‘Iron Ryan’ wins our top award

Free Press editor Nick procter, special guest David Byas, winner Ryan Hepworth and sponsor Chris West.
Free Press editor Nick procter, special guest David Byas, winner Ryan Hepworth and sponsor Chris West.

IRON Man triathlete Ryan Hepworth has been named the first Bridlington Free Press Sports Person of the Year.

The Bridlington lifeguard, who was the leading Briton in his age group at the World Championships in Hawaii last year, picked up the accolade at a packed Bridlington Rugby Club last Friday evening.

A host of awards were given out at the ceremony, with swimmer Grace Dennis picking up the junior title and archers Michael Smith and Blain Nicholson claiming the under 21s trophies.

Hepworth said: “Until you sit and listen to the awards handed out, and hear the achievements of both the individual athletes and sports teams in the area, it is often overlooked just how many talented athletes are in the area.

“I’m honoured to be the 2011 Sports Person of the Year and want to say thanks to everyone at the Bridlington Free Press for their support.

“I hope this award and exposure helps increase the profile of triathlon in the area, and can encourage more people to participate in what is a thoroughly enjoyable sport.

“Off the back of last season, and due the support of the Free Press, I have now been sponsored by the We Love Mountains racing team. This is obviously great news for my upcoming season as they provide all my race kit and equipment, and has enabled me to enter events all over the UK, and also Belgium and Spain this year.”

Read all about the awards ceremony on pages 66-68.