He maybe more comfortable in a swimming pool than on a stage, but there was no hiding place for Julian Chan Quee Lin when he was named the sports person of the year at last night’s Active Wandsworth Sports Awards.

The 16-year-old pipped Adam Adaman and Cameron Carrington to the crown on a star-studded night where the great and good of Wandsworth were recognised for their achievements in 2013.

Distance swimmer Chan Quee Lin had a year to remember – including competing for Great Britain in the European Youth Olympics, finishing ninth in the 1,500m freestyle final.

The Dulwich College pupil also won six gold medals in the Youth Regional finals, and gold at the Surrey Championships, and he would end the year as number two in the country in his age group over 400m and 1,500m.

But take him out of a pool, and it is a different matter.

Chan Quee Lin said: “I really did not think I would win, so it was quite a shock. When I realised I had won, I was extremely nervous and had no idea what I was going to say on stage. I am much more comfortable in the pool.

“The highlight of the year was being part of Team GB going to the European Youth Olympics. Getting the kit, meeting my team-mates, going abroad and competing – it was great.”

He added: “I really enjoy competing, and usually when you enjoy something you do well at it and when you do well, you get selected for teams, and when you get selected you go abroad, and then you get to go to awards nights like this

“Fingers crossed I stay injury free. I am looking forward to becoming a successful athlete.”

The awards night was not just about the big achievers, as those behind the scenes were also recognised for their contribution to sport in Wandsworth.

One such man is Greg Cruttwell, the man behind Balham Blazers FC, who took to the Civic Suite stage twice to collect awards for sports club of the year and outstanding contribution to sport and physical activity.

The 53-year-old is a self-confessed sport addict, and it is that passion for competition that has driven the Blazers to success, but Cruttwell is also quick to recognise the huge efforts of his support team.

“You cannot run a football club with 200 players on your own, no matter how hard you work, it is impossible,” he said.

Wandsworth Times:

Winner: Balham Blazers' Greg Cruttwell, with special guest Kate Haywood  SP82932

Click here for the night's picture gallery

“Any successful organisation has to be a team effort. We have a fantastic team, we have a committee of 16 people, 16 to 20 coaches, and a lot of parents who help out as well.

“I run the whole the thing, and I try to be in control of everything, but without those people I could not do it, it would be impossible.”

He added: “It is inspiring coming to an event like this, seeing the wide range of sports and the achievements. I would watch any sport, at any time, so to get to work with kids in my favourite of all sports is just an honour.

“It is incredibly important to recognise people’s achievements and efforts on nights like this.”

The night was compered by Paralympic gold medallist, and the face of Channel 4’s London 2012 Paralympics coverage, Danny Crates, while Commonwealth Games swimming silver medallist Kate Haywood presented the awards.

Wandsworth Times:

Big night: The Active Wandsworth Sports Awards recognised the good and great from the community              SP82932

Crates, who won 800m gold at Athens 2004, said: “Nights like this are extremely important. We’re all glued to the television watching the Winter Olympics at the moment, and of course everyone was watching during London 2012.

“We see what we think is the pinnacle of sport and the highest achievers competing for their nation in the biggest events on the planet – but actually, that is not what sport is about.

“It’s about nights like this. They are brilliant because it is a huge mix of backroom people, like the treasurer of 50 years – most people don’t even know their name and yet the club would not exist without them – right through to the coach who stands out in the pouring rain, to the athletes themselves.”

The Awards

Sports club/organisation of the year
Winner: Balham Blazers FC.
Nominated: Thames Rowing Club, Ernest Bevin Phoenix Judo Club.

The Mayor's award
Winner: Ann Johnston.
Nominated: Richard Harrison, Linden Lodge boccia team.

Outstanding contribution to sport/physical activity
Winner: Greg Cruttwell.
Nominated: Jefferson Williams, Bob Pearson.

Young volunteer of the year
Sharna McDermott.
Nominated: Joseph Gomez, Tamia Stone Martin.

Voluntary services to sport
Winners: Adam Hannachi, John Longridge, Mark Livingstone, Thomas
Horrigan, Tony Costa, Louise Eyeington, Rachel Arbuckle, Richard Weston, Jean Peddle.

Coach/instructor of the year
Winner: Jaime Bodkin.
Nominated: James McDonald, Mark Coyle.

Physical activity project of the year
Winner: Box n Skills.
Nominated: The Furzedown Project, More Life UK Ltd.

Team of the year (U18)
Winner: Herne Hill Harriers U13 girls cross- country team.
Nominated: Ernest Bevin School volleyball team, Ernest Bevin Phoenix judo team, Putney High School cross-country team.

John WE Davis award (London Youth Games)
Winner: Girls hockey team.
Nominated: Indoor rowing team, Outdoor rowing team, Girls cross-country team.

Wandsworth Times:

Hockey-tastic: The winners of the John WE Davis award    SP82932

David Burns award (London Youth Games)
Winner: Saskia Millard.
Nominated: Reiss Ormonde Cunningham, Isabella Padt.

Junior sports person of the year
Winner: Alice Kelly.
Nominated: Tian Isidore, Katy-Ann McDonald.

Sports person of the year
Winner: Julian Chan Quee Lin.
Nominated: Adam Adaman, Cameron Carrington.

Wandsworth Times:

One to look out for: The Active Wandsworth junior sports person of the year Alice Kelly, with Kate Haywood           SP82932