1. Skip to content

Everyone active, enjoying sport
and achieving their personal best

Young Sportswoman of the Year

Niamh Emerson with her Young Sportswoman of the Year award.

Athlete Niamh Emerson retained her title of Young Sportswoman of the Year after an outstanding 2016 for the talented 17-year-old heptathlete.

The Amber Valley and Erewash AC saw off stiff competition in her category from Chesterfield sprint hurdler Alicia Barrett, a finalist at the World Junior Championships, and Ashbourne's Isobel Brown, a skiing competitor for Great Britain at the Youth Winter Olympics and World Junior Championships.

Shirland teenager, Niamh, who is on the Derbyshire Institute of Sport (DIS) programme, has put in some stellar performances to beat the British age group record twice in 2016, win a European Junior Championships heptathlon bronze medal and a Commonwealth Youth Games gold medal in high jump.

It has led many to compare her to outstanding past and present British heptathletes including Jessica Ennis-Hill, Katerina Johnson-Thompson and Denise Lewis.

"It's really good to get the recognition for a second time and win what is a very prestigious award," said Niamh. "This last year has been my best yet and I feel like I am getting better year on year.

"I didn't really expect to do as well as I did and get so many points, so that just made it even better. I'll just keep training hard now to hopefully keep improving.

"My top target is to qualify for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia in 2018. Qualifying is next year, which makes it a bit tougher, but I'll give it my best shot."

Runner-up Isobel added: "Competing at the Youth Olympics was an amazing experience for me and you meet so many great people. To go to the county awards is brilliant."

"It's great to be nominated again, even if I didn't win," said Chesterfield Athletics Club member Alicia, 18. "If I was going to be runner-up to anyone it would be Niamh because I've known her for a really long time and we are good friends.

"It's really nice to get the recognition because you don't expect to be chosen from all the talented young athletes in the county – it's really cool."