YORK RI Ladies rugby union team, the Vikings Cheerleading Group and York Minxters Roller Derby Club are all vying for the 2018 Active York Sports Team/Club of the Year award.

The winners, along with those in a host of other categories at the Active York Sports Awards, will be decided on Thursday, March 22 in a presentation ceremony at the University of York’s Roger Kirk Centre.

There are 14 awards in all, with six of them featured in today's Press, following seven yesterday. The award for Outstanding Contribution to York Sport does not have a shortlist.

Tickets for the awards night are available until tomorrow. They cost £40 and can be bought by emailing info@thirstcommunications.co.uk or phoning Leanne on 07739 827108.

Team/Club of the Year

York RI Ladies Rugby Club

Having been undefeated in their league in 2016/17, conceding fewer than 50 points and scoring more than 300, the team won promotion and reached the semi-finals of their cup, only to lose by three points to the eventual winners.

Vice-captain Kirsty Parr was Women’s Player of the Year at the National Rugby Awards, while 10 RI players represented North Yorkshire against Durham last summer, with treasurer Nicola Sipika captaining the side to victory. Grace Field went on to play for Yorkshire.

Vikings Cheerleading

Only starting to compete in March 2017, Vikings have since placed at three competitions in the UK, winning seven trophies in total. The club now has about 50 members and more than five teams.

York Minxters Roller Derby

Founded in 2011 with only three members, the club were the first roller derby team in York. Now, there are more than 50 skaters and officials, with 2017 seeing the team enter the British Roller Derby Championships, and finish second at a tournament in Edinburgh.

Junior Team/Club

Heworth Rugby League Club Juniors

In 2017, Heworth’s junior ranks swelled to 219 boys and girls aged from six to 15, with at least one team in every age group (10 in total). The Heworth Little Heroes was also launched for younger children, with 20 aged from three to six attending weekly sessions.

The under-15s went unbeaten in the Yorkshire Junior League, while the U14s and U12s reached the quarter-finals of the Yorkshire Cup.

In August, the Rugby Football League recognised Heworth as the first Listening Club in the country, having followed an initiative to ensure dialogue between the club and its juniors, designed to gather feedback and make improvements.

Bishopthorpe White Rose Junior Football Club

Boasting eight teams and more than 150 players, White Rose is the largest girls’ football club in North Riding.

Along with U8 and U9 training teams, the club play competitive football from U10s to U16s. League Cups were lifted by the U12s and U15s, while the U14s were crowned league champions.

Joseph Rowntree Boccia Team

Having won the Lord Taverner’s Boccia Schools’ York/Selby title, the North Yorkshire title and the Yorkshire title, Rowntree went on to represent the county in Sheffield to compete for the title of national pan disability and physical disability champions. They finished fifth, having won three matches and lost just one.

Volunteer of the Year

Martin Lambert

Taking over chairmanship of Jorvik Warriors Powerchair Football Club at short notice a couple of years ago, Lambert saved the club from folding.

He has a disabled son with a severe neurological disorder and, alongside caring for him, puts hours of work into making sure all disabled children and young people in the York area can continue to play competitive football from a powerchair.

Lambert has also overseen the club’s admission into the Yorkshire League and is now arranging participation in the North East League.

Becky Wahl

The York Rose Fitmums & Friends Group was set up by Wahl and has had an enormous impact on the physical and psychological health of men and women in the area.

On the running group’s first evening, five mums turned up. Since then, 10 Fitmums & Friends groups have been launched across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, all led by volunteers. The group now has 73 members, men and women.

Fiona Parr

As York RI Ladies rugby team manager, Parr’s ambition is for the club to become the first to have an all-abilities side and she has also helped gain good levels of sponsorship.

Active School

Robert Wilkinson Primary Academy

Notable achievements in 2017 included being crowned North Yorkshire School Games Tri Golf champions.

They were also silver medallists in Year 5/6 tennis at the same competition, while the Year 3/4 tennis team reached the North Yorkshire Finals.

Eight athletes, meanwhile, competed at the North Yorkshire Cross Country finals and, in swimming, the school ranked number one in York. The Brownlee Triathlon saw 30 pupils take part, and each half-term about 30 out-of-school clubs are available across all year groups. The school was also awarded the Gold Sainsbury Kite Mark for School Sport.

Acomb Primary School

Partnerships with York City, York City Knights, Chance to Shine cricket and Mark Gunn basketball have led to a wide range of sporting opportunities for pupils, as has the acquirement of £1,000 worth of new equipment, made possible after fundraising by the children.

The school has also introduced their popular Friday Mile, where every member of the school, including staff, complete a mile together on a Friday morning.

It has signed up to the Premier League Stars sports and reading programmes, while a trip has been made to Yorkshire County Cricket Club, with future visits to Hull KR Rugby League Club and Bradford City FC planned. All are free for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Ralph Butterfield Primary School

A link has been established with Haxby Netball Club, where the girls are encouraged to attend on leaving the school.

As a direct consequence, Ralph Butterfied are holders of the Haxby Ladies Netball Primary School Tournament trophy.

Youth Group Provider

Door 84

The registered charity runs seven sessions a week for people aged from eight to 25, as well as providing young volunteer opportunities, advice, support, guidance, trips and community events.

A total of 929 young people have now registered with the organisation, which runs 300 open-access sessions a year.

The young people can explore multiple sporting activities, such as football, boxing, tag rugby, gymnastics, cricket, rounders and hula hooping, with all sessions costing only £1.

Door 84 also work in partnership with York City and York City Knights to deliver sports projects such as Kickabout sessions and tag rugby.

Healthy snacks, meanwhile, are provided and healthy cooking activities delivered. In addition, an annual residential is arranged to an outdoor activity centre, where the young people can challenge themselves with activities such as canoeing, zip-wiring and abseiling.


The University of York Students Union runs a volunteer service that offers free multi-sport opportunities for Special Education Needs and disabled children aged three to 11.

It is also one of the only organisations recognised as Makaton Friendly in York, with 20 students having completed a course so they can use the combination of both signs and speech to communicate with the children.

York City FC Foundation

The City Kickabout programme runs from Monday to Friday every week across York, providing inclusive football sessions for all and engages with more than 100 people per week. Each session is run by qualified coaches at a price of £1 within secure environments. Participants in past years also now volunteer to help run the sessions.

Active in York

Ray Schofield

The York Coronary Support Group was set up by Schofield, who oversees gym sessions to improve the quality of life for attendees with, in the main, heart-related problems.

Ian Wood

A York Canoe Club member since the 1990s, Wood has never let obstacles prevent him from being active. He was hit by a car at the age of five and left partially paralysed. Then, aged 24, he was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease - a genetic condition which causes a range of disabilities. It affects his energy levels and has caused progressive deterioration of his eyesight, to the extent he is now almost completely blind and uses a wheelchair.

He still undertakes a series of personal challenges, as well as participating in kayaking, wheelchair basketball, skiing, sailing, bungee jumping, wing-walking, parachuting, cycling, swimming and paragliding.

Good Gym York

The Running and Fitness group, led by Egg Cameron, are a collection of predominantly elderly volunteers who combine a healthy lifestyle with completing tasks to assist the community. Jobs that might take volunteers weeks are often finished in one session by members, who have maintained Glen Gardens in Heworth in an example of one of their many good deeds.