ON Friday, November 24, we will celebrating the 11th annual Pride of St Helens Awards.

In last Thursday’s paper (in shops now) we published a 16-page supplement profiling each of the shortlisted nominees for this year's ceremony.

Throughout this weekend and next week ahead of the event at the Totally Wicked Stadium, we will be sharing our categories of nominees with you.

Here are your nominees for Mikhail Hotel and Leisure Group Pride of St Helens Award - Sportsperson category sponsored by Saints RLFC.

Hannah Conroy-Lax

St Helens Star: Hannah Conroy-LaxHannah Conroy-Lax (Image: Submitted)

ST HELENS can boast yet another world champion after Hannah Conroy-Lax was crowned winner of the World’s Strongest Woman contest.

Hannah triumphed in the contest in Finland to bring an end to an incredible nine[1]month journey.

The 37-year-old, who lives in Sutton Manor, had only began taking part in competitive events in January this year. She competed in novice categories before this year. At the start of the year, Hannah contacted Josh Jackson Fitness Training for help with nutrition and training plans and her first step on the journey was the Northern Qualifier, in March.

She progressed to England’s Strongest Woman competition the following month and a new-found confidence about her, she won all but one event at the competition, earning the title of England’s Strongest Natural u75kg Woman.

This earned a ticket to compete at Britain’s Strongest Woman. At this two-day event in July, in events which included a deadlift race that finished with her lifting a Kia Sportage from the floor three times, Hannah was officially named Britain’s Strongest Natural u75kg Woman, with the worlds in Finland her next target.

The event saw Hannah tackling a lot of ‘odd object movements’, including rope pulling a Luton Van, racing with a 180kg wheelbarrow and deadlifting a sauna cabin. She won all but one of the events on day two to be officially crowned The World’s Strongest u75kg Natural Woman.

Michael Callaghan

St Helens Star: Michael CallaghanMichael Callaghan (Image: Submitted)

ST HELENS has had no shortage of darts success stories this year – and disability player Michael Callaghan is right up there - having finished the season top of the world rankings.

During the season, Michael won six events, including five in a row, with the last one of his run coming fittingly in St Helens, at Sidac, Sutton Leach. In March Callaghan’s triumph at the Isle of Man Darts Festival took him to the coveted world number one spot.

Callaghan plays in the standing category in the British Disability Darts Association (BDDA) circuit. There are two categories - standing and wheelchair and players with a wide variety of physical impairments compete in tournaments in the UK and Europe.

Callaghan says highlights of the season included trips to Denmark, where the event was played in an ice-hockey arena, and to Antwerp. And the 51-year-old, from Sutton Leach, felt “overwhelmed” after finishing the season as number one amid rising standards and an increasing playing field in the disability darts scene.

“With the standard of player, it’s unbelievable, it’s a massive achievement.

“There’s so many good players out there, I’m overwhelmed.”

Callaghan uses the nickname is ‘Dr. Evil’, due to his passing resemblance to the criminal mastermind from the Austin Powers films and the persona leads to many people ask him for a photograph with the shirt and he hopes it can help raise the profile of disability darts.

Lucy Renshall

St Helens Star: Lucy RenshallLucy Renshall (Image: Submitted)

ST HELENS judoka Lucy Renshall moved to the top of the world in June 2022 following an array of impressive performances – and more than 12 months on she’s still number one in the -63kg rankings.

The 27-year-old from Eccleston has enjoyed another productive year, despite a couple of breaks for surgery, and is now gearing up for the Tokyo Grand Slam in December. Lucy won Bronze at the Tel Aviv Grand Slam in February, before winning Gold at the Tbilisi Grand Slam in March.

Lucy qualified for the World Judo Championships in Doha in May and in August won the Gold in the Zagreb Grand Prix - her 20th IJF World Tour medal. She has achieved plenty since starting the sport as an eight-year-old with the SKK Judo Club in Earlestown.

A career so far has taken her to the Tokyo Olympics, seen her collect a European Bronze medal bronze in 2018 at her first major senior event in Tel Aviv, become an under 23 and under 21 European Champion, plus a u21 World Bronze winner.

Renshall, who trains at the British Judo Centre of Excellence in Walsall, is building for a big year ahead with the Paris 2024 Olympics her massive goal.