Sport Awards 2014

Winners are announced at the 2014 Sport Awards!

The City of Worcester Awards ceremony, held on Thursday 18th September 2014 at the University Arena. Hosted by Olympic Legend Steve Cram, along with other guest speakers and a Q&A by Steve and Allison Curbishley made this years Sport Awards the best to date!

We would like to congratulate all winners on the night and would like to thank every single nominee for their time. This years competition was at its greatest, each winner had received a trophy.

The winners name have all been put forward for an award at the County Sports Partnership Awards ceremony in November, 2014.

Congratulations to all involved,

The Sport Worcester Team


City of WorcesterSport Award Winners 2014

Senior Male Sports Person of the Year – Robin Williams

An individual over 18 years of age who has achieved a good standard of performance and has represented or contributed to a sport of club through their own dedication and commitment.

Senior Male Sports Person Of The Year

Robin is a high quality, high achieving athlete and in the last year he has consistently swum at the highest levels.  This has included him competing in the National Championships in August 2014 narrowly missing out on a Semi Final place by only 0.1 seconds.  This is no mean feat when one considers that the winner of the event was the recently crowned Commonwealth Champion! In addition to the National Championships, Robin has also won a Gold Medal at the British Masters Championships.  He is an inspirational athlete who provides an excellent role model for the younger members of the Club. Robin attends training week in, week out and delivers high quality training on every occasion.  His technique and capability are regularly used as demonstrations for younger athletes in the Club. Robin is a good natured, quietly confident individual who has a ready smile for all and is polite and respectful to Coaches and fellow athletes.  He has a healthy sense of humour and always demonstrates positivity in his training, again providing an excellent role model to younger swimmers.  At 24 years of age Robin is an inspiration for all the younger members of the Club, as swimming loses significant numbers of competitors in their mid-teens.  His continued participation, coupled with his highest level of attainment provide the best example for younger swimmers. Robin would never put himself forward for an award of this type.  He is an extremely modest individual.  He is a very worthy recipient of the sportsman of the year award.

Senior Female Sports Person of ther Year – Lyndsay O’Donnell

For a female individual over 18 years of age, who has achieved a good standard of performance and has represented or contributed to a sport or club through their own dedication and commitment.

Senior Female Sports Person Of The Year

Lyndsay has worked really hard over the last season within her sport of rugby union and has reaped the rewards for it. Previously Lyndsay was a young player within Worcester Rugby Club who was selected for Scotland Under 20’s and trying to break into the Worcester First team. After training hard she managed to be selected for the Scotland Senior squad and played an integral part in their six nations campaign last year. She was also selected for the Scotland Sevens squad who play in the top league of international sevens. Lyndsay is now a consistent starting member of the Worcester Ladies First team who compete in and have recently won the premiership during which she was a key member. She has trained above and beyond for her club and country and has also put a lot back into community rugby here at Worcester University by coaching, playing and studying for her degree. Her achievements include captaining the university and winning female athlete of the year two year’s running. She has a great sense of humour and has been vital for Worcester rugby in organizing socials and links between club and uni. She clearly demonstrates that as a role model for young female athletes you can train and play hard and maintain a modest and humble approach to your success.

Junior Male Sports Person of the Year –  Declan McManus

For a male individual under 18 years of age who has achieved a good standard of performance and has represented or contributed to a sport or club through their own dedication and commitment.

Junior Male Sports Person Of The Year

Declan is an exceptional athlete and has clearly demonstrated his progress, his participation and his county or country representation:
England Representative – Cross Country (2013)
British Athletics Cross Challenge – 2nd overall  U17M (2014)
English XC Championships – 4th U17M (2014)
County Champion – U20 men 2000m SC (2014)
County Champion – Schools Senior Boys Cross Country (2014)
County Champion – U17 men Cross Country (2014)
Worcester Athletic Club Records – 3000m for U15 Boys 1500m AND 3000m for U17 and U20 men.
In 2011 he ran 4:33.9  In 2014  he knocked off over 33 seconds for 3:59:00. This would have beaten the first sub four minute 1500 m runner Harold Wilson in 1908. In 2017 he will be 20 years old Could he be on his way to beating someone else’s record in the room– 3:29:66? Declan has achieved a Grade 1 ESSA standard in 2000m Steeple Chase this year.  This is an incredible achievement. Worcester Athletics Club will be presenting him with certificate and his badge at their forthcoming Presentation Evening. He trains extremely hard for 15 hours a week, only having Friday evening off, volunteers and helps out with the younger children, offering support and advice. This Sunday he will be running in his first 10K – Worcester City’s 10K. running for COCO, a children’s overseas charity.He has total commitment to anything he would want to achieve, even outside of athletics, and we wish him every success for the future. Declan will be so proud to win and receive this Award, not just for himself but for Worcester Athletic Club and also for the City of Worcester.

