This live event has finished
Great to see Pools boss John Hughes presenting an award at tonight's Local Heroes event. An inspiring evening once again. #localheroes12— @Official_HUFC 04 December 2012
Great night at the #localheroes12 even tho my dad didn't win his category! Congrats to all the winners and well done to all organisers.— @MarkSimpsonHUFC 04 December 2012
Amazing night at the Northern Echo #localheroes12 awards night... So much unbelievable talent to be proud of in the region!!— @driscoll86 04 December 2012
#localheroes12 what an amazing night with some truly inspirational people! Congrats to all of the finalists, winners, coaches and parents!— @RosiePybus91 04 December 2012
A great night at #localheroes12 with Haughton Volleyball Club. Another great sporting year for the north east!— @EV_Sport 04 December 2012
A souvenir of tonight's awards will be in Saturday's Northern Echo.
And that's a wrap!
Congratulations to all of tonight's award winners and nominees - you're all local heroes and an inspiration to us all.
Local Hero 2012 Josef Craig
Unfortunately Kat has a very important training session in the morning, so to collect her award is fellow Olympic rower, Jess Eddie.
And there's a standing ovation for the winners as they collect their awards.
Local Heroes 2012
Winners: Kat Copeland and Josef Craig
For the first time ever, the judges decided to make a joint award.
The Local Heroes of 2012 are Olympic gold medallist, Kat Copeland, and Team GB's youngest gold medallist, Paralympian, Josef Craig!
Congratulations to the pair of them!
Josef Craig collects his award from Sunderland footballer Adam Johnson.
So all that remains is to name the overall local hero for 2012, and to present the award is Sunderland football star, Adam Johnson.
Outstanding Performance Of The Year
Winner: Steven Taylor
He is 13 and from Bishop Auckland. At the age of just 18 months he was so ill he needed heart surgery.
He's now gone on to be a cricket star at his primary school - St John's RC School.
Well done Steven!
Onto the final category now, the award for outstanding performance of the year, sponsored by Teesside University.
Junior Team/Club of the Year
Winner: Louisa Allstars Trampoline Club
The 2012 season has been the most successful to date for the club, based in Stanley.
Out of fewer than 30 members, nine of these are competing at a national level.
Next up is the junior award for the team or club of the year, sponsored by Durham Gate.
Most Promising New Talent
Winner: Sophie Ward
The teenager from Middleton St George, near Darlington, is now British champion for her age group in tae kwondo and has represented Great Britain in a number of tournaments.
She's also tipped as a future Olympian for the 2020 games.
Well done Sophie!
And now we're onto the award for most promising new talent, sponsored by Recognition PR.
Team GB Olympians Nicola Wilson and Steph Houghton join Scott Wilson on stage to relive their fantastic summer of sport.
Have got a bad head and feeling a bit sick after the rowing!! #localheroes12— @johnfoster257 04 December 2012
Very proud of our chairman Ean Parsons - finalist in the Leading Light category of tonight's @TheNorthernEcho #LocalHeroes12 Awards.— @SedgeHarriers 04 December 2012
Tension mounting... #localheroes12— @HCCLEJOG2012 04 December 2012
#localheroes12 come on Sophie Ward.— @MichaelGarmston 04 December 2012
Sporting Excellence (Junior)
Winner: Josef Craig
Some extraordinary and inspirational stories #localheroes12— @Recognition1st 04 December 2012
Scott Wilson talks to Olympic gold medallist Kat Copeland as she collected her Sporting Excellence (Senior) Award earlier tonight.
Remarkable Achievement (Junior)
Winner: Karina Bean
The 15-year-old from Melsonby started gymnastics at the age of 8, but was diagnosed with ADHD when she was 11.
She was later diagnosed with a rare eye disease and maltraking patellas, which makes her knees pop out.
Despite this she's gone on to become a British Champion.
Well done Karina!
Back to the awards!
Next up is the junior award for remarkable achievement, sponsored by Tees Barrage.
Before we carry on with the awards we've got a quick message from Alan Pardew, who couldn't be here tonight.
#localheroes12 An amazing evening so far ..... Everyone deserves to win!— @DSLFootball 04 December 2012
Milly from Deerness Gymnastics Academy saves the day and rows her way to £10,000 which will go towards Future Sport.
It's a good job Ali and John are good at presenting...!
