The 2015 Sports Colours and Scholarship Awards took place last night and it was a spectacular evening celebrating all of our sports students’ achievements this year.
The evening was opened by the Activities duo of this year’s sports rep Hannah Crane and Activities Officer Fi Metcalfe, highlighting some of the many achievements the sports students have accomplished over the year. Then the awards began with the flurry of students being awarded club and full colours followed by British Amateur Latin Sequence Champions Chris Robinson and Lucy Kenyon lighting up the stage with their performance before dinner was served!
This year we had the pleasure of a guest speaker, Chris Jones, ex England Rugby union player, who established himself as a regular Sale Sharks player and has just signed a 2 year contract with local side Yorkshire Carnegie. Although Chris is Sheffield Hallam alumni that didn’t stop the students cheering him on when he was telling the audience about how he scored his first try for England on his debut! After his speech the prestigious White Rose and Gryphon Award were presented and these were followed by the signature awards of the night.
First up was the Sue Jacklin Club Coach of the Year Award presented by Sue Jacklin herself; nominees were Aidan Radford (Judo), Chris Golding (Women’s Hockey), Greg Hull (Cross Country), Simon Pickersgill (Jiu Jitsu), Will Tsang (Kickboxing & Krav Maga) and Tom Exeter (Fencing). The winner of this award was Will Tsang who has gone above and beyond for the kickboxing club for many years.
Next up was Mike Brook Performance Coach of the Year Award, which was presented by incoming Activities Officer Piers Cottee-Jones. The nominees were Keith Sandu (Rugby League), Steve Grimes (Men’s Football), Rick Holland (Women’s Cricket), Nitin Panesar (Badminton) and Rob Harvey (Triathlon). The winner was Keith Sandu with his work with the Rugby League team, who have progressed incredibly over the past 3 years, winning the BUCS Trophy this year and seeking promotion to the top flight.
The Mike Brook Most Improved Team Award came next presented by Kate MacKenzie, Sport and Dance Development Manager. The nominees were Mens Fencing, Womens Badminton 2s, Gymnastics, Women’s Squash 2s and Women’s Cricket. The award winner was the Gymnastics team as they have managed to dramatically increase their membership whilst facing tough facility based issues but still manage to come away with BUCS medals!
This was followed by Chris Hatten Most improved Athlete Award, this award is for someone who has never played that sport before their time at University and has excelled in their chosen sport. The nominees were Ben Akram (Boxing), Nicholas Chilton (Handball), Claire Taylor (Ultimate Frisbee), Emma Murray (Boat) and Manuel Ojeda Cabral (Dancesport) The winner of the award was Emma Murray from the boat club who despite never rowing before she came to university has managed to get on to the elite pathway where she will train with potential GB rowers.
The Team of the Year Award is for the team that have been outstanding on the field this year, and the nominees were Cheerleading Co-ed Team, Badminton Ladies 1s, the Triathlon Team, Women’s Hockey 1s, Rugby League 1s and Women’s Squash 1s. This award was presented by our guest speaker, Chris Jones who presented Triathlon the winner’s trophy. The have won everything they have entered this year and dominated on the BUCS circuit.
The penultimate award was the Roberts Most Outstanding Athlete Award, and previous winners include the Brownlee Brothers. The Nominees were Gordon Benson (Triathlon), Kim Daybell (Table Tennis), Lauren Potter (Netball) and Helena Lewczynska (Badminton) all outstanding athletes but there could only be one winner. Paralympian and Table Tennis extraordinaire Kim Daybell won the title, who will be taking a year away from his studies to concentrate on Rio 2016.
Deputy vice chancellor Professor John Fisher presented the final award, Club of the year. The nominees were Kickboxing, Netball and Women’s Hockey. The winners were Netball who have been amazing this year, from their charity work through to developing the Netball club to be one of the biggest in the University. They truly deserve the award for all their hard work!
Well done to all athletes, volunteers and coaches for making this year a brilliant one for University of Leeds sport.
All pictures of the night can be seen on the Tyron Louw Photography Facebook Page.