Junior Female Sports Person of the Year – Jessica Snape

For a female individual under 18 years of age who has achieved a good standard of performance and has represented or contributed to a sport or club through their own dedication and commitment.

Junior Female Sports Person Of The Year

In March 2014, just before her 14th birthday, Jessica was selected to represent Great Britain in the Under 18s Dragon Boat Racing squad taking part in the European Championships in the Czech Republic in July 2014. Training started in November 2013 in Worcester, St Neots, Maidenhead and Liverpool and even on the canal at Tibberton when the river flooded. Jessica, won a Bronze in the 2000m race and just missed a medal position in the other races. She trains most evenings and weekends with the Worcester and British National squad, hoping to be at the World Championships in Canada 2015. Her commitment to achieving the highest possible level in her chosen sport is unquestioned and she is more than willing to dedicate as much time as required to maintain and develop her skills and technique. Jessica is a highly valued member of the Worcester Dragon Boat Racing Club and has won the ‘Tim Ward’ Award from the Club in recognition of her commitment, attitude, helpfulness and support to other members of the Club, and as one of the longest serving junior members she is committed to helping her teammates and is clearly recognised as an excellent role model and ambassador for Dragon Boat racing in Worcester.

Coach of the Year –Mark Stowe

A person involved in coaching at any level; who has shown high levels of achievement when developing improved performance amongst sports people.

Coach Of The Year

Mark is an exceptional Head Coach and is building on an already strong reputation.  He is well known and respected across the West Midlands Region He has recently been approached by senior Coaching Staff within the Great Britain setup and asked to be a part of the Coaching team for the forthcoming England Talent programme. Mark runs his Squads with a thoroughly engaging style.  His natural, relaxed approach and wonderful sense of humour and connection with the swimmers means that he earns the absolute respect of every swimmer he works with. This year Mark has taken three swimmers to National Championships and got one through to the Nationals Semi Final. He has developed new swimmers at Regional and County Level, including numerous County and Regional Champions.  In addition the Club has won three League titles and the Club were crowned County Champions at the Relay competition in June 2014.  He has the ability and desire to help all swimmers achieve their potential, from simply learning to swim through to National Level competition.  He is a golden asset for Worcester Swimming Club. Mark’s commitment to Worcester Swimming Club is unquestionable working six days a week often staring at 5:45 and he will be seen at the pool until 9:00pm. I am presuming he has a break during the day sometime! On the seventh day he is often, if not usually, at Gala events. If you cut Mark in half he would have “Worcester Swimming Club” going around his middle like a stick of rock!  He is, quite simply, the best.

Young Volunteer of the Year – Joseph Grange

Those under 18 who are voluntarily fiven up their time to Coaching/Involvement to sport from an administrative, organisational or other supporting role.

Young Volunteer Of The Year

Joe as a level 1 coach has spent many days volunteering to support the Zig Zag Zoomers and Zig Zag StylerZ children’s holiday courses at St Johns and Nunnery Wood Sport Centres. He started his coaching after feeling there was very little for young people to do in his area and so went on to form Lower Teme Lions Football club. The club has moved on very quickly to gain Charter status and now have UEFA B coach working for them. His enthusiastic and positive attitudes helps keep the children engaged in the sports and activities they are involved in and has led to  a significant increase in 16 year olds playing football who may not have done so before. He is involved in up to 28 hours a week of voluntary work for the club and local schools and helped with the Worcestershire Girls Festival. Joe is a very talented coach who naturally encourages good behaviour through positive reinforcement and leading by example. He was a student mentor at Chantry High school is approachable, confident and an excellent communicator. Add to this his passion for sport and his work for the Worcester Youth Council combined with being a police cadet and it becomes apparent he has bright future ahead of him.

