Bedford Borough Sports Awards Winners!

Bedford Borough Council has announced the winners of this year’s Bedford Borough Sport and Physical Activity Awards.

With an incredible array and quality of nominations this year, the panel decided to award four ‘Special Commendations’, reflecting how close the final scores were in several categories.

Sarah Bullimore won ‘Adult Personality of the Year’ for her achievements in equestrian eventing, including a bronze medal at the European Eventing Championships earlier this year.

In the ‘Junior Personality of the Year’ award, Etienne Maughan was successful with her accomplishments in athletics. She is ranked 2nd in the UK in the under 17s 80m hurdles, and 4th in the UK in the under 17s 100m. Special Commendation went to Gracie Wall, following her outstanding performance in the under 17s high jump despite injury this year.

This year’s ‘Unsung Hero’ is Paula Bailey for her work with the Modernian Swimming Club until her untimely death in February 2021. She passionately wanted to give back her time to the club that both her children swam with, and supported the club with many unseen hours behind the scenes.

Special Commendation in the ‘Unsung Hero’ category went to Baz and Paula Townsend, who have given their time and expertise to Bedford Blues for over 20 years in an entirely voluntary capacity. Their work maintaining the ground and making sure fans and spectators have the best experience on match days is so valued by players, staff, directors and fans of the Blues.

The full list of Sport and Physical Activity Awards winners this year is:

Adult Personality of the Year 2021

Winner – Sarah Bullimore – Eventing, Equestrian

 Junior Personality of the Year 2021

Winner – Etienne Maughan – Athletics

Special Commendation – Gracie Wall – Athletics, High Jump

Disability Sports Personality of the Year 2021

Adult Winner – Dermot Bailey – Wheelchair Tennis

Special Commendation - Manjit Singh Kali-Rai – Walking Hockey

Junior Winner - Varun Bandi – Wheelchair Racing

 Club of the Year 2021

Winner – Riverside Tennis Club

Community Club / Group of the Year 2021

Winner – No Barriers – Tennis

Special Commendation ­- Canoe Trail Crew – Multi Sports

Primary School of the Year 2021

Winner – Westfield Primary School

Team of the Year 2021

Winner – Bedford Hockey Club, Women’s Over 35 Squad

Coach of the Year 2021

Winner – Richard Harpham – Multi Sports

Unsung Hero 2021

Winner – Paula Bailey – Swimming

Special Commendation Hero – Baz and Paula Townsend – Rugby Union

Service to Sport 2021

Winner – Mike Carter - Kayaking

Cllr Doug McMurdo, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture said “The Sports and Physical Activity Awards, supported by a range of local companies, recognise and celebrate the contribution of individuals, clubs and coaches to sports and physical activity locally. I personally want to thank them all for their much valued contributions and participation – thank you!

“These Awards really do demonstrate the incredible sporting prowess we have locally, along with the commitment and work of coaches, clubs, schools and volunteers to help our athletes be their best. Sport can create such an incredible community spirit, which is so important in these challenging times.”

Further information about the awards and winners is available at