Last night were the London Region Awards, and what a spectacular night it was at The Institute of Sport Exercise & Health (ISEH). We would like to congratulate everyone who won an award as well as the nominees! The awards were broken down into the following categories: Participation Project of The Year, Club of The Year, Coach of The Year, Official of The Year, Volunteer of the year, Run England Group of The Year and The Services to Athletics award.
Over the past 12 months, the London Regional Team have had the painstaking task of choosing the winners from a very high list of short listers. There were many attendees to the awards last night including the attendance of England Chief Executive, Chris Jones, along with members of the national council.
The importance of volunteers in London was highlighted by Jane Stewart, who addressed the audience with the England Athletics London 2017 Legacy Programme.
Tim Howells, Run! Project Manager, then went on to how successful the past year has been in the world of athletics…
“Another year goes by in the exciting world of athletics and we gathered as a region to celebrate the bread and butter of the sport, our great volunteers. In the Olympic year and year before the World Championships in our hometown, we were able to celebrate the great successes of the sport in the capital of the UK. With the food and drink flowing, we were able to thank those that have dedicated so much towards this great sport. Role on London 2017!”
To kick start the night off with the awards, the first award was the Participation Project of The Year award, Tim Howells took to the stage to present the award.
Participation Project of The Year
Presented by: Tim Howells
LUCA is a federation of University athletics clubs in London, providing competitions and developing the sport in the H.E sector. It has worked in partnership with EA, London Region to deliver a coach and officiating development programme with funded places for both. LUCA is completely volunteer staffed, using alumni and students to organise events including a cross-country league, inclusive indoor championship and outdoor championship series, that has seen over 300 unique athletes participate.
LUCA also organised the popular 'This Girl Can' event, attracting over 200 women, and has supported the local community by organising a food bank donation at the indoor championships in Enfield. As well as providing new competition opportunities, LUCA has also provided opportunities for student journalists to write about athletics and running through its media project allowing students to publish articles on the website Here. Looking to the future, LUCA is organising a ‘London Student’s Run’ to increase participation in running and provide an entry route into the sport.
The second award of the night was the Club of The Year, the anticipated award of all the clubs under the London Region, Steve Bosley was the one to present this award.
Club of The Year
Winner: Havering AC
Presented by: Steve Bosley
Havering AC is a thriving club with well over 350 members, supported by over 30 coaches and countless volunteers. A strong coach development programme has involved coaches attending flying coach visits & Essex Athletics Network workshops and internal coaching master classes. Four coaches have recently progressed to Athletics Coach.
The focus on coach development across all disciplines has reflected in the clubs results;
The third award of the night was the Coach of The Year, a real representation of the coaches who put large efforts into their club.
Coach of The Year
Winner: Peter Boxshall
Presented by: Lorna Boothe
Pete has been very actively involved with coaching at Kent AC since 1997 and is a uniquely inspiring coach, offering enthusiastic support to any athlete, regardless of their background, without ever putting them under pressure. Pete has made a huge contribution to Kent AC’s growing membership, success and culture of positivity
and inclusiveness. He travels across the country and abroad, supporting athletes debuting at their local park run as enthusiastically as those competing for podium places in the Berlin or London marathons.
Pete is finely attuned to the needs and aspirations of every individual who trains with him, and through working closely with the club’s other coaches, he encourages all to trial a range of different events and all athletes to extend their aspirations at local, regional and national level, he has also been involved in initiatives to ensure local junior athletes who could not otherwise participate have access to second hand spikes, equipment, and support to travel to competitions.
Peter’s most recent coaching success came when Amy Clements won a bronze medal and a team gold with team GB at the world 50k champs held in Doha , Qatar just last week.
Further on in the night, there were more awards to be given out, and the next one was the Official of The Year, presented by Peter Crawshaw.
Official of The Year
Winner: Sharon Herbert
Presented by: Peter Crawshaw
About 22 years ago Sharon joined Loughton AC and then Woodford Green & Essex Ladies AC.
Volunteer of The Year
Winner: Nicole Cara
Presented by: Tony Shiret
Nicole Cara joined SBH in 2007 aged of 15 as an athlete, mainly competing in the javelin. She soon wanted to help out on the coaching side becoming an Assistant Coach and taking on a small group of throwers whilst still having school commitments. Whilst at University, she added team management to her list of commitments
becoming Assistant Team Manager for the U20 women in the NJAL. A year later she took over the U17 and U20 women in the newly formed YDL.
In 2014, NICOLE began to help out with the Senior Women's squad in the UKWAL Division and by 2015 NICOLE was solely responsible for all aspects of team management of the squad, and represented the club at the league AGM. NICOLE is also an active member of the SBH Club Council and a powerful voice on the Committee responsible for the Club Website and Social Media. To fund a Masters Degree, she has obtained a full-time job in a local school dealing with children with Learning Difficulties and other Special Needs. She has a particular interest in youngsters with Autism and volunteers to help in the after-school Autism Athletics group run by the Saracens Sports Foundation at Allianz Park.
The second to last award of the night was the Run England Group of the Year, presented by Lucy Broad.
Run England Group of The Year
Winner: Runny Honeys
Presented by: Lucy Broad
Runny Honeys are a female-only running club delivering some exceptional work in Putney and Petersfield. The dedication, commitment and enthusiasm of club founder Sue Browne, and the club continues to grow year on year. The club uses running as a means to tackle issues such as mental health head on, and they have worked with England Athletics with the help of Freesport funding to create targeted beginner groups such as the successful over-50’s group engaging females over the age 50 to get back into exercise.
The club are always looking at new ways to engage females into their sessions, recently adding yoga sessions to help the runners and add something unique to the club. The club have a fantastic, easy to use, friendly, and welcoming website that encourages runners to join. They write blogs, send out newsletters and constantly
congratulate the work each runner has been doing engaging giving all club members a sense of community and belonging. No matter your level, experience and age, Runny Honeys will accommodate you.
Now last but defiantly not least, the Services to Athletics award was presented by Chris Jones, this award is very special as the person who it is awarded to has been recognised for all their efforts right from day one when they started in athletics and have put so much dedication into the sport which is greatly appreciated and shown in this award.
Services to Athletics
Winner: Mike Davies
Presented by: Chris Jones
Mike Davies’ involvement in athletics goes back about 60 years. He was a very competent and versatile athlete competing for club and county to British League standard in throws, high jump and hurdles. His club career started with Eastbourne Rovers, then Liverpool Harriers, before moving to Coventry Godiva finally joining Blackheath Harriers in 1977.
He started 'putting back' into the sport in 1959 when he got his coaching qualification. Not content with coaching, in the 1980s, he added field judging to his skills soon after and regularly found himself both competing and officiating at club fixtures. Finally, he has undertaken many administrative duties in the sport both at club and county level. He was Development Officer for Kent from 1996-2000, club officials secretary since 1985 and President of Blackheath and Bromley in 2000. His records set at V50 and V60 for hammer still stand at the club some 20 to 30 years later. His contribution to coaching has been recognised by the British Athletics Supporters club in the hammer discipline. His professionalism, technical competence and knowledge are a credit to the sport. His enthusiasm and dedication remains along with a deep commitment to athletics which means he is still out and about over 200 days a year; whether it's coaching, officiating, organising match officials and team managers or liaising on league arrangements.