Volunteer of the Year – Dave Guest F

or those who have voluntarily given up their time to Coaching/Involvement to sport from an administrative, organisational or other supporting role.

Volunteer Of The Year

Dave Guest has been an integral member of Worcester Ladies rugby club for over 6 seasons now during which it has become one of the top teams of the women’s premiership league and became league champions last season. No amateur club can function without the help of voluntary help. Dave Guest has been an exceptional volunteer and has been key in Worcester’s rise of success as a club in his role as vice-chair and first team manager. Dave has given up a huge amount of his free time in the running of the club, at various meetings and with the club’s development plan which has seen the club increases its profile participation, funding, player care and the standards of club rugby. Dave attends every fundraising and social event at the club and is often a key member in organising these events. Nothing is ever to much for him and he is a selfless key face to the club. Everyone knows how integral his is to the success of the club he apart from him. Worcester Ladies rugby would not function without him!

Disability Sports Person of the Year – Susannah Barnett

An individual who has shown commitment and have achieved success in their own right either through taken part in sport or volunteering.

Disability Sports Person Of The Year

Susannah started rowing 12 months ago and at the end of last year she asked to try sculling in some of the smaller boats. She progressed well and entered a couple of events in the winter. One of which she won in style doing a very quick time to cover the 1750 metre course of Gloucester Head of the River. She also competed at Evesham regatta in a two person boat and won that also. Two months ago she asked about using a one person boat. You can imagine it’s quite difficult for a sighted person to learn to row in a one person boat as they are very unstable and you steer facing backwards. For a blind person it’s huge challenge. Thanks to her coach and Disability Sport Worcester who funded a 2 way radio system, the impossible looked possible. After six sessions being guided by her coach and a two way radio she had her first mainstream Regatta, at Bewdley. She competed didn’t win but gained a standing ovation from the crowd. She has since competed at Stourport and Warwick, getting faster with each race. Probably the biggest change is undoubtedly that that has taken place amongst the minds of the general membership of the club. She has moved people’s attitudes to disability from “don’t  want the risk or hassle” to that of being positive , supportive and being totally amazed Her only limitation in the number of training hours coaching support is available and has totally integrated with the sighted people within the club. The effect on other rowers and disabled athletes has been astonishing and she has become a significant role model in the rowing community.

Junior Club Team of the Year – Northwick Manor Primary School Year 5 & 6 Swimming Team

Team who have achieved and attained a high level of performance.  They have also displayed good attitude and aptitude in their chosen sport.

Junior Team Of The Year

This is a Year 5 & 6 swimming team at Northwick Manor Primary school and have competed in both of the Year 6 Level 2 school Games Gala, beating 12 other schools to go through to represent Droitwich & Worcester City at the Summer School Games in June 2014. The standard of competition at the School Games was the highest it has been with 6 districts sending their strongest teams to compete. Northwick Manor put on an incredible display came away as outright winners and were crowned School Games champions. In addition the School has invested heavily in swimming lessons and some of the squad are already members of Worcester swimming club, training at least 2-3 nights a week

Club of the Year – Worcester Swimming Club

A club who have achieved accreditation recognition, also who have had significant progress in developing opportunities for all over the last twelve months.

Club Of The Year

Worcester Swimming Club is an ever-growing local Club which now boasts over 500 members.  It’s reputation for high class delivery of Coaching, an engaging programme of work which delivers the highest level of results and a warm, friendly culture have meant that competitive swimmers have joined the Club from numerous other local swimming clubs. The Club has achieved the Swim21 accreditation from the ASA, a national programme that demonstrates that a Club is delivering quality in all aspects of it’s work. Swimmers represent the Club at County, Regional and National Championships.  Many of the Club’s swimmers are Champions at County or Regional level and the Club continues to work hard to get a swimmer into the Final of a National Championship event. The Club’s philosophy is to work hard to help every swimmer achieve their individual potential, be that Learning To Swim, through to National Championships.  Every swimmer is valuable and valued and the Club has a fantastic, engaging family feel to it. In the last year the Club has become County Relay Champions, along with winning the Worcester Winter League (County wide event for local Clubs), the Ross PGL League placed third in the Mercian League (Regional Club event). It is one of the biggest Clubs in the local area has a growing reputation of delivering the best in Coaching.

