Georgia Stanway has been named as Cumbria's Sports Personality of the Year for the second year running.

Organised by Active Cumbria, the Cumbria Sports awards recognise the successes of teams and individuals from around the county who are involved in sport.

Richard Johnston, Chair of Cumbria Sports Awards Judging Panel, said: “In this, the forty-fourth year of the awards, the judging panel are once again overwhelmed by the number and quality of nominations.

“Every year, we hear of new names and their outstanding achievements, and the awards provide an opportunity to showcase the incredible range of great sporting talent in the county."

Stanway played in every game for England during the 2023 World Cup and was a key reason as to why the team made it to the final against Spain.

She was joined by a number of people from south Cumbria to be recognised at the awards.

The Westmorland Gazette: Gabriella Pettigrew with her Cumbria TKD squad in 2022Gabriella Pettigrew with her Cumbria TKD squad in 2022 (Image: Steve Herbert)

Taekwondo champion Gabriella Pettigrew, from Kendal, was named as the Junior Sports Personality of the Year.

Her recent victory in September meant that she has become a three-time British champion at the age of only 10 years old.

Jake Armitstead, also from Kendal, was given a Rising Star award after excelling in ski racing.

In September, Jake became the Under 16 British Dry Slope Ski Champion following a number of podium finishes across the summer season.


The Westmorland Gazette: Jake Armitstead representing the Queen Katherine School in 2021Jake Armitstead representing the Queen Katherine School in 2021 (Image: The Queen Katherine School)

The Service to Sport Award was awarded to 85-year-old Les Middleton from the world of Athletics. 

Les, from Barrow, has been a stalwart of Barrow and Furness Athletic Club for over forty years taking on many roles during that time, coaching, officiating, committee member, fundraising, organising the end of year awards evening and for the best part of those years he was Chairman of the Athletic Club.

In addition, Les held other positions including Chairman of the Cumbria Track and Field League, sitting on the Cumbria AA and was Vice Chairman of the mid Lancashire League.

Les is fully involved in organising the annual Dalton Charter 10K and all home fixtures. As a qualified official he attends all the Cumbria and Mid Lancashire league fixtures, which is no mean feat at the age of 85!

As well as a dedication to the club Les contributes to the wider athletics opportunities in Barrow and Cumbria being the driving force behind acquiring a new track after 26 years without one locally.  This not only benefited the club but the wider Barrow and Cumbria athletics community and his contribution and service to sport has benefited thousands within the field of athletics over a 40-year service.

Step Up and Play, a programme designed by head teacher Steve Herbert in Barrow, was recognised with the Active Education award.

The Westmorland Gazette: Steve Herbert during a tour of all League Two clubsSteve Herbert during a tour of all League Two clubs (Image: Steve Herbert)

A partnership between four schools, Step Up and Play aims to ensure that children aged 4-11 have opportunities to engage with local sports clubs.

Having recognised the need of Central Ward children to participate in sport, Steve has been determined to give them the same opportunity as other children.

He successfully secured funding for a pilot scheme and, on a weekly basis, manages Step Up and Play at a practical level.

The pilot scheme has been a great success with 135 children regularly participating in 5 different sports – participating has increased confidence and is making a positive impact to the lives of the children who would otherwise not be involved in a sporting activity.  Many of the children have gone on to represent their club in competitions.

Finally, following the securing of their Super League status, Barrow Raiders Ladies team were crowned Team of the Year.

Making the giant leap in just six years was seen by the judges as a source of vital inspiration for the next generation of sports stars.