MARK Cueto, the Cumbrian-born England Rugby Union International, has been crowned the Cumbria Sports Awards Personality of the Year.

Cueto was unable to be present to accept his award at the presentation dinner in the Low Wood Hotel on the banks of Windermere last night (Friday)

He was preparing for England's International Challenge match against Samoa, but the gathering heard a recorded message of thanks and his uncle picked up the award on his behalf.)

Cueto had a fantastic year, representing England both home and abroad, and being part of the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.

Kendal athlete Philip Lee collected the Performance Award for People with Disabilities Philip Lee after his exploits in representing England on the track at the Celebral Palsby-ISRA World Championships in the USA and also winning two goals at the national championships.

Other awards made and their sports were: Junior Sports Personality - Carlisle squash player Victoria Bell. Senior Team Award - Whitehaven Rugby League Club. Junior Team Award - Thorncliffe School, Barrow U16 basketball team. Coach of the Year Award - Tony Tomlinson, Rugby League coach from the Workington area. Performance Award - Richard Byers (athletics). Special Award Tony Dobbin (National Hunt jockey) Five Rising Star Awards were made to: 1 Max Wiper (Barrow, football/Rugby League). 2 Robert Miller (rugby union, Keswick). 3 Jamie Little (karting, Frizington). 4 Thomas Young (swimming, Newbiggin). 5 Jordie Cooke (trial biking, Penrith). Service to Sport Award - Paul Keen (swimming, Barrow). Special award - Tony Dobbin (National Hunt jockey).