Winter 2012-13 Annual Cross Country Awards Presentation

Havering Indoor Bowls Club Friday 28 June 2013  

Good evening everybody and welcome on behalf of Havering Mayesbrook Athletic Club to the annual presentation of the cross- country awards.

The awards are being presented this evening by Club President, Kevin White. Kevin has been associated with the Club for more years than he cares to remember and has served the Club with great credit over the years as athlete, coach, team manager and mentor. Thank you Kevin for being with us. As ever, the respective team managers have selected most of the winners.

The 2012/2013 cross-country season was once again a successful one for the club. League and County medals and individual titles were won and there was excellent representation at inter-counties and at national level.  Many, of the Club’s athletes – young and not so young – were involved and we can be extremely proud of the achievements of all of them.  

Weather wise, the winter sport is much more demanding on all concerned than track and field and the club’s coaches, team managers and parents should also be congratulated for making sure that athletes got to the starting line on time fit and well to wear the Club vest with such distinction.

There are two categories of award this evening – in each age group we have the Club Best Performance Award and also the Team Member Award. In addition, we have a couple of special awards before I shut up and you can get to the buffet.

We are going to start with the oldest age group and work our way down to the youngest. Ladies first and we start with the Club Best Performance for Lady Vets Vets and it goes to an athlete who has been a wonderful athlete over the years and a credit to the Club. The mere mention of the Sullivan sisters in the starting line-up has reduced the opposition to quivering wrecks time and time again and they’re still at it. In the season under review, this lady was again ultra-competitive in the Essex League including two top-20 finishes and she finished 21st in the Essex Veterans Cross Country Championships. We are very proud of JO SULLIVAN.

The Team Member award in this category goes to someone new to this awards ceremony but who thoroughly deserves her success. Ever reliable and supportive of her teammates, she competed in all but one of the League and Championship races. She improved race-by-race with her best performance coming in the last race of the season when she finished in 48th position  MAUREEN (MO) LEAR

The next award is for Club Best Performance by a Male Veteran and it goes to an athlete who has only recently moved up to the Vet status and whose performances throughout the season were of a very high standard, only once slipping out of the top-20 in a very strong Essex League. In the relays, he was always the lead off man to give the team a good start and his great running brought him a deserved first place in the Essex League over-40 category. STEVE RAND.

The winner of the Team Member award for male vets fought back from injury that kept him out of the track team for the whole Summer. His determination to get back to full fitness is an inspiration to any athlete with a long-term injury. He consistently claimed a top-50 placing and, hopefully, next season we will see a fully fit. MATT BLAND.

We now come to the Club Best Performance award for Senior Ladies and it goes to the other Sullivan sister who, like Peter Pan, never seems to get any older, particularly in terms of her performances when she’s racing. She was always in the top-rank in the Essex League including winning Round 4 at Basildon.  She helped the Senior Ladies team to finish 2nd overall in the League, took the silver medal in the Essex Vets Championships and was a member of the gold medal winning team in the Essex Champs, finishing 6th. She was selected for Essex in the Inter-Counties and finished 27th in the South of England Championships. To add to that, she ran the London Marathon in 2hrs 48 mins (a minute faster than in 2012 and another Club Veteran’s record). She was placed 2nd in the W40 age group and 11th in the non-elite race. We don’t think you’re ‘non-elite’ Debbie, we think you’re very special DEBBIE APPLETON.

The Team Member award for senior ladies goes to an athlete winning the award for the second year in succession. She was always ready to compete for the Club and had a great season finishing 5th in each of her Essex League races. She was also a member of the gold medal winning Essex Championships team, finishing 12th.. VICKY SMITH

Returning to the men and the winner of the Senior Men’s Best Performance award. This athlete has been the mainstay of the team for many years. His performances over the past few years have gradually got better and better. Having taken two bronze medals in the Essex League in previous years, this year he achieved the gold medal, the first Club senior man to have done so in nearly a quarter of a century. He represented Essex in the Inter-Counties and was the second Essex runner home. By no means a superstar, just someone who works very hard at the sport he loves:  ROB WARNER

The Senior Men's Team Member award, goes to another athlete who will always push himself to do better. He was ever present in the Essex League and helped our ‘A’ team to a good, fourth place in the County Road Relays. He juggles work commitments to run for the team and we wish we had more like him. IAN ANTHONY.

We come now to the Club Best performance for Junior Men and the Team Manager was almost lost for words in admiration of this guy. He has the talent and ability that could make him a top athlete. He has already won the U20 Cross-Country Championship in his first year in the age group in addition to the Essex Schools Championships and he almost won a Senior Essex League. We can only hope that he fulfils his potential for the Club and himself. HOSEAH GIKUNGU.

