THREE of the borough’s sports clubs have scooped prestigious honours at the Pride of Tameside Sports Awards.
Organised by Active Tameside and supported by the Tameside Sport and Physical Activity Network, this year’s event returned to its online format and focused on one specific category – Club of the Year/Group of the Year.
Despite a flurry of worthy nominations in a variety of sports, only three would be chosen to win an additional cash prize to be spent on sports equipment, courtesy of headline sponsor Davies Sports.
Goldcrest Archers, based in Hyde, was rewarded with top place and a £200 voucher, while Ashton’s MCR Dance and Cheer Academy took second and £100.
Ashton-under-Lyne Swimming Club, which fought an unsuccessful battle to save its facility from closure – with it now earmarked for demolition, was awarded third and £50 to be spent on equipment.
Winning the category proved to be a momentous feat for Goldcrest, which was established in 2011, as the club has continued to excel despite a devastating fire to its headquarters in 2020.
The club, based at Redfern House on Meadow Street, has a proud history of producing notable champions – including Paralympian Hazel Chaisty – who competed at the Tokyo Paralympics in 2021. Hazel, from Glossop, bowed out of the women’s individual recurve open with a sixth placed finish.
In conjunction with the Tameside Sport and Physical Activity Network – which is headed up by Active Tameside’s Andy Dwyer – Goldcrest have previously held summer camps to entice a new generation of archers to the club.
Commenting on the award, it said: “Amazing news to receive from Active Tameside. What an amazing and inclusive club we have become, supported by a great group of coaches, volunteers and club members – and not forgetting our amazing chair Peter and secretary Tracy.”
The club is always open to new members joining. If you’re interested and would like more information, head to: https://www.goldcrestarchers.co.uk/all-about-archery
Meanwhile, MCR Dance and Cheer Academy, based on Grosvenor Street, has danced its way to success across various age levels.
A community interest company offering a range of activities and services to the people of Tameside and east Manchester, it is forced to raise funds to subsidise the activities it offers.
It is also a not-for-profit organisation and relies on grants, donations and small charges to ensure it can provide its outstanding levels of service.
Dancers were recently in action and completed a 12-hour danceathon to raise funds for Cash for Kids, Greater Manchester.
Coaches, members and parents also competed in a charity football match, held at Avro FC’s Vestacare Stadium, to raise further funds, while one of the club’s coaches had the club emblem tattooed on his forearm.
Fundraising efforts generated a combined total of £17,066.93 for the charity and will now be used towards improving the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in Greater Manchester’s communities who are affected by poverty, illness, neglect or have additional needs.
As a token of thanks for their continued efforts, the club received £5,000 for generating the most out of the 27 clubs involved with the campaign.
Ashton Swimming Club’s third placed finish was a bittersweet moment for all concerned.
Following an unsuccessful battle to prevent their longstanding pool from closing, the club, which was created in 1895, now resides in the £4 million state-of-the-art pool in Hyde.
Members and volunteers held their first training session in the Hyde facility on September 5, before competing in the first gala on September 12.
Commenting on the achievements of all three clubs, Andy Dwyer said: “The main aim of this award is to showcase the great work carried out by all Tameside sports clubs and physical activity groups, this is done through many volunteers who give up their time to benefit people of all ages and abilities giving people the chance to become more physically active and lead a healthy lifestyle.
“All clubs and groups nominated are affiliated to the Tameside Sports Network which provides local support in any aspect of club/group development with its key objective to tackle inequalities.”