Athletes, sports clubs, volunteers and coaches across Wiltshire and Swindon were recognised for their exceptional achievements at the fourth Wiltshire and Swindon Sports Awards last night. (Sept 24)
The awards, held at County Hall Trowbridge were jointly hosted
by Wiltshire Council, Wiltshire Health Improvement Partnership, NHS Wiltshire, Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire and Swindon Sports Partnership.
Former England rugby captain Phil de Glanville hosted the event which included two performances from Laura Halford, Rhythmic Gymnast and current national champion.
Guest speaker was cyclist Mark Colbourne MBE, gold medallist and twice silver medallist in the Paralympic Games at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Wiltshire Council Leader Jane Scott said: “It was inspirational to meet so many people who are involved in sport at this awards ceremony and to hear about the great work that they do.
The event was an opportunity to showcase the exceptional talent and hard work and dedication of Wiltshire’s athletes, sports clubs, volunteers and coaches. Sport plays a major part in improving our health and sense of wellbeing and we hope tonight’s awards will inspire others to get involved.”
Cllr Brian Mattock, deputy leader of Swindon Borough Council said: “I would like to extend my congratulations to all the winners from tonight’s ceremony and to all those who were shortlisted. Sport is a great way to bring communities and individuals together and events such as the sports awards are a perfect way to highlight and celebrate our amazing athletes.
Mark Colbourne, said: “To be exceptional in your sport takes incredible effort and dedication and a solid team behind you who believe in you and help you to achieve your goals. These awards recognise those amazing efforts not just from the talented sportspeople but also the people behind the scenes who help make it all happen.”
Some of this year’s winners will be put forward to the BBC Sports Personality Unsung Hero and the Sports Coach UK awards later in the year.
A special achievement and recognition award was given posthumously to the late Chris Penelham who died this year for his work as a coach and volunteer at Trowbridge Wanderers FC.
The winners were:
Sports Personality of the year – Emily Benham – Salisbury
Emily is currently ranked World Number 3 and British Number 1 in the sport of Mountain Bike Orienteering. In 2012, she won a silver medal at the World Championships in the sprint distance and repeated this achievement again in 2013. Also this year, she won the Swedish Championships in the sprint distance. In June, Emily became European Champion for the middle distance, making her the first ever GB athlete to become a Mountain Bike Orienteering European Champion.
Young Sports Personality of the year – Jake Ness –Salisbury
Jake has competed for the City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club since 2008. He is currently ranked Number 1 for U17 boys for the 400m in England. Other achievements this year include, winning a silver medal in the 400m at the Inter-County South of England Championships and becoming the South of England U20s 400m champion at only 16 years of age. Jake was also selected for the England U20s team. Jake trains for 11 sessions each week, but also finds time to help junior athletes in the club and is a qualified football referee.
Sports Personality of the year – Athlete with a Disability – Martin Lane –Swindon
Martin started playing Wheelchair Tag Rugby League within just six months of becoming paralysed following an accident. While attending a coaching course, he was talent spotted and invited to the trials for the Welsh National Team. He played in the Four Nations Championship in July 2012, where Wales were runners up. Martin also coaches at Swindon St. George increasing participation rates by more than 200 per cent.
Official of the year – Andrew Evans Trowbridge
Andrew is a Level 5 Senior County Football Referee. During the 2012/13 football season he officiated in over fifty games as either, a referee, or assistant referee. He was also this year’s recipient of the Wiltshire FA Mick Bevan Award for best junior referee in the county.
Roger Byrne Unsung Hero of the year – Debbie Adlam , Alderbury Nr Salisbury
Debbie started the girls and women’s football teams at Alderbury Football Club five years ago. She has been the driving force in creating playing opportunities in the area. Debbie set up four teams from Under 10s through to Under 16s. She has recently set up a women’s team to ensure that girls have an exit route once they have finished junior competition. She also served as the manager of the men’s reserve team and now sits on the club’s committee as the women’s and girls co-ordinator.
