Sheffield duo secure top accolades

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WORLD class Sheffield duo Jessica Ennis and Nick Matthew scooped the top awards at the South Yorkshire Sports Awards last night.

Ennis, the world and European heptathlon champion, claimed the Sports Personality of the Year Award and Matthew, the World Open and Commonwealth Games champion, was crowned the Senior Performer of the Year.

Ennis landed gold in the pentathlon in Doha last March before securing European heptathlon gold four months later. The 24-year-old, who finished third in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award for the second consecutive year a month ago, began her season in Sheffield last weekend, competing in three individual events including the shot put, where she recorded an indoors personal best.

Matthew went on a 35-match unbeaten streak last year. The world number one clinched double gold in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, before becoming the first Englishman to lift the World Open title. He is currently preparing for the Tournament of Champions in New York, which starts tomorrow.

The event, which celebrates the achievements of local sportsmen, sportswomen and community sport from Rotherham, Barnsley, Doncaster and Sheffield, was staged at the English Institute of Sport.

Bruce Kelsey, South Yorkshire Sport director, said: “The South Yorkshire Sports Awards allowed us to showcase the very best in sporting talent and achievement across our region. Sport matters in South Yorkshire and it is clear from the many national and international achievements of our athletes, volunteers, coaches and clubs that South Yorkshire is a real hotbed of sporting talent.”

Other notable winners included BBL Cup holders Sheffield Sharks, who were named Senior Team of the Year whilst Robert Mace, of Sheffield Stars Cycle Speedway, received the Unsung Hero prize.