Sport Awards 2016


Thursday 15th September saw the Freedom Leisure Worcester Sport Awards 2016, in partnership with Sport Worcester and supported by Worcester City Council take place at the University of Worcester Arena. Sixteen categories were hotly contested by Worcester’s prolific sporting talent, with winners announced and presented by Olympian, World Champion and top TV Athletics commentator, Steve Cram. Winners of each category go onto the next regional heats, with the ultimate goal of reaching the national BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards in December. We’d like to say thank you to everyone who made a nomination and to all the City of Worcester Sport Awards 2016 sponsorswor_city_sports_awards_16-16



Howard Peters Award For Outstanding Contribution – David Walker

Sponsored by Turner & Townsend

For those that have made a long term significant contribution to the development of sport in an administration, organisational or other supportive role. This award is linked to the BBC’s National Sports Personality of the Year Awards or Unsung Hero. 


Dave Walker has been with Worcester Athletics Club for 60 years and is described by one of his athletes as “one of the most influential people in their life”. His athletes have complimented the coach-athlete relationship that they have as being something that not many people are lucky to receive. He is praised for showing exceptional patience with incredible knowledge, knowing when to take control, but also when to take a step back and let his athletes make their own decisions. Good jokes, laughs, positive vibes and fun times are had by all of Dave’s squad because he is a hardworking, dedicated and passionate individual.

Senior Male Sports Person of the Year – Matthew Hudson-Smith

Sponsored by Mercedes Benz – Worcester
For a male 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.


(Award collected by the University of Worcester on Matthew’s behalf)

This year Matthew has achieved; Commonwealth gold (4x400m) Gold and European Championship (400m) Silver after overcoming a difficult 2014/2015 season recovering from stress fractures to the back. He achieved automatic selection for the Olympics Games in Rio after winning British Championships 2016 where he made the men’s 400m final. Matthew trains seven days a week 365 days a year, rain or shine and is fully committed to being a world-class athlete. He has completed coaching sessions with younger children based at Birchfield Harriers Athletics Club on top of his busy schedule and fulfills ambassadorial commitments to the University of Worcester. His determination, attitude, positivity and willingness to seek help and take feedback on board have allowed him to succeed both on the track and in his quest to secure a BSc degree in Physical Education and Sports Coaching.

Senior Female Sports Person of the Year – Rachel Lund

Sponsored by Worcester City Council
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.


Rugby player Rachel’s top three achievements since September 2015 are; selection for the Elite Playing Squad for both 15’s and 7’s, was in training camp for the six nations tournament 2016 and was shortlisted to final three for the premiership player of the year. Rachel is a dedicated and committed member of the sports scholarship programme at the University of Worcester, a regular starting player for Worcester Valkyries and a dedicated committee member of the UW rugby squad, on top of studying full time for her sports therapy degree. She has committed to offering numerous hours to sports therapy for the public, as well as a placement as sports therapist with the successful University netball squad.

Junior Male Sports Person of the Year – Joel Khan

Sponsored by King’s School, Worcester
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


This year Joel has achieved; High Jump Gold at the National Championships and a qualifying height for the European Championships. Joel trains every day and is now the UK lead for U17 high jump, with a jump of 2.08m. Age 16 he is in the top 20 in the UK for the high jump has competed recently at the European Championships. He has also played basketball, rugby and football for his school team to a high level. He has been “spotted” by Aston Villa football, basketball coaches, the swimming club and the rugby team, but has decided to focus on high jump. He now trains with Worcester Athletics high jump coach Deirdre Elmhirst while juggling his studies for his GCSEs.

Junior Female Sports Person of the Year – Cerys Preston

Sponsored by King’s School, Worcester
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


Cerys has played for Worcester Hockey Club since the age of 9 and from 12 has played at the Worcestershire Junior Academy Centre and Midlands Junior Regional Performance Centre.
Last year aged 14 she was selected to play for Wales U16 squad and has just won a European silver medal with Wales in Lithuania. Aged 15 she was selected to play for Wales U18’s and traveled to Gibraltar in July to compete in the U18 European championships. Cerys is a natural leader, who is totally committed to hockey and focused on achieving her full potential.