Long service to sport –Dave Amey – Salisbury, David and Shirley Bullock – Swindon, Fred Kerley – Calne and John Stow – Swindon
Dave has been involved with the City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club for 50 years, where he has undertaken a number of committee roles. He was Club Chairman for 18 years until 1999, and served on the Wiltshire Athletics Committee for 25 years. He started coaching in 1980 and has influenced and mentored many athletes at county, regional and national level.
John has been involved in Swindon basketball for 20 years. He is the Secretary of the Swindon Sonics and the Wiltshire Basketball Association. John is Wiltshire Basketball’s registrar for England Basketball and is the central secretary to the larger Swindon Basketball Club that includes team such as Swindon Shock Wheelchair Basketball Club.
David and Shirley Bullock
Dave and Shirley are Dance and Artistic Roller Skating coaches who have been coaching for the last 40 years. They have helped produce champions in European competitions, across all ages, levels and disciplines. They currently have two 8 year olds that are ranked second and third in Great Britain.Fred Kerley
Fred has been involved with Potterne Cricket Club over the last 47 years, helping to promote and develop the club. He has helped to coach many of the junior players, supporting them to become fully committed adult members. Since retiring from playing, Fred is now serving as the Club Chairman, the U13s Coach, the 1st XI Team Manager, the Social Secretary and Bar Manager.
Young Volunteer of the year – Tom North – Chippenham
Tom has spent three years volunteering as a young leader in both school and clubs. In October 2012, he worked on the Lets Kick Racism Out of Football programme, undertaking numerous roles including refereeing, assisting with the registration of teams, and setting up the venue. Tom also volunteers with the Bath Rugby Foundation and Chippenham Rugby Club.
Coach of the year – participation – Brian Roberts –Swindon
Brian is an Amateur Boxing Association Level 2 coach, who spends six days a week sharing his love of boxing with others. His young boxers feel passionate about their sport due to the positive impact Brian has had on them. He has completed a Somerset police course, so that he is able to get involved with coaching young people on probation, in order to give them a second chance. Brian was instrumental in securing a Lottery grant, which has enabled the club to buy additional equipment that has made boxing more appealing to the younger generation
Coach of the year – High performance – Deb How – Swindon
Deb is a Senior Rhythmic Gymnastics Coach and Brevet Judge, who has been coaching for the last 40 years. One of her greatest achievements was coaching Olympian, Jade Faulkner, who competed as part of GB’s first ever Rhythmic Gymnastics Squad at the 2012 London Olympics. She also coaches Laura Halford, who recently became the overall Senior British Champion and who has been selected for the Welsh 2014 Commonwealth Rhythmic Gymnastics Squad. Deb has been appointed to lead Team England at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Inclusion Coach of the year – Tony Ellis Swindon
Tony is a Wheelchair Tag Rugby League Coach, who is the founder and head coach of Swindon St George Wheelchair Tag Rugby Club. The club has members that have chronic health conditions, physical and learning disabilities and mental health issues. Tony is a natural leader and well respected coach. His strength is being able to adapt the session to meet the needs of the athlete, adjusting traditional coaching techniques to ensure every member of the club succeeds. In 2013, the club was the only one in the south west to enter a team in the National Super League.
Young Coach of the year – Jonnie Crowley – Devizes
Jonnie is a Lawn Tennis Association Level 2 coach, who moved to Devizes
Tennis Club in April 2012, to assist the head coach. He has an easy going nature, but also commands a high degree of behaviour and respect from both juniors and adults. Jonnie is very dedicated to the role of coaching, both on and off the court, actively promoting the club to increase participation and memberships.
Sports Club/Team of the year – Sarum Orienteers – Salisbury
The club maintains an active programme for club members and organises several key national orienteering events, including the British Night Orienteering Championships. The club created a permanent orienteering course at Avon Valley Nature Reserve in Salisbury, which secured the London 2012 Inspiremark. Its members include four juniors that have been selected for National and Great Britain squads, and a senior member, who is the current European champion and silver medallist at this year’s World Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships.
