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Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com - 25/02/16 - Commercial - Active Bradford Sports Awards - The Bradford Hotel, Bradford, England - Provident's Kathy Prior with Martino Corazza who took the Provident Good Neighbour Award.

Bradford came together to celebrate the inaugural Bradford Sports Awards last night, sponsored by Provident.

Eighteen awards across five categories recognised a host of individuals, clubs and teams together with grassroots and community heroes from the area.

Over three hundred people packed into the Bronte Suite at The Bradford Hotel for the ceremony to toast the achievements of athletes, coaches and volunteers from every level of sport.

High profile guests included Bantams manager Phil Parkinson while City legends Stuart McCall and David Wetherall, Bradford Bulls Chief Executive Robbie Hunter-Paul and Yorkshire County Cricket Club Chief Executive Mark Arthur were also in attendance.

Amongst the winners on the night were Bradford City, who were named Club of the Year whilst also claiming the Sport Highlight award for their FA Cup heroics against Premier League giants Chelsea.

Bantams Manager Phil Parkinson took to the stage to collect the trophy, and felt the awards were a huge success in their first year. “It’s just great to be involved in this and to hear about the fantastic achievements of other sportspeople in this city” he said.

Yorkshire and England cricketer Jonny Bairstow won Sportsman of the year ahead of teammate Adil Rashid and Wigan and England Rugby League start John Bateman, sending his thanks via a video message.

Young archer and Tokyo 2020 Olympic prospect Jessie Slater pipped former Commonwealth Games medallist Michelle Smith to the Sportswoman award whilst Sensei Mumtaz Khan was named Coach of the Year for her work with Onna Ju-Jitsu Club, helping hundreds of people to be more physically active and transform their attitudes towards exercise.

Provident were the Main Sponsor of the Bradford Sports Awards and presented their own Good Neighbour Award to Mixed Ability Rugby World Tournament event organiser Martino Corazza.

The Provident Good Neighbour Award recognises those who have contributed to local grassroots sport and community engagement, promoting healthy, active lifestyle, while engaging with disaffected youth and tackling anti-social behaviour through the power of sport.

Martino was the man responsible for the organisation of the Mixed Ability Rugby World Tournament. More than £ 135,000 was raised to bring the tournament to Bradford, but it took more than just financial backing. The Mixed Ability Rugby World Tournament which included events at Bradford & Bingley Rugby Club and in the City centre, attracted more than 2,000 people in total, an it was Martino’s tireless work towards the co-ordination of travel and spearheading of the fundraising effort that paved the way for the tournament to take place. Martino worked with international partners, lobbied parliament and secured sponsorship from the private sector. He even pulled on a pair of boots to compete in tournament as a player! The tournament has left a lasting legacy for Mixed Ability Rugby in Bradford and beyond, and the bidding process for the staging of the 2017 tournament is underway. It is Martino’s tireless work that has made all of this possible“.

This prestigious recognition has to be shared with all the other organisers, volounteers, supporters and players that made such an extraordinary event possible. This award is for you all!

IMAS