THE most brave, talented, kind-hearted and community-spirited children in South Yorkshire received the recognition they deserve at The Star’s Superkids Awards 2011.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as an audience of sportsmen, pop stars, civic leaders and business men and women celebrated the achievements of these special youngsters.
A few months ago adorable Niamh Coyne could barely walk, after enduring two liver transplants in two years.
But the excited four-year-old ran to the front of the hall at Mecure St Paul’s Hotel when her name was announced for the Special Award. The toddler from Woodseats, who is finally on the mend, bore a huge beaming grin as she arrived at the stage.
Her dad Rob Coyne, aged 31 – accepting the prize with mum Hannah, 25 – said the award was a huge boost for the family.
He said: “Niamh’s done so well. She spent the first part of her life in hospital and only had her first night at home when she was two and a half.
“And then she still had two liver transplants to come. She has been through so much.
“But now she’s doing well and she has loved the day, she is so excited.”
Triumph over Adversity Award Winner Jack Bloor, 11, wowed the audience with a dramatic display of his sword skills.
The incredible youngster from Frecheville, who has six disorders including Asperger syndrome and dyspraxia, is ranked third in the world for his age group in martial arts.
Jack went around the hall personally congratulating the other nominees after he was named award winner. The confident lad, who travelled to the awards ceremony after sitting his Year Six SATS exams yesterday morning, told The Star: “I wanted to show that you can do anything as well as normal kids, even with these kind of problems.”
Other winners included Ben Jordan Brindley, 14, who scooped the Bravery Award for his ability to cope with severe heart problems without complaining, and Megan Abel, 13, who represents Great Britain in karate, took home the Sports Award. Teenagers Atif Aslam and Zubair Khaliq were named Young Citizens of the Year for their efforts turning up week after week to help out with the Burngreave Tigers youth football club.
Music Award winner Ella Jo Kerrigan, 13, wowed the hall with her impressive voice, and Fundraiser of the Year Freya Morgan-Whittaker, just six, tugged at the crowd’s heart strings as they heard how she raised money for Comic Relief. Sheffield Youth Councillor Bilal Baroo won the Educational Achievement Award, young carer Jordan Midgley, 15 – who looks after his mum and two brothers – was recognised for Supporting the Family, and Joshua Straw, 13, got the Environment Award for his work for the Action for Stannington community project.
BBC Look North presenter Clare Frisby, who compered the celeb-packed awards ceremony, said afterwards: “These stories really go to the heart for me.
“The ceremony was hard to get through without a tear in my eye and crack in my voice.”