Most Innovative Club of the year – Wiltshire Martial Arts – Melksham
The club’s ethos is epitomised in its regular woodland training weekends, which incorporate nature, native bush craft, martial arts and health and fitness. Activities have included the Stonehenge Sunrise experience where members were able to train within the ancient stones. The club has expanded its training sessions so that it can cater for ages five to sixty. The club is also engaged in the community and provides self-defence classes in local schools.
Most Inclusive Club of the year – Swindon Shock Wheelchair Basketball
This year Swindon Shock won the development division in only their second league season. The team remained unbeaten and have been nicknamed the “Invincibles”. The club includes both disabled and non-disabled players, providing an opportunity to anyone that feels they are unable to play the traditional game. Five of the clubs players were selected to represent the south west at this year’s National Wheelchair Basketball Championships, Stoke Mandeville.
Achievement and Recognition Awards – Chris Penelham – Trowbridge
Chris started coaching at Trowbridge Wanderers Football Club in 2003, where he managed the same team for five consecutive years, guiding them to annual domestic success. This included becoming League Winners twice, League Runners Up twice and Fair Play winners twice. Despite this undoubted success, Chris ensured that the emphasis was on fun, as much as performance.
Chris achieved his FA Level 1 & 2 football coaching qualifications, as well as the FA’s Goalkeeping Level 1 qualification. He always made himself available to take coaching sessions for other managers and as a result he had experience of coaching Under 6s through to Under 16s and both boys’ and girls’ teams.
From 2003, Chris was a dedicated committee member of the football club, taking on the role of Vice Chairman between 2007 and 2009, before becoming Chairman in 2009 until 2011.
In 2008, Chris’s passion for football and charity offered him the opportunity to be a volunteer coach in Uganda, Africa, for a project organised by the charity ‘Tackle Africa’. The project involved volunteer coaches from across the UK delivering HIV and AIDS awareness messages through their football coaching.
Sadly, Chris passed away earlier this year after a battle with cancer. However, many lives were touched by Chris’s enthusiasm to engage all ages in sport. He dedicated many voluntary hours to football and on numerous occasions worked with Trowbridge Town Council on football projects to engage his local community
Highly commended awards were given as follows
Sports Personality of the year – Athlete with a Disability – Jonah Wright – Trowbridge
Jonah is a member of the Boccia Southern Area Talent Squad. This year, he qualified for the National Boccia Championships, as well as attending a training camp in conjunction with the England and GB Teams. Jonah is keen to promote his sport and he has demonstrated Boccia to children at Holt Primary School prior to their attendance at a competition in Swindon.
Sports Club/Team of the Year – Swindon Dolphins ASC
The club won a third successive promotion in the Arena League this year after becoming champions. The club was well represented at county, regional and national competitions this year, winning the Wiltshire Masters Championships and the Southern Junior League ‘B’ final. The club’s Learn-to-Swim scheme continues to grow and now has over 200 members. Its Disability Swim Link sessions are now well established and have seen the first swimmers transition into competitive squads.
Roger Byrne Unsung Hero of the year -Diane Lee – Swindon
Diane has been active in Tigersharks Swimming Club for 20 years. She is the Vice Chairman and Competition Secretary for the club, and runs six Open Meet competitions a year, which generates revenue for the club. Diane also serves on the Development and Planning Committee for Wiltshire Swimming and is involved in running the Wiltshire Counties Age Group and Championship competitions every year.
Young Volunteer of the year –Swindon Dolphins ASC Young Volunteer team
Swindon Dolphin Amateur Swimming Club Young Volunteer Team
This team of 12 young volunteers, collectively brings huge amounts of energy, enthusiasm and experience to the Swindon Dolphin Learn-to-Swim programme. The team has organised club galas, race nights and contributed to organising the club’s social activities. Many of the volunteers are working towards their swim teaching qualifications.