On Wednesday 27th April, a wealth of Leeds Sport participants came together to celebrate a fantastic year of sporting achievements. The Sports Colours Awards dinner was a fabulous evening, just one of many nights that made up the over arching celebrate week, topped by the Friday night grand finale; The Riley’s.
The evening began with a cleverly written, witty speech from Activities officer Piers Cottee-Jones who hosted the evening alongside Sports Rep Jamie Guy. This was closely followed by the first awards of the evening, Club Colours, presented by Student Activities Manager, Geoff Banks and Full Colours, by Sports Development Coordinator and BUCS guru, Eamonn Laird. These are awarded to individuals who have gone above and beyond for their society or who have consistently performed highly for their team. This year there were a phenomenal 98 Club Colours awarded showing the fantastic commitment of Leeds Sport club members. There were also a huge 42 Full Colours awarded highlighting the talent of the athletes here at the University.
Before breaking for a wonderful meal provided by the refectory, attendees were treated to a sensational performance by Lucy and Chris, the 5 year strong, award winning duo from Dancesport. The performance set a fantastic tone to the evening and showcased the talent amongst our dancers here at Leeds.
The Sports Colours Awards evening also allowed Leeds Sport to celebrate its strength and depth of Sport Scholars whom it supports throughout their time at University. This includes Gillian Finnerty who picked up BUCS gold this year and Kim Daybell who has been selected for the Rio Paralympics, to name but a few.
Following these celebrations, we awarded this years White Rose and Gryphon Award winners who again have excelled either through commitment to their club or their performing excellence respectively. This years White Rose winners were:
- Joshua Irish (Ice Hockey)
- Karyna Nadyrshyna (Dancesport)
- Alex Gunn (Football)
- Laura Kennea (Hockey)
- Mara West (Women’s Cricket)
- Rhoslyn Roebuck Williams (Women’s Cricket)
- Callum Craven (Boxing)
- Ruan Shah (Men’s Hockey)
- Hazel Cox (Women’s Rugby)
- Charlie Harbord (Men’s Rugby Union)
- Gaby Noe (Women’s Football)
- Aidan Radford (Judo)
And our Gryphon Award winners, with their award presented by none other than George the Gryphon (pictured below), were:
- Serena Mida (Women’s Badminton)
- Amber Brennan (Karate)
- Oliver Thornton (Karate)
- Richie Wilebore (Kickboxing)
- Beatrice Skingsley (Netball)
- Megan Clark (Netball)
- Christian Davies (Men’s Cricket)
- Caitlin Baty (Lacrosse)
This lead in to our top 9 awards for the evening beginning with 2 new awards; Social League Team of the Year which was awarded to Sports Science Netball, and Official of the year, awarded to Josephine Paul. The next two rewarded our coaches for their hard work to get the teams to where they are. This years Sue Jacklin Club Coach of the Year went to Karate’s Oliver Thornton (pictures below) who has even put his own competing on the back foot to coach his team mates. Our Mike Brook Performance Coach of the Year went to Rugby Union’s head coach Mark Luffman who has lead the Rugby Union first team to their first season in the premier league without entering relegation playoffs and has helped to improve the ethos and attitude of players within the club.
Most Improved Athlete of the Year was awarded to Karate’s Amber Brennan who took up Karate since joining University and in just over 2 years of training has attained her 3rd kyu brown belt and claimed gold in the BUCS National Karate championships in the Intermediate Female Kata. On top of this, she has been selected to represent England at the upcoming WUKF World Karate Championships in Dublin in June.
The Chris Hatton Most Improved Team of the Year went to the Swimming Development Squad (pictured below) who have had a fantastic season competing and holding their own against the top universities whose squads are packed with current and future Olympians.
This year’s Roberts Athlete of the year award went to Triathlon’s Gordon Benson, one of the Universities Sports Scholars (pictured below alongside Assistant Head of Sport Patrick Craig) who is currently in competition for a place at the Rio Olympics alongside Leeds alumni Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee.
Triathlon also received this years Team of the Year award following their fantastic season picking up a large array of individual and team medals in both the BUCS Biathlon and BUCS Sprint Traithlon events.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Sir Allan Langlands took to the stage to present the final and most hotly anticipated award of the evening, Club of the Year. This years winner, Women’s Hockey, sent in a stand out nomination excelling in all criteria for the award. The 24 strong club committee efficiently manages 8 teams and uses its strength in numbers to boast as a leading society for charity fundraising having raised £12,000 last year. They have created their own website and more recently a phone app and have been heavily involved with getting involved in the community. Congratulations ladies on a well deserved award!