On Wednesday 3rd May, players, coaches, students and staff from Leeds Sport celebrated 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, which culminates with Friday nights grand finale; The Riley’s.
The evening was opened by host Activities officer Taiwo Ogunyinka alongside Sports, Dance, & Martial Arts Reps Ruan, Lauren, and Sam. This lead us in to the first awards of the evening, Club Colours, presented by the reps and Full Colours, by Sports Coordinator and BUCS guru, Rob Fairley. 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 101 Club Colours awarded showing the fantastic commitment of Leeds Sport club members. There were also a huge 40 Full Colours awarded highlighting the talent of the athletes here at the University.
After a wonderful meal provided by the University of Leeds refectory, attendees were treated to a sensational performance by Dancesport to open the second half of the evening. The performance set a fantastic tone to the evening and showcased the talent among 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.
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:
- Olivia Carter (Squash)
- James Nicholson (Hiking)
- Ayesha Lee (Cricket)
- Shona Macloud (Football)
- Frances Robbs de la Hoye (Rugby)
- Will Carter (Ultimate Frisbee)
- Grace Galbraith (Dancesport)
- Tom Harding (Rugby Union)
- Jack Bullock (Football)
- Natasha Shafquat (Hockey)
- Luke Bowen (Snowriders)
- Ciaran Lennon (Ice hockey)
- Nigel Sibanda (Volleyball)
And our Gryphon Award winners, were:
- Rachel Newborough (Football)
- Rosie Blout (Cycling)
- Robert White (Ultimate Frisbee)
- Fionnuala Crosbie (Netball)
- Ciara Crosbie (Netball)
- Savvas Hadjigeorgiou (Hockey)
- Felix Titherley (American Football)
- Josh Blower (Lacrosse)
- Sarah Donnelly (Kick boxing and Krav Maga)
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 Law Netball, and the newly introduced this year Gryphon Leadership Award, awarded to Hannah Clarke for her outstanding contribution to the Netball Umpire Academy. 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 Hockey’s Chris Golding who coached 3 of the hockey clubs teams this past year. Our Mike Brook Performance Coach of the Year went to Women’s Cricket head coach Rick Holland who has gone above and beyond his role in the past 12 months to deliver an excellent coaching experience to the Women’s Cricket Club and the newly formed Women’s MCCU side.
Most Improved Athlete of the Year was awarded to Rowing’s James Boak who since starting rowing from scratch in 2016, was selected for the Club’s new group of ‘Performance Scullers’. In November James entered the National BUCS Indoor Rowing Series, where he placed Silver in the whole of Great Britain, an achievement which no one from Leeds has done on recent records. He has continued to break other Club records, posting the best 30 minute time on the rowing machine to date. He is driven and always gives his all. He is now setting his goals towards the water.
The Chris Hatton Most Improved Team of the Year went to the American Football who’s team went undefeated and become the BUCS 2A North conference champions, scoring an average of 35 points a game as the number 1 ranked offense in the country. The team also made it to the BUCS Northern Conference Cup finals.
This year’s Roberts Athlete of the year award went to Triathlon’s Sam Dickinson, one of the Universities Sports Scholars. Sam claimed 1st place in the Time Trial Qualifier at the 2016 Kitzbuhel ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup, and 1st in the main Triathlon event. He also took 1st in the 2016 Holten ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup, and 8th in the 2016 ITU World Triatlon Grand Final Cozumel. Sam also achieved Gold in the BUCS Sprint Triathlon 2016 beating Gordon Benson, GB triathlete and Leeds Alumni in the process. He’s definitely one to watch for the future.
Rugby League were the winners of this years Team of the Year, who’s award has now been renamed in memory of James Burke who tragically passed away in April this year. Rugby League are one of the few teams at Leeds that currently compete in the BUCS Premier division. This year they finished an impressive 3rd behind Leeds Beckett and Northumbria, their best league finish in over 10 years. They reached the BUCS Championship semi-finals narrowly missing out on the finals to league winners Northumbria. The team were also victorious in a new event this year, the Yorkshire Varsity, which took place at the Headingley Stadium against a side made up of the best students from across Yorkshire Universities.
The Chief Executive of Leeds University Union, Aidan Grills took to the stage to present the final and most hotly anticipated award of the evening, Club of the Year. For the second year running, Women’s Hockey, were announced winners of this award having sent in an impressive 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. They have created their own website and have been heavily involved with getting involved in the community with their annual ‘Quicksticks’ tournament. Not only that but they have continued to develop relationships with alumni and aid player personal development opportunities with their ‘Hockey Works’ scheme. Congratulations ladies on a well deserved award!