Coach of the Year – Mark Stowe

Sponsored by Worcester City Council
A person involved in coaching at any level; who has shown high levels of achievement when developing improved performance among sports people.


With over 20 years’ experience, swim coach Mark has recently coached Rebecca Redfern (current World Record Holder),  to her recent silver medal victory in the Rio Paralympics, starting just two and a half years ago where she did not have any County qualifying times. Mark also took Worcester Swimming Club to the Regional Final of the National Swimming League in December 2015 for the second year in a row, and took nine swimmers to the end of season National Championships, the British Summer Champs, English and Welsh Champs, medalling at all three levels. Worcester Swimming Club is the Top Club at the County Championships, with Mark coaching seven days a week, often starting at 5.45am and still being poolside past 9pm, with 12 hour weekends.


Young Volunteer of the Year – Sam Small

Sponsored by Speller Metcalfe
For those under 18 who are voluntarily given up their time to Coaching/Involvement to sport from an administrative, organisational or other supporting role.


Sam represents Nunnery Wood High school and his former primary school in rugby and also plays at Worcester RFC U15s. On top of this he gives up many hours of his own time to coach Red Hill’s Year 5/6 tag rugby team. Sam wanted to give something back to the sport he loves and encourage new players to take up and enjoy the sport.

His voluntary coaching helped Red Hill progress in this season’s West Mercia Police Tag Rugby Tournament, making it to the quarter-finals. The other coaches say, “Sam is a great role model to pupils and is patient with less able players. Although Sam sometimes finds some aspects of his own learning in the classroom difficult, his coaching allows him to showcase his natural talent for both rugby and coaching. 

Volunteer of the Year – Katinka Ernst

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


This year Katinka has completed around 350 hours of volunteering during her role at Disability Sport Worcester, making a massive difference to the lives of a large number of disabled participants. Kat also volunteers as a lead on the Dis Kids programme at the University of Worcester where she ensures children with disabilities have a good time through sport every week. Kat also spent three months helping to train the women’s wheelchair basketball team with their shooting, coaches karate in Birmingham and rowing in Cheltenham all voluntarily. Kat also won the University of Worcester Volunteer of the Year award and donated her prize money of £300 to Acorns Children’s Hospice.

Disability Sports Person of the Year – Harrison Keasey

Sponsored by Disability Sport Worcester
An individual who has shown commitment and has achieved success in their own right either through taking part in sport or volunteering.


Harrison Keasey has been a part of Worcester Rowing Club for just over 12 months, yet in that time has amazed people around him with his positive, upbeat attitude to life and sport. He is always keen to achieve and is not fazed by anything the river and winds throw at him! Harrison is the Current National Champion for Visually Impaired air rifle shooting and has achieved his silver level in sailing, while also participating in Judo at Worcester Judo Club and recently starting running with the Black Pears Joggers Club.  Harrison has won several gold medals at the National Blind Schools Swimming Gala and finally is also a keen body-boarder. Harrison’s coach commented, “Not only is Harrison a genuine pleasure to coach but his attitude to life and sports participation has forced the club to rethink how we bring more people with disabilities into the sport.”

Junior Team of the Year – Nunnery Wood Colts Raptors

Sponsored by Mercedes Benz- Worcester
A team who have achieved and attained a high level of performance. They have also displayed good attitude and aptitude in their chosen sport.


Nunnery Wood Colts-Raptors are a fairly new boys’ team made up of youngsters who have been attending the development centre since they were 4 or 5 years old. They won their first four friendlies and in their first tournament won the respect trophy, a real showcase of how children can progress through grassroots football. The team-mates have formed a very close bond with each other, although initially none of the players knew each, they have now become very close and look out for each other on and off the pitch. Attendance is always very good in training with 100% effort applied at all times. Their coach has praised them for never missing training and always leaving with big smiles on their faces.

