Haka shot is part of prize treble for Ilkley photographer Alex

Alex Whitehead’s stunning image of the New Zealand rugby team doing the Kiwi haka ceremony

Alex Whitehead’s stunning image of the New Zealand rugby team doing the Kiwi haka ceremony

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Photographer Alex Whitehead, who works at SWpix.com, an Ilkley-based sports picture agency, has won three out of seven awards on offer at the prestigious NAPA (National Association of Press Agencies) Awards 2014, with three rugby league pictures.

Alex, 23, of Ben Rhydding, won the Sports Photograph of the Year for his image of England player Sam Burgess caught in a heavy downpour at Salford in the pre-World Cup warm-up fixture against Italy, while his picture of the Kiwi haka during the tournament was named Sports/News Photograph of the Year.

He also scooped the Kevin Fitzpatrick award for Best Young Talent. The achievement is unique in the highly regarded industry awards and he received congratulations from the RFL and New Zealand Rugby League.

Simon Wilkinson, director of SWpix.com, who are the RFL’s official photographic agency and the official photographers to the Yorkshire Grand Depart, said: “I am very, very proud of young Alex and so very pleased for him. He clearly is a unique photographic talent but also incredibly hard working and conscientious.”

RFL communications manager John Ledger said: “I would like to congratulate Alex on his success which is deserved recognition of his outstanding talent. Alex has an uncanny ability to capture the sport at its best and the quality of his images is consistently high. We are delighted for him.”

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