Now to the Team Member award for Junior Men and it goes to a young man going through a period of transition. University life takes up most of his time but he still manages to return and run for the team. His last Essex League result of eleventh place in a very strong League shows that he still has the determination to do well. JAMIE BUCKLEY-STANTON.

The Club Best Performance Award for Under-17 Women  goes to an athlete who most of us know as Bella. She competed in four of the five Essex League races, placing well on each occasion and she ran in the County Championships and the Aldershot Road Relays. She trains on a regular basis and is a reliable team member. She now moves up to the Under-20 category and we wish her ‘good luck’ for the winter season. ISABELLA WOODS.

The Team Member Award for Under-17 Women goes to a young lady who competed in all five Essex League races, helping the team to score. A very likeable young athlete, we hope she will continue to be a valuable team member in the forthcoming season as she has had some injury issues. Thank you for your team commitment to. REBECCA WARD.

The Club Best Performance award for under-17 men goes to a young man who had an excellent cross country season and who still has untapped talent to burn. He ran in four of the five Essex League meetings, always finishing in the top-12. He was 8th in the Essex Championships and top Havering boy home in the London Mini Marathon, in which event he has had an excellent record over the years. I referred to untapped talent. If this guy wasn’t as good as he is at so many other sports and was able to concentrate  solely on athletics, he would be something really special. JAMES KIDD..

The Team Member award for under-17 men goes to a young athlete who joined the Club late in the season but did enough to convince the Team Manager, not only of his ability, but also his commitment to his team-mates. In his first County Championships he finished 15th and we look forward to seeing him in action again this Winter. ABDUL MOHAMED.

We come now to the award for Club Best Performance for under-15 girls and it goes to a young lady who had a brilliant season consistently placing very high in all five Essex League races that saw her earn a place representing Essex in the Inter-Counties race at Woodford in December. She came 5th in the County Championships, automatically gaining selection to represent Essex again at the Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships in Birmingham in March. She also represented the Essex Schools team at the English Schools Cross Country Championships. We wish her well for the winter season and hope that she is on her way back to full training after suffering an injury recently. GEMMA ARCHER-HALEY

The Team Member award in this age group goes to a young athlete who competed in four of the five Essex League races as well as the County Champs where she ran most of the course with only one shoe after losing the other one in one of the muddiest races ever. She also ran in the Southern Championships as well as the Aldershot Road Relays. She trains regularly and is a popular member of her group. We wish her good luck moving up to the Under-17 category and predict that she will build on her progress and gain more good results SARAH WILSON.

The Club Best Performance award for under-15 boys goes to a young man who had a  a solid cross country season. He was in the top-25 in each race and a fine 21st in the Essex Championships. A big improver from whom much more can be expected this Winter. ELLIOTT NUNN.

The Team Member award in this age group goes to another young athlete in his first year with the Club and his first experience of serious cross country racing. Always in the top-30, he put in some fine performances including 29th in the Essex Championships. He also ran in the South of England Championships and in the London Mini Marathon. BRADLEY WEST.

We have reached the youngest age group and come now to the Club Best Performance award for under-13 girls. This year, it has been won by a young lady who, in her first year in the age group, showed great promise for the future. She consistently scored highly in the Essex League, only missing one of the five races, due to a school commitment. She was a regular throughout winter training and her dedication paid off with her performances. We hope that she will build on this in the forthcoming season as she remains in the Under-13 category. REBECCA BROWN.

The Team Member award in this category goes to a fine young athlete who also ran in four of the five Essex League races, the County Championships and the Aldershot Road Relays. ‘Smiley’ is also a regular at training and is a friendly, popular and reliable team member. As she moves up to the Under-15s, we wish her well and feel sure she will be a key member of the team EMILY MARSHALL

The Club Best Performance for under-13 boys goes to a young man who in his first full season for the Club improved race by race, always finishing in the top-15. He was also a member of the Club team in the South of England Championships over the daunting Parliament Hill Fields course (enough to put any young athlete off the sport for life).  OLIVER MORTER.

The Team Member award for under-13 boyshas been won by a young man who was also in his first season. He improved with every race and was also in the South of England Championships team and the London Mini Marathon for the Borough of Havering OLIVER BATH.

We now come to the first of the special award where the winner has been selected by the Club’s Management Committee. The Committee can elect each year to make a special presentations to those athletes who have excelled when competing outside the League structure – for example in prestigious County, Regional and National