It looks like @alibrownlee is a stranger to the intimate workings of a gym #localheroes12— @Echochrislloyd 04 December 2012
#localheroes12 He might not have won, but Charlie Donaghy (or Dad, as I call him) is still my hero! #PoppaD— @MrsOulton 04 December 2012
Hummersknott Cycle Club to win after a fantastic achievement following 2 years of grueling training #localheroes12— @Boroaldie 04 December 2012
If John and Alastair were in a real boat would it float? #localheroes12— @GrahamRobb 04 December 2012
John managed 250m in a minute. Will Ali beat him?
Now it's John's turn, and he's rowing well!
Keep going John!
We won. Thank you to all our volunteers and gymnasts! #localheroes12 http://t.co/nXjEu5kA— @DeernessGA 04 December 2012
And Ali appears to have broken the rowing machine...he was just too good.
BBC Tees presenters, Ali Brownlee and John Foster are hoping to follow in Kat Copeland's footsteps and row their way to £10,000 for Future Sport.
#localheroes12 Theres only one Team Carmel, one Team Carmel, one Team Carmellllllll— @sportyerikakaka 04 December 2012
Well done Deerness Gymnastics Academy #localheroes12— @Recognition1st 04 December 2012
Delighted for @DeernessGA - very well deserved winners of club of the year at @TheNorthernEcho #LocalHeroes12 Awards.— @chrisjlines 04 December 2012
Here with the Hummersknott Cycle Club lads/lasses and going for the win! #localheroes12— @taylor265 04 December 2012
Unbelievable commitment and dedication from #localheroes12 Unsung Heroes. Well done Leo Taylor!— @catherinemarch3 04 December 2012
Some fundraising fun now with The Northern Echo's chief sports writer, Scott Wilson.
Senior Team/Club Of The Year
Winner: Deerness Gymnastics Academy
Deerness Gymnastics Academy saved their leisure centre from public sector cuts and have goneon to wina number of fantastic awards.
They also won the ITV show, Let's Get Gold, and opened tonight's awards.
Very well deserved! Well done!
The last award before we go for a quick break is the senior award for team or club of the year, sponsored by Tees Active.
Winner: Leo Taylor
From Wingate, he is the lynchpin of Castle Eden Cricket Club. He has been club secretary since 1982 and is responsible for the day-to-day running of the clubhouse.
He's also a key fundraiser, raising enough money to send the club's junior section on six summer tours.
Well done Leo!
Next up is theUnsung Hero Award, sponsored by BMI Woodland.
Unfortunately she couldn't be at the awards tonight as she's in Australia!
Instead the lady who nominated her, Wendy Glasper, is collecting the award on her behalf.
Sir Bobby Robson Leading Light
Winner: Barbara Borwell
Barbara Borwell scoops the award for her work with visually impaired tennis players across the North-East.
Now we've got the Sir Bobby Robson Leading Light Award, sponsored by Virgin Money. It recognises those who guide others, pioneer, and inspire.
The marquee erupts into cheers and applause as the audience relives the winning moment from the summer.
Well done @katcopeland #localheroes12 #sportingexcellence— @scott_mowbray 04 December 2012
@jfryett_NECC looks great for 50 #localheroes12— @scott_mowbray 04 December 2012
Sporting Excellence (Senior)
Winner: Kat Copeland
This year's winner is golden girl, Kat Copeland.
21-year-old Kat from Ingleby Barwick wowed us all at this year's London 2012 Olympics when she won gold in the double skulls with her partner, Sophie Hosking.
Well done Kat!
Remarkable Achievement award #localheroes12 Amazing nominees! Well done winner Rosie Pybus— @catherinemarch3 04 December 2012
#localheroes12 having a great night - meeting Olympic winners http://t.co/V9m9SU9H— @spencerhudson 04 December 2012
#localheroes12 great night. Jonno get the beers is son....— @stevehowey84 04 December 2012
Goodluck Noah kyiiid #localheroes12— @chazzathegreat 04 December 2012
The awards are beginning #localheroes12— @borocaroline 04 December 2012
#localheroes12. Great night. Well done everyone— @Mobrin100 04 December 2012
Acropolis were pretty special tonight #localheroes12 incredible stuff! #flexible— @scott_mowbray 04 December 2012
Now for the awards @ #localheroes12 Good luck to all nominees!— @catherinemarch3 04 December 2012
Next up is the senior award for sporting excellence, sponsored by Darlington Building Society.
Remarkable Achievement Award (Senior)
Winner: Rosie Pybus
The 20-year-old is a North-East visually impaired tennis champion and devots much of her time to coaching other blind tennis groups across the country.
