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Two Exeter businesses announced as finalists at the 20th Devon Sports Awards

By May 5, 2017January 26th, 2021Member News & Updates

The finalists for the prestigious 2017 Exeter Foundation Devon Sports Awards have been announced and all 30 are outstanding. To mark the 20th year of the awards there are some exciting new categories and the finalists include people from all aspects of community sport from coaches and volunteers to sportspeople from a really diverse range of sports.

The Awards which will take place on 30th June at Sandy Park celebrate diverse sporting contributions and achievements from community level coaching right through to elite sports performers. The main purpose of the Awards is to recognise those who inspire people to participate at all levels in sport.

“Each year the Exeter Foundation Devon Sports Awards go from strength to strength and help to recognise the truly outstanding work that is being carried out throughout the county at all sporting levels” said Tony Rowe OBE, Chairman of the Exeter Foundation.


“Looking at all the nominations across the board, it’s clear that the judging panel must have had another series of painstaking decisions to make, such is the calibre and quality of all those selected. However, we see all those shortlisted as winners in their own right and the efforts they are producing are helping to inspire the next generation of sporting stars within Devon.” Said Matt Evans from Active Devon

All finalists have been invited to attend a special 20th anniversary ceremony and this year, they will be presented with their trophies and certificates by James Cracknell OBE, British athlete, rowing champion and double Olympic gold medallist

The expert judging panel, coordinated by Active Devon who are overseeing the Awards in partnership with the Exeter Foundation and Exeter College, have carefully whittled the entries down to the final 30 individuals and teams from an extremely strong pool of nominations.

Rob Bosworth, Vice Principal – Schools, Partnerships & Curriculum, Exeter College, said:  “Exeter College is delighted to be a partner in the Devon Sports Awards and recognise the contributions made by those who inspire sports performers at all levels.”


Finalists in Exeter are Jo John from Exeter City Swimming Club who is up for Devon Coach of the Year, Danielle Page from Exeter’s SW Athletics Academy who is among the final three contenders for Devon Young Coach of the Year and also from SW Atheltics Academy is Sonya Ellis who is a finalists in the Contribution to Inclusive Sport category. There are two Exeter based finalists in the two new categories for this year, Business Contribution to Sporting Activity in the Workplace category in which category Big Wave Media have made it into the final three and Business Contribution to Sport in the Community where The Exeter are among the final three. Finally Molly Canham from Exeter Harriers is the only Exeter finalist in the Community Sports Performer of the Year, the largest of the categories


In addition to the 8 main award categories and the supplementary presentations for Performances in Community Sport there is a special award for Outstanding Contribution to Sport in Devon, which will only be announced on the night.

“The Devon Sports Awards are always keen to recognise volunteers who work hard in their sports and so often go unrecognised” said Matt Evans Chief Executive of Active Devon. “The Devon Volunteer and Devon Young Volunteer categories are one way that we can celebrate their achievements. We want to thank everyone who nominated someone special in their sport and say keep up the good work”. 

The full list of finalists are:

Devon Coach of the Year 

Jo John, Exeter City Swimming Club
Denise Austin, Academy of Beach Sports, PETROC, Volleyball England Junior Girls
Helen Reddy, Honiton Gym and Ivybridge College 

Devon Young Coach of the Year


Nathaniel Rookes, Tavistock Swimming Club 

Danielle Page, SW Athletics Academy

Matthew Rhymer, Academy of Beach Sports



Devon Volunteer of the Year


Esther Rookes, Tavistock Swimming Club

Jeremy Rice, Honiton Rugby Club

Stephen Wilbraham, Torbay Athletics Club


Devon Young Volunteer of the Year


Jessica Atkinson, Crediton Active Mums

Amber Francis, Tavistock Swimming Club

Kyanna Fritz, Plymouth Marjon Hockey Club


Devon Club of the Year


Axe Vale Netball Club

Fremington Youth Football Club

Academy of Beach Sports


Contribution to Inclusive Sport


Sonya Ellis, SW Athletics Academy

Barnstaple Ability FC

Bobby Singh, ROC Active

Business Contribution to Sporting Activity in the Workplace

PETROC College of Further and Higher Education, Tiverton
Department for Work and Pensions, Plymouth

Bigwave Media, Exeter

Business Contribution to Sport in the Community

LED Leisure

Devonport Royal Dockyard Employee Trust
The Exeter

Performances in Community Sport


·         Alyssa Oates, Underwater Hockey (Plymouth Underwater Hockey Club)

·         Elyse Leech, Athletics (Torbay Athletics Club)

·         Felicity Ayres, Gymnastics (Falcons Gymnastics Academy, Barnstaple)

·         Kendal Brown, Tennis (Torquay Tennis Club)

·         Molly Canham, Athletics (Exeter Harriers)

·         Tate Budge, Taekwon-Do (Trenic/Yiewsley Taekwon-do Academy)


More information about the Devon Sports Award are on the Devon Sports Awards Facebook page @DevonSportsAwards and Twitter @DevSportsAwards. Tickets can still be purchased for the Awards at Sandy Park with James Cracknell. Contact [email protected] for more details.