Turner prize at sports award show

PUBLISHED: 11:59 22 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:59 05 October 2010

Judo star Ricky Lee Turner has been crowned Canary Wharf Sports Personality of the Year

A judo star with the world at his feet has been crowned Canary Wharf Sports Personality of the Year.

Ricky Lee Turner, who trains at the Docklands Dragons Judo Club, picked up the prize at an awards dinner at East Wintergarden on Thursday.

The 20-year-old won a string of titles in 2008, including the under-100kg categories at the British, Ireland and Belgium Open Championships.

He has also been picked for the England under-23 squad for a European tournament in Croatia.

Turner was selected for the award ahead of a stellar line-up of local names, including fellow martial arts star Molly Ullah, table-tennis whizz Ashley Facey-Thompson, Bethnal Green Sharks swimmer Brid Cudmore and Millwall's rugby player of the year Andrew Benjamin.

"This is a tribute to my mum and dad, who have trained me and taken me everywhere," Turner said on picking up his prize.

The seventh annual awards, presented by West Ham legend Tony Cottee, were set up to recognise those who have made an outstanding contribution to sport in Tower Hamlets.

The Special Achievement Award went to Anwar Uddin, the Stepney-born captain of Dagenham and Redbridge FC.

The junior team of the year was the Kaizen Ryu national squad, while Tower Hamlets Women FC were named as the senior team of 2008.

Millwall Park Sports Development Project, which has established a number of sporting schemes for hundreds of local children, was named the best group of the year.

Cottee, who was joined on stage by Britain's Got Talent hopeful ball-jugglers Billy Wingrove and Jeremy Lynch, had a word of advice for the youngsters in the audience.

"My advice is to practise, practise, practise. Sport is fantastic, it's so much better than Gameboys and computer games. Just get out and play your sport," he said.

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