The first award is the senior award for remarkable achievement, sponsored by Northumbrian Water.
Right, that's dinner done! Now it's time to get presenting the awards.
But first, we've got a special message from Olympic gold medal winning long jumper, Greg Rutherford.
Olympic gold medallist Kat Copeland signs autographs
Louisa Allstars' first time at #localheroes12 awards; good luck! :D— @andazbrown 04 December 2012
They call him Barron, @EchoPeterBarron .Amazing entrance, tho not too sure about the wetsuit #wasitcold #localheroes12— @michaeldlines 04 December 2012
#localheroes12 keep buying those raffle tickets. Proceeds to Future Sport, great charity supporting new, young athletes.— @catherinemarch3 04 December 2012
Fab dinner @ #localheroes12 Bring on the sticky toffee pudding! :-))— @catherinemarch3 04 December 2012
#localheroes12 Good luck Sophie Ward have a fab night love from Angela n Gavin xxxxxx— @AgnelaSian 04 December 2012
Loved performing at #localheroes12 - great to be back on stage. http://t.co/bfzQhUbx— @AcropolisLive 04 December 2012
#localheroes12 good luck tonight to Sophie Ward from all at Chi Taekwondo in Sunderland :) xxx— @AgnelaSian 04 December 2012
Gotta love an awards do when you get free sweets on the table. #localheroes12 #table32— @andazbrown 04 December 2012
Great to see Kate Copeland and other North Eadt Olympians at #localheroes12— @GrahamRobb 04 December 2012
#localheroes12 Some of the tees barrage international white water centre team are having great time at the awards. Fantastic event!— @LeonJonseyJones 04 December 2012
We've got an Olympic silver medal on Table 11 #localheroes12 http://t.co/AgkARJZQ— @Echochrislloyd 04 December 2012
Nicola Wilson's hugely impressive medal - and it's very heavy! #localheroes12 http://t.co/qPqhhiRG— @CStoddartEcho 04 December 2012
Huge gaggle of girls mobbing Nicola Wilson (in nicest possible way) on Table 11 #localheroes12— @Echochrislloyd 04 December 2012
Acropolis from Deerness Gymnastics Club kick off the show
Looking forward to celebrating a good night at the @northernecho #localheroes12 awards!— @stephhoughton2 04 December 2012
lovely to see olympians supporting the local heroes awards 2012 @stephhoughton2 #table43 #localheroes12— @ruthmcshane 04 December 2012
Steve Cram with a message for nominees
Acropolis from Deerness Gymnastics Club wowed the crowds to kick off the ceremony.
Well, it's now time for dinner - smells delicious! We'll be back shortly with more updates from tonight's awards.
We're delighted to have other sporting VIPs here tonight, including Sunderland Football Club star, Adam Johnson, Hartlepool United Manager, John Hughes and Darlington Football Club Manager, Martin Gray.
Our North-East Olympians join Peter on stage to kick off tonight's celebrations.
Oh, he's made it, and in one piece too.
Thanks to Charlie Donaghy for lending Peter his track suit and Olympic torch, and everyone else who helped make the film.
Chief Sports Writer at The Northern Echo, Scott Wilson, takes to the stage as editor, Peter Barron hasn't made it yet. Wonder what's happened...
Host Peter Barron cuts it fine for the launch of the ceremony. Will he make it in time?
Just three minutes to go, the marquee's almost full and we're ready for a great celebration of grassroots sport in the North-East!
Really nice atmosphere here at Hardwick Hall as people gather for #localheroes12— @HCCLEJOG2012 04 December 2012
The marquee for tonight's #localheores12 looks amazing! http://t.co/JBZESZ09— @HannahBryanEcho 04 December 2012
Rehearsals done - time to celebrate all that's great about NE sport from the elite stars to unsung heroes of the grassroots. #localheroes12— @Scottwilsonecho 04 December 2012
Audience gathering for #localheroes12. Real buzz in the marquee. Have a great night everyone.— @EchoPeterBarron 04 December 2012
Guests are starting to arrive and being shown to their tables. The marquee looks fantastic and there's a great atmosphere already.
Not long until kick-off...
We'll be reporting live from the Local Heroes Awards at Hardwick Hall, Sedgefield, tonight from 6.30pm.
Follow the ceremony here at the Northern Echo website in our live blog with updates throughout the night and pictures and video clips from within the venue.