoebe Williams, took first place in the Key Stage 3 to 5 Outstanding Award in recognition of her achievements and contributions in several sports.

Rickmansworth School’s Lois Alexander was the winner the Key Stage 3 Sports Leader of the Year, St Clement Danes’ Jack Thompson was judged to be the top Key Stage 3 to 5 Young Official, while another sporting all-rounder Matei Scoropan, of Greenfields Primary School, took first place in the Key Stage 2 Outstanding Achievement of the Year category.

The Key Stage 3 to 5 Exceptional Performer Award is handed outThe Key Stage 3 to 5 Exceptional Performer Award is handed out (Image: Watford Observer)

The team prizes saw St Clement Danes’ Year 9 and 10 boys athletics team win the Key Stage 3 to 5 category, while Yorke Mead Primary School’s Year 5 girls football team took the Key Stage 2 trophy.

The evening began with an inspirational talk by triple Paralympian Kylie Grimes, who became the first female in the history of wheelchair rugby to win gold when she helped the Great Britain team finish top of the podium in Tokyo in the Covid-delayed games of 2021.

An athlete and show jumper from a young age, Kylie suffered a life-changing spinal injury in 2006 following a diving accident.

She spent six months in hospital and it was during this time she was introduced to Paralympic sports which ultimately led to her joining London Wheelchair Rugby Club and qualifying for her first Games at London 2012.

She switched sports to athletics and competed at the Rio Games but returned to wheelchair rugby to achieve her dream of winning gold in Tokyo.

School games organiser Matt Harrington and school games coordinator Kirsty Brown with Kylie Grimes and her Paralympic gold medalSchool games organiser Matt Harrington and school games coordinator Kirsty Brown with Kylie Grimes and her Paralympic gold medal (Image: TRW SSP)

Hosted by Rickmansworth School, a total of 39 infant, primary and secondary schools are involved in the school sports partnership, which will be celebrating its 20th anniversary next year.

“The partnership’s aim is a straightforward one - to enhance the provision of PE and school sport for the 15,000 children and young people in all of our schools through inclusive and enjoyable sporting experiences,” said Matt Fletcher, head teacher of Rickmansworth School.

“This year’s awards evening was yet another example of the outstanding provision the Partnership provides and the icing on the cake this year was an inspirational talk from our amazing guest of honour, Kylie Grimes MBE, the first woman in the world to win a Paralympic gold medal in wheelchair rugby.”

Young Sportsmanship Award (presented as a roll of honour): Maicie Faith-Horsely (Alban Wood Primary); Seth Adams (Arnett Hills JMI); Aiden Ward (Chorleywood Primary); Amelie Rowlinson (Eastbury Farm Primary); James Woodgate (Greenfields Primary); Finley Matthews (Harvey Road Primary); Daphne Jewel Veneracion (Holy Rood Catholic Primary); Isabella Addo Asante (Kingsway Infant); Lydia Smit (Little Green Junior); Jake Avis (Malvern Way Infant); Oliver Edwards (Maple Cross JMI); Eddie Smith (Rickmansworth Park); Jack Gridley (Sarratt CofE Primary); Bella Akerman (Shepherd Primary); Isla Patterson (St Joseph’s Catholic Primary); Joseph Keegan (St Paul’s CofE Primary); Daniel Back (St Peter’s CofE Primary); Jamie Norwood (St Mary’s CofE Primary); Dhrish Mistry (The Orchard Primary); Oliver Polgar (Yorke Mead Primary).

Healthy Heroes Award (Key Stage 1/Key Stage 2) (roll of honour); Jack Gillon (Alban Wood Primary); Joey Ford (Chorleywood Primary); Sharvi Mayer (Greenfields Primary); William Radclyffe (Harvey Road Primary); Christian Calin (Kingsway Infant); Lottie Stanway (Little Green Junior); James Demchuk (Maple Cross JMI); Molly Sear (Rickmansworth Park JMI); Albert Carson (Sarratt CofE Primary); Poppy Gatt (St Joseph’s Catholic Primary); Callum Curtis (St Paul’s CofE Primary); Lillia Garland (St Mary’s CofE Primary); Reef Tearle (The Orchard Primary).

The nominees for the Young Official of the YearThe nominees for the Young Official of the Year (Image: Watford Observer)

Play Buddy of the Year (roll of honour): Phoebe Odiase (Kingsway Infant); Liam Cutts (Kingsway Infant); Fatimah Naushad (Kingsway Infant); Akifah Ahmad (Kingsway Infant); Lucas Thomas (Kingsway Infant).

