Sunderland AFC Ladies striker Beth Mead and SportsByte reporter Joe Pennington scooped the main awards at the SportsByte Awards last night.
Mead was named Sports Person of the Year for a second successive year after a season which saw her top the FA Women’s Super League 1 scoring charts with 12 goals as Sunderland finished 4th in their debut top flight campaign.
The Sunderland and England striker said: “I am honoured to have won Sports Person of the Year considering there are some amazing talents in the area.
“It’s been a great season for myself and the club but we have set ourselves standards now and we would like to do better next season if we are to progress and develop as a club and team.”
Meanwhile in the Media awards section Joe Pennington was rewarded for his excellent coverage of Sunderland RFC, Aegon GB Pro-Series Tennis, BUCS Nationals and The Ashes by being named SportsByte Reporter of the Year.
“I’m overwhelmed. It came as a bit of a shock to win but I am extremely proud of taking the award and really pleased to receive it,” said Pennington after winning the award.
He continued: “I feel really lucky to cover Sunderland Rugby Club as it is a great club. Working for SportsByte has been fantastic for me as it’s given me the opportunity to report on many different sports as well as the rugby, and it’s a great experience.”
Held at the National Glass Centre, the SportsByte Annual Gala Dinner and Awards Night celebrated a fantastic year of sport across the City of Sunderland, as well as acknowledging the work of our SportsByte team.
SportsByte Editor and Head of Content, Ryan Kennedy, said: “It was great to see so many people from across the city come together to celebrate what has been another fantastic sporting year.
“There is so much sporting talent in the region and it’s always good to remind ourselves how lucky we are to have such talent on our door steps.”
Kennedy also praised the work of the SportsByte team, who have covered over 30 sports across Sunderland.
He said: “Our team of multimedia journalists have done a great job this year meaning we have been able to shine a light on all of the achievements in sport in Sunderland that at times would otherwise go unnoticed.
“There hard work and dedication has really shown and it was great to be able to reward them and celebrate that success at the SportsByte Awards last night.”
Sunderland AFC Ladies were named Team of the Year on the night while SAFC’s charity the Foundation of Light won the Community/Charity Project Award. Sendai Karate club’s John Bruce was named Coach of the Year.
Bruce said: “I didn’t expect it (to win). It’s a brilliant, but I don’t do it for awards I do it for my students.
“To be nominated is fantastic but to actually win it against some brilliant opposition is just fantastic.”
There were two winners from Sunderland ASC as well as swimmer Freya Rayner was named Young Sports Person of the Year and Olympian Josef Craig was awarded with Sporting Performance of the Year after setting a new British Record of 59.19 in the S8 100m Freestyle.
Meanwhile in the media awards, Nathan Orr won the Multimedia Contributor Award, Matthew Henry won Story of the Year, Best Section Editor went to Paul Nicholson and the Image of the Year was awarded to Ellie Young.
The award for Best Social Media and Live Event Coverage was shared by Adam Eley and Nick Cary, while Sam Lightle was named Features Writer of the Year for his series on Depression in Sport.
Congratulations to all of the winners and we look forward to more success in 2016!