The top athletes and clubs in Port Hedland received some well-deserved recognition for their efforts and achievements at last week’s community sports awards. The annual event organised by the Town of Port Hedland celebrates the sporting achievements of the community’s best athletes and volunteers over the past year. The awards night featured guest speakers, former West Coast Eagles premiership star Daniel Venables, and Olympic gold medallist Simone Fountain. Among the winners were Hedland Taekwondo Club’s Damien Stewart, who was named sportsman of the year, Corona Beckman, named sportswoman of the year, and Hedland BMX Club, the club of the year. Taj Brittain was named official of the year, while Tracy Pickett and Jason Langford were recognised as joint winners of the volunteer of the year award. Stewart, who won gold at the State Taekwondo championships in the poomsae category, said the evening recognised the achievements and hard work the community put into the sporting community. “I felt proud to represent our club — it is a good club and it definitely punches above its weight in the State and the nation,” he said. Stewart said it had been a hard year for the club because of COVID-19 and uncertainty around competitions going ahead. “The club hasn’t been able to grow like it should organically because because of COVID restrictions,” he said. Langford said Hedland BMX Club’s strength was the large committee and dedicated volunteers. He said the award was recognition of the long hours the members put into running events. “It just shows the community coming together around a sport and making it available for the kids,” he said. “It’s been a really good year. We’ve had some good momentum and it feels like we’re going from strength to strength.” Langford said a highlight for the club was hosting the largest event at this year’s North West Series. “Then to have 35 entrants go down for State titles, which is as big as it’s ever been, participating in State titles. Seeing that and then coming away with some success and the kids winning trophies and plates is awesome,” he said. Town of Port Hedland Mayor Peter Carter said all the nominees demonstrated “exemplary sportsmanship”.