Jiu-jitsu ace Libby is very good sport

A TRIO of individuals from Shaw, Crompton and Royton have been honoured at Oldham’s annual sports awards.

A fourth accolade at the glitzy evening went to Oldham Academy North (OAN) on Broadway.

Oldham Sports Awards 2019.
Libby Genge

Libby Genge from High Crompton, whose successes were first reported by the Correspondent in February 2018, was one of the occasion’s big winners, recognised as he borough’s sports achiever of the year.

Gareth Evans from Shaw collected ‘unsung hero in sport’ while Royton-based Reddy Lenge was confirmed as ‘changing lifestyle recognition’ award.

OAN’s ‘commitment to PE & Sport’ was also recognised at the ceremony attended by Royton-based, former Oldham Athletic manager Pete Wild, former Olympian Dorothy Shirley Emmerson and keynote speaker Tracey Neville MBE, England’s former netball head coach.

Crompton House pupil Libby defeated her rivals after an exemplary year in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In her own age and weight class, she is the current National, European and World champion.

She trains at Oldham’s Stealth BJJ Centre for two hours, six nights a week.

At the age of 14, Libby is now competing in adult competitions but is still winning gold medals.

A driven individual in a sport where role models are traditionally male, Libby is already becoming an inspirational figure to her peers.

In honouring Reddy, the judging panel were inspired by his development in the last year.

Oldham Sports Awards 2019.
Reddy Lenge

Finding himself spiralling into depression, anxiety and weight gain, he shut himself off from the world outside of work.

Struggling to socialise and cutting himself off from family members, at his lowest ebb Reddy was prescribed time off work.

At this point he discovered physical activity, after becoming a member at Royton’s OCL gym where he found a new lease of life, improving his physical fitness and confidence.

Reddy’s social skills continue to improve, and he has since joined a football team and completed the Three Peaks Challenge.

Gareth has dedicated most of his life to Hollinwood Football Club, organising countless fundraising events, gaining numerous grants, dealing with club appeals, as well as having numerous roles within the club, including child welfare officer.

His impact on the club has seen it go from strength to strength and kept the club in existence.

Oldham Academy North impressed judges were with the wide range of opportunities for pupils both across the curriculum and beyond.

The school has developed an inclusive environment which promotes opportunities to be active throughout the school day as well as a comprehensive extra curriculum programme and a huge range of competitive opportunities for all ages.

Other winners at the Queen Elizabeth Hall were Mental Health Football (community initiative award), midwife Claire Timms (workforce advocate award), Oldham netball head coach Pam Hazelton (volunteer of the year) and Oldham Netball Club (club of the year).

Joining Tracey Neville as guest speaker was Jo Taylor from ABC Diagnosis in Saddleworth. Jo received a standing ovation after a speech on her battle with cancer and the formation of ABC Diagnosis.

Veteran radio presenter Mike Shaft hosted a successful question and answer session. There was entertainment from Ian Harrison of Drumz Aloud.

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