Table tennis star Ashley wins Canary Wharf award
A teenage Paralympic table tennis star has been named Canary Wharf Sports Personality of the Year.
Ashley Facey Thompson, who will represent Great Britain at the 2012 Paralympic Games, won two golds and one silver at the National Disability Table Tennis Championships and led Great Britain to team gold at the Italian and German Opens last year.
The 16-year-old Morpeth School student was presented with the trophy last night at the Canary Wharf Sports Awards ceremony at the East Wintergarden by West Ham United player Joey O'Brien and Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick.
Facey Thompson, coached by Grant Solder, is the number one ranked disabled table tennis player in the country, having represented the Great Britain senior men's team since he was 14.
It was the culmination of an evening sponsored by Canary Wharf Group celebrating the achievements of sports people of all ages in Tower Hamlets, with Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu and celebrity builder Tommy Walsh also in attendance.
Ralph Humphrey and Bob Milligan from the Poplar Blackwall and District Rowing Club, who were unbeaten in in 2011 and won the World Masters title in Poland, the Britain Masters and the Henley Masters Veterans titles, were named senior team of the year.
Other winners were Westward Boys Football Club Under 13 B Team (Junior Team of the Year) and Newark Youth London (Group Achievement Award).
Special achievement awards were presented to 10-year-old Jonjo Heuerman (pictured left with Tommy Walsh for his charity fundraising efforts for bowel cancer research, and Muay Thai champion Ruqsana Begum.
Voluntary commitment awards, recognising outstanding service to local sport, were presented to Major Carr (Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets AC), Fred Turner (Dragons Judo Club), Tony Carroll (Senrab FC), David Yems (Phantoms RFC), Janice Lewis (Bethnal Green Sharks Swimming Club), Kabir Miah (Newark Youth) and Mark Hart (Millwall Albion FC).
Canary Wharf Group company secretary John Garwood said: "If people have drive and focus, then remarkable things can happen, and this year's winners are testament to that.
"There is no doubt East London has some of the world's best sporting talent which will be on display at London 2012.
"However it is important to inspire and nurture the next generation."
Canary Wharf Construction announced it would be making an annual award of up to £10,000 to a deserving sports organisation in Tower Hamlets and invited clubs to bid for the cash.