BASINGSTOKE Bison were recognised for their success on the ice by claiming the Sports Hero Award.

The ice hockey outfit was chosen for the award by a public vote, a first for the awards scheme.

Last year the club, based at the Basingstoke Arena at Basingstoke Leisure Park, celebrated 25 years of ice hockey in Basingstoke.

In the 2013/2014 season, they managed to secure second place in the English Premier League, and won the league cup and the season-ending play-off championships.

The Bison received the award for its work in promoting the town through its ice hockey, with a strong junior section, many of whom have gone on to the senior side.

Player and coach Doug Sheppard said: “Obviously it’s a very pleasant surprise.

“I think it just shows how much the Bison have grown in the Basingstoke and Deane area. Our fanbase is amazing.

“It is an amazing honour and the team deserve a lot of credit in putting Basingstoke on the map.”

The Bison beat strong competition to win the Sports Hero Award.

The other finalists were Hatch Warren Runners and Len Dunce.

Len Dunce has been heavily involved in the Summit Judo club and the local judo community for some 46 years.

He attends all sessions to encourage students and reward achievements. He also co-ordinates the sports link with Basingstoke’s twin town of Euskirchen, in Germany.

Hatch Warren Runners were the other finalists.

The running club started in 2013 and now has more than 230 members of all abilities across the town.

Andrew Rhys, from Basingstoke Sports Trust, which sponsored the award, said: “These are three exceptional finalists, picked from a list of exceptional nominees – all so well deserving.

“Many congratulations to all.”