Ollie Watkins wins Professional Sports Award
The revamped Express & Echo Sports Awards were held at St James Park last night, with Exeter City picking five accolades on the night.
Exeter City academy graduate Ollie Watkins won the Professional Sports Award, the main award of the evening.
Since breaking into the first team in March last year, the attacking midfielder has scored 23 goals and won the EFL Young Player of the Year.
Ollie beat the likes of England international rugby stars Jack Nowell and Luke Cowan-Dickie, Rugby Premiership referee Luke Pearce and Olympian and European Championship gold medallist Jo Pavey to the award.
As well as the main award, Ollie won Best Sporting Individual Moment for his winning goal against Plymouth Argyle in last season’s Devon Derby at St James Park.
Ollie picked the ball up inside Plymouth’s half and beat two players before sending the Park into raptures with a screamer from 30 yards.
There was more success for City and the Football in the Community Scheme, as assistant manager Scott Walker won the prestigious Outstanding Contribution to Sport award.
Over 15 years working for FITC, Scott has successfully set up and managed a multi-sport school holiday courses for children across Devon.
The courses see thousands of children participate in such courses like Match Mania, where children play small-sided football matches all day or Train Like a Pro Day, where children train at the Cliff Hill Training Ground like professional players. This is all down to Scott who thoroughly deserves this award.
Football in the Community also won the Team of the Year award for the achievements of their Futsal Teams. The D team exceeded all expectations and won a National Final, while the C team reached the Semi-Finals.
The first ever Eamonn Dolan Award was handed out on the night to someone who deserved extra recognition and praise for their achievements and Exeter City’s health and wellbeing officer Peter Ferlie was the recipient of the award.
Peter has organised a new scheme called the ‘City Fit Club’ at St James Park where over 30s who want to lose weight and become more healthy both physically and mentally are invited to come and have fun and get fitter.
Express & Echo 2017 Sports Awards winners in full:
• Professional Sports Award: Ollie Watkins
• Best Sporting Moment (Individual): Ollie Watkins
• Best Sporting Moment (Team): Exeter Chiefs
• Young Sports Personality: Sam Talbot
• Amateur Sports Personality: Aaron Sellick
• Business Contribution to Sport: Bigwave Media
• Coach of the Year: Glenn Walpole
• Health and Wellbeing Award: Matt Upston
• Outstanding Contribution to Sport: Scott Walker
• School Team of the Year: Alphington School Football Team
• Team of the Year: Exeter City FITC Futsal Team
• Triumph Over Adversity: Nick Saunders
• Eamonn Dolan Award: Pete Ferlie