Club of the Year – Worcester Swimming Club

Sponsored by the Sports Partnership Herefordshire & Worcestershire
A club who have achieved accreditation recognition, also who have had significant progress in developing opportunities for all over the last twelve months


Worcester Swimming Club has had the best year in its history, with nine swimmers qualifying for the end of year National Championships.  Four went to the British Championships (two able bodied and two Paralympic Swimmers)and all made it to the finals with one medal achieved.  Five attended the English Championships (including two of the British swimmers) and three attended the Welsh Championships (including one of the British swimmers). The Club itself also made the Regional Final of the National Arena Swimming League, finishing joint third. The Club runs swimming sessions seven days a week for over 500 members. The Club hosts County Champions, Regional Champions, National Champions, and a current World Record Holder for S13 100M Breaststroke in Becky Redfern and winner of Silver at Rio 2016.

Community Sports Award – Black Pear Joggers

Sponsored by Fortis Living
An individual or Club who have made a significant contribution to developing Community Sport whilst also increasing opportunities for people to be more active


Black Pear joggers have achieved many successes this year; the first of these is achieving ClubMark attainment. They have also started a five week outreach programme, where they have set up a running club for visually impaired students from New College, Worcester. Also this year 27 LiRF leaders have qualified as Couch to 5k programmes coaches and since August 2015, they have trained 12 guided runners and have run a 16 week Park Run Improver Course, finally setting up marathon and half marathon training courses.

Award for the Best Educational Sporting Acheivement – RGS The Grange, U11’s Girls Hockey

Sponsored by Action for Children
This award is for a school, college or university team or individual that has performed significantly well or shown a particularly great dedication to their sport


The ‘RGS The Grange U11 Girls Hockey Team’ have been highly successful this year, achieving; the Independent Association Prep School National champions; England Hockey Worcestershire U11 Champions and England Hockey Midlands U11 Champions. The girls have trained at least 3 times a week for 90 minutes at a time in all weather conditions, as well as giving up lunch breaks, and doing additional after school training. They also gave up weekends for extra tournaments and matches throughout the school year. The team have truly had a fantastic season playing 30 competition matches, winning 28, drawing one and losing only one. They scored an amazing 147 goals conceding just 17, and they have played in six tournaments winning them all! They have also committed to helping inspire the younger members of the school, attending their training sessions regularly too.


Award for Most Improved School – St Georges C of E Primary School

Sponsored by Worcester Warriors
This award will recognise the most significant development of school sport during the academic year 2015/16.


St Georges C of E Primary School have won four of their qualifying competitions and represented Droitwich & Worcester city in the summer school games at orienteering, Boccia, mini tennis, archery and cross-country. St George’s are the only school in the district that have run a Change 4 Life club for the whole academic year, supporting children who are disengaged with exercise and at risk from being overweight. Helen Zihni, PE coordinator, works tirelessly to develop PE and school sports throughout the school, attending family events to promote an active lifestyle to children and parents.

Contribution to Physical Activity – Roger Prout

Sponsored by Perdiswell Young Peoples Leisure Club
For any individual or group who has made a significant contribution to physical activity in the last twelve months


Roger Prout, who oversees the Worcester University of the 3rd age (U3A) has supported them to becoming a driving force in arranging and enabling sport and recreation club activities for active retired people aged 60+ in Worcester. They have encouraged the university to establish a year-round inclusive programme coordinated by U3A volunteers in support of over 1000 members. Roger works closely with the University, volunteering many hours of his time in order to coordinate the programme including; walking football, walking basketball, walking cricket, bowls and senior badminton – greatly  increasing participation in physical activity for those aged 60+. Roger has also helped in organising the first U3A Senior Games hosted at the University of Worcester.

Higher Educational or Further Education Sport Award – The University of Worcester Netball Team

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


The University of Worcester’s 1st Team have completed a near perfect season (recording 15 wins and only one loss) on their way to securing: Winners of BUCS Division 1A,
Winners of BUCS National Trophy and Winners of Premier Play-Off Finals. The 1st team train four times a week including 7am S&C sessions along with games every Wednesday, on top of their studies. This year the Netball became the 1st female team in the universities history to appear at a National Final and secured promotion to play in the Premier Division.


If you would like to sponsor the 2017 Sport Awards, please contact Freedom Leisure’s Sport, Art & Play Development Team on: 07710708868 or