Play Leader of the Year (roll of honour): Sara Mazrreku (Alban Wood Primary); Tayla Morgan (Arnett Hills JMI); Mahek Parekh (Greenfields Primary); Beatrix Southam (Harvey Road Primary); Amaya Gift (Holy Rood Catholic Primary); Millie Fagan (Little Green Junior); Alfie Davis (Maple Cross JMI); Aiza Akhter (Rickmansworth Park JMI); Florence Coleman (Sarratt CofE Primary); Charlotte Kirman (Shepherd Primary); Oskar Bezkorowajna (St Joseph’s Catholic Primary); Alexandra McLoughlin (St Paul’s CofE Primary); Owen Pugh (St Mary’s CofE Primary); Alyssa Costa-Walters (The Orchard Primary); Reggie Carter (Yorke Mead Primary).

Key Stage 2 Team of the Year: 1, Year 5 girls football team (Yorke Mead Primary); 2, Kingsway football team (Kingsway Junior); Year 6 basketball team (Rickmansworth Park JMI). Also shortlisted: Girls football five-a-side team (Chorleywood Primary); Tag rugby team (Eastbury Farm Primary); Year 4 tri-golf team (Harvey Road Primary); Year 6 boys football team (Holy Rood Catholic Primary); Netball team (Little Green Junior); Netball team (Maple Cross JMI); Sarratt football team (Sarratt CofE Primary); Girls football team (St Joseph’s Catholic Primary); Year 3 indoor athletics team (The Orchard Primary).

Key Stage 3-5 Team of the Year: 1, Year 9 and 10 boys athletics team (St Clement Danes); 2, Under-13 girls football team (Parmiter’s); 3, Year 7 girls football team (Rickmansworth). Also shortlisted: Year 10 boys football team (Croxley Danes); Year 7 boys football team (St Joan of Arc); Under-16 girls futsal team (The Reach Free).

Young Official of the Year (Key Stage 3-5): 1, Jack Thompson (Rickmansworth); 2, Ellen Lacey (Croxley Danes); 3, Anabelle Moss (St Joan of Arc). Also shorlisted: Alby Gill (Parmiter’s); Grace O’Grady (St Joan of Arc); Phoebe Williams (The Reach Free); Violet Hunt (The Reach Free).

The six nominees for the Key Stage 3 to 5 Outstanding Contribution AwardThe six nominees for the Key Stage 3 to 5 Outstanding Contribution Award (Image: Watford Observer)

Key Stage 3-5 Sports Leader of the Year: 1, Lois Alexander (Rickmansworth); Luke Nikitas (Parmiter’s); 3, Ella McInern (St Joan of Arc). Also shortlisted: Ruby Adamski (Croxley Danes); Emily Fox (Croxley Danes); Isla Deeradour (Future Academies Watford); Joseph Whitfield (Future Academies Watford); Kaeden Thwaites (Future Academies Watford); Palkin Arora (Rickmansworth); Lily Colbourne (Rickmansworth); Bobby Schafer (St Clement Danes); Jack Martin (St Clement Danes); Jasmine Sixto (St Joan of Arc); Carrie Rattigan (St Joan of Arc); Gavin Gyiripah (The Reach Free); Chelsey Cooke (The Reach Free); Noel Kuswick (The Reach Free).

Key Stage 2 Outstanding Achievement Award: 1, Matei Scoropan (Greenfields Primary); 2, Lily Crowley (St Joseph’s Catholic Primary); 3, James Webster (Eastbury Farm Primary). Also shortlisted: Mya Smith (Arnett Hills JMI); Chloe Wilson (Chorleywood Primary); Amelie Austin (Divine Saviour Catholic Primary); Anaya Khakhria (Harvey Road Primary); Niam Patel (Little Green Junior); Jack Birch (Shepherd Primary); Leo De’Ath (St Mary’s CofE Primary); Rhian Robinson (The Orchard Primary); Sienna Evans (St Paul’s CofE Primary – Langleybury); Maisey Barnes (Sarratt CofE Primary); Amelie Milne (Rickmansworth JMI); Natan Serrano (Holy Rood Catholic Primary).

Key Stage 3-5 Outstanding Contribution Award: 1, Phoebe Williams (The Reach Free); 2, Lizzie Mulholland (Croxley Danes); 3, Rose Birkett (St Clement Danes). Also shortlisted: Ramsey Gill (Parmiter’s); Kit Walsh (Rickmansworth); Ella McInern (St Joan of Arc).

Key Stage 3-5 Exceptional Performer Award: 1, Kalen Henry (The Reach Free); 2, Summer Evason (Croxley Danes); 3, Heidi Bekteshi (Rickmansworth). Also shortlisted: Pippa Lambert (Future Academies Watford); Anna Anene (Parmiter’s); Issie Davies (St Clement Danes); Hannah Henry-Rapoz (St Joan of Arc).