Runner-up spots for Erewash trio

Will Sharman with his runner-up certificate.
Will Sharman with his runner-up certificate.
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Commonwealth Games and European Championship silver medallist Will Sharman was one of three Erewash finalists at the University of Derby-sponsored-Derbyshire Sports Awards forced to settle for second place.

The 30-year-old hurdler was among four medallists from Glasgow to be shortlisted for the top prize of University of Derby Sportsperson of the Year at the prestigious annual ceremony held at The Roundhouse, Derby and attended by 250 nominees and dignitaries.

But the Long Eaton athlete watched on as swimmer Adam Peaty carried off the winners’ trophy ahead of Chesterfield table tennis player Liam Pitchford, Matlock shooter Caroline Povey and himself.

“When I looked at the shortlist of contenders for this award I thought ‘Wow’,” said Sharman. “There was quite a list of top Derbyshire sportspeople and each one could make a great case for winning it.

“Without grass roots sports, none of us would have had a route to the top and that should never be forgotten. It’s incredibly rewarding to see people at that level picking up awards and hopefully the presence of the top athletes acts as an inspiration to youngsters.

“I’m most proud this year of the European silver medal because the standard was so high and it gives me encouragement with the World Championships next year.”

Sharman was nominated after taking silver medals for England and Great Britain respectively in the 110m hurdles at this summer’s Commonwealth Games and European Championships.

He also took seventh place in the World Indoor Championships over 60m in March where he achieved a personal best of 7.53 seconds and captained the Great Britain.

Elsewhere, West Hallam’s Alex King finished as runner-up in the Origination Junior Disabled Sportsperson of the Year category were he was beaten by fellow swimmer Lewis White, who retained his title from 2013.

Alex, 16, improved his personal bests across the board and took silver in the Nationals Disability 50m freestyle, as well as gold in the same event and the 50m backstroke at the East Midlands Disability Championships.

Another to just miss out in the Derby County Football Club Team of the Year category was Draycott and Long Eaton Table Tennis Club Junior Girls, who were pipped by the Derby Trailblazers Basketball Club’s First Team.

Draycott were national Team Champions and runners-up in the Women’s British League, winning three East Midlands divisions of the National Cadet and Junior League.

The Derbyshire Sports Awards are organised Derbyshire Sport and recognise some of the county’s most committed and talented volunteers, coaches, athletes, clubs and organisations from grass roots through to elite level.

The county winners were selected by expert panels drawn from across all nine districts.