Community Sports Award – Worcester Snoezelen

Individual or Club who have made a significant contribution to developing Community Sport whilst also increasing opportunities for people to be more active.

Community Sports Award

Worcester Snoezelen is a registered charity that has been offering leisure therapy activities to people of all ages who have disabilities and additional needs for over 20 years. Currently around 400 people a week access the  facilities, with nearly 300 who have learning disabilities. Activities include; multi-sensory relaxation, hydrotherapy & swim lessons, music, arts, drama and activity days and Snoezelen Sports Club. The Snoezelen Sports club has become a sporting social occasion for people to come together, regardless of disability or age. The ‘inclusive approach’ is central to the ethos of the club and the approach is ‘that we don’t go out of our way to do this, it is embedded within the organisational aims, it happens organically’. It clearly provides many diverse opportunities for community members who may have needs which are harder to cater for focusing on ability not disability and potential not limitations. Perhaps some of these members may never be Olympians however the impact that this club has had on their lives is significant. Snoezelen Sports club is committed to offering volunteering and student placements to University of Worcester Sports students. They work closely with both Glynn Harding and Rebecca Foster at the university and Sports Volunteer of the year 2012 (nominated by Snoezelen) has become a paid coach at the club. In Sept 2013, one of our Sports Club members won Disability Sports person of the year. This was due to the support and opportunities that were offered to her through Snoezelen Sports Club.The students and volunteers who support the club are viewed as ‘mentors’ to the members and they inspire them to achieve and empower them to realise their potential.

Best Educational Sporting Achievement – Sebastian Thompson

This award is for a school team or individual that has performed significantly well or shown a particularly great dedication to their sport in school.

Best Educational Sporting Achievement

Sebastian left St.Barnabas Primary in July 2012 and started at Worcester RGS in September 2012 with an academic scholarship. He then won the regional prep schools 70m hurdles and was 5th at the Nationals leading (until he clipped the last hurdle) He was 7th in the nationals 100m sprint and he has represented the National Lambs team for Under 11s rugby. He had also played football for Aston Villa for the previous 3 years and has just signed a deal with Liverpool FC Under 12s. Seb was also selected and played for the England u13 squad in Madrid this year. Last year he won Sportsman of the Year at his school. He is also modest about his achievements, has a good rapport with all his class mates and is supportive to his peers especially those who are not quite as good at sport.

Award for Most Improved School- Lyppard Grange Primary School

This award will recognise the most significant development of school sport during the academic year 2012/13.

Award For Most Imporved School

Over the last 12 months Lyppard Grange has been extremely proactive and has taken full advantage of every opportunity possible for their pupils. The exceptional and dedicated PE team are always looking for ways to increase the range and diversity of sports they offer and have been regular participants of the school games. They link really well with their high school and local clubs and work very closely with the local sports development team. In addition they have also provided excellent leadership programmes for students. They are brilliant role models, with a fantastic attitude and high levels of enthusiasm and motivation and are respected and held in high esteem by all pupils at the school and the local community.

Higher Education or Further Education Sport Award- Michelle Morgan

For any individual who has made a significant contribution to physical activity and sport in Higher or Further education over the past twelve months.

Higher Education and Further Education Award

Michelle took over the role of director of netball 2 years ago and in that time has worked tirelessly to develop opportunities for University of Worcester students to participate in the sport at a number of levels. Michelle coaches 4 teams weekly and both the University 1st and 2nd teams won their respective leagues in the 2013/14 season. Michelle has supported the progress of players and one of the first team players was selected for the Welsh development programme. Participation has increased significantly and Michelle coaches and supports in excess of 70 players within the programme. She has also found time to mentor 19 level 2 coaches this season as they worked towards their England Netball Level 2 Coaching Award. Michelle is a tremendous role model for players and coaches within the teams and clubs that she coaches and supports. She has helped talented University players to balance the challenges of playing netball at a good level whilst also studying for their Undergraduate or Post Graduate Qualifications. She is a worthy winner of the award for FE & HE.

