Inspirational achievements in sport were celebrated at the prestigious Sport Pembrokeshire Awards 2018 on Friday.

Overall, 14 award-winners were announced in a variety of categories, together with the winners of two special awards – the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Special Achievement Award.

Now in its 12th year, the ceremony at Folly Farm was hosted by sports journalist Bill Carne and Cllr Huw George and organised by Sport Pembrokeshire. 

The Lifetime Achievement award was presented to Karen Bowen on behalf of her and her husband Peter, described by Geoff Williams, Head of Sport at BBC Wales, as a couple ‘at the forefront of British horse racing’.

He said: “Peter and Karen Bowen transformed a bungalow and a few fields into one of the best yards in the UK. Their complex at Letterston now boasts over 70 boxes and state-of-the-art facilities.

“But team Bowen is a family outfit. Karen is a former champion point-to-pointer, eldest son Mickey has a reputation as a successful point-to-point trainer; and Sean and James are professional jockeys. At 16, James became the youngest winner of the Welsh Grand National this year.

“They achieved a clean sweep at the recent inaugural Welsh Racing Awards – as Peter won the Welsh Trainer of the Year award; Sean picked up the Welsh Jockey of the Year and James was honoured as the Rising Star of the Year.

“Incredibly, the stable is on the verge of a 1000 winners.”

The Special Achievement Award, presented by the Chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council, went to 27-year-old footballer Kristian Speake from Crundale.

“The Award is given to a sportsman or woman who has overcome great adversity – and tonight’s winner is certainly no exception,” said Cllr Aden Brinn, Chairman.

“Kristian played for Haverfordwest AFC until last February when he was grievously injured in an incident in the town which resulted in a serious injury to his skull.

“He was in a coma for 24 days in the intensive care unit at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff before being placed on a neurological ward for several weeks.

“Kristian then spent six weeks in a special unit in Port Talbot where he underwent extensive physical and cognitive rehabilitation. He had three eye operations as well as brain surgery in which surgeons fitted a titanium plate in the right side of his head.

“However, there is a happy ending. Though determination and the support of his family and friends, Kristian has made a miraculous recovery and completed the Cardiff half marathon in October, raising money for the Cardiff and Vale Health Charity as a thank you to the medical staff involved in his treatment.”

Ben Field, manager of Sport Pembrokeshire, congratulated all the winners, finalists and nominees.

Coach of the Year: Simon Roach (Weightlifting).

Female Sporting Achievement: Caryl Jones (Athletics).

Male Sporting Achievement: Seth Morris (Surfing).

Boys (U16) Sporting Achievement: Alex O’Sullivan (Boxing).

Girls (U16) Sporting Achievement: Ella Wintle (Athletics).

Disability Sport Award: Ryan Foot (Rugby).

Junior (U16) Disability Sport Award: Lily Rice (Wheelchair Motocross).

Unsung Hero: William McGarvie (Neyland Judo Club).

Club Organiser: Kathy Hicks (Narberth Netball Club).

Team Achievement: Neyland CC 1st XI.

Junior (U16) Team Achievement of the Year: STP Inclusive Zone Basketball.

Contribution to School Sport: Alfie Wheeler (Haverfordwest High VC School).

Student Contribution to School Sport: Nicola Hayton (Platinum Ambassador).

Club of the Year: Strength Academy Wales.

The event was also sponsored by Sport Pembrokeshire, Valero, Western Telegraph, Radio Pembrokeshire and Folly Farm.