Contribution to Physical Activity – Richard Ralphs

For any individual or group who has made a significant contribution to physical activity on the last twelve months.

Contribution To Physical Activity(Collected on behalf of Richard Ralphs by Michael Connor)

Richard has given more than the average volunteer could ever give to Worcester. He has led a team of volunteers at Worcester Parkrun to build one of the best local free weekly sporting events. A year ago the weekly run had a maximum field of approximately 200 runners each week and now we are seeing fields of over 400 with the record being 451 runners plus another 30 or so volunteers and another 100 family and friends. The increase in popularity has been fostered and nurtured by Richard and the team he leads to become a fantastic shining light in Worcester’s sporting week. Many people start the weekend at parkrun and feel energised for the weekend ahead. There many other parkruns around the country and many have yet to witness the atmosphere that Richard has created and encouraged. Parkrun has gone from strength to strength with his dedication and drive at the fore. He rarely misses a week and turns up on his own in all weathers to set the course up while competitors are just waking up. He asks no reward for his actions and is just so passionate about running that he would want every person he meets to become a runner. Losing his mother in law after a long illness and his wife being diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago made for a tough year for this top volunteer. He always has time for the elite and beginner runners in equal measure making everyone feel they are important and valued. 4500 individual runners having taken to the course and 32,000 runs have been completed.

Howard Peters Award for Outstanding Contribution – John Curnock

For those that have made a long term significant contribution to the development of sport in an administration, organisational or other supportive role.Howard Peters Award For Outstanding Contribution

One of Worcester’s most prominent boxing personalities is preparing to leave the club where he has spent 66 years. He is the president of Worcester City Amateur Boxing Club, and has been part of the group’s fabric ever since he first donned a pair of gloves as a 12-year-old. Now, aged 78, himself and wife Janet are moving to Wales to be nearer their daughter Sally and two grandchildren. Although John insists he will still be a regular visitor to club shows, it marks the end of an era for his day-to-day involvement in activities.He is also calling time on his duties as an Amateur Boxing Association judge, something he has done for 53 years.

He says”I had mixed feelings at first but my wife’s had to endure my boxing throughout our married lifetime. I don’t think anything can take the place of the Worcester club, it’s been my life. I’m not ending my ties and I’m definitely going to see that I get to all the home shows”. John certainly has plenty of memories to cherish as he begins the latest chapter of his eventful life. A national light welterweight champion at the age of 16 when he won the British Air Training Corps title at the Royal Albert Hall, he went on to be one of the sport’s leading officials in the Midlands. He has also seen Worcester produce talents such as Alan Edwards, who won the ABA light middleweight championship in 1967, and Wayne Clayton, who was British junior champion in 1986. He has held just about every committee position at Worcester, including secretary and chairman, and been president of both the Midland Amateur Boxing Association and West Mercia Division of the ABA. Yet, it all started with as a casual encounter just months after the club had opened its first gym in the jockey’s weighing room at Pitchcroft Racecourse.

He explains “I had a pal who doesn’t live far from me now and he was involved in the club and the people who had just opened it so I went down,” Curnock said. “Boxing would have been the last thing I would have ever thought of going in to but whatever I did do I persevered with. “My choir master at Claines Church said ‘whatever are you taking up boxing for John?’ and I said ‘it’s just another thing I’m doing in my spare time’. I used to have to rush from training on a Friday evening up to choir practice. “It just clicked with me somehow. I didn’t hit the top at it but I had some near misses. I won the British ATC title at 16 and with that I boxed at Liverpool, Glasgow, Belfast and then at the Royal Albert Hall where I won. I boxed in the Gold Star tournament and I lost on points in the final. “When I came out of the RAF, I boxed against Wally Swift, who became British and Empire champion soon after, and lost on points.” One his many roles at the club, which has been based in Vincent Road since 1987, was organising bouts for the Worcester public to enjoy. “We had shows at the Guildhall, Shirehall and the Co-op. Although it was fairly small the atmosphere was wonderful in there. At one time the Worcester club were running six shows a season.” I think you will all agree that John is a worthy winner of the Howard Peters trophy and we look forward to seeing him back in Worcester.

For more photographs from the evening, please visit Sport Worcester on Facebook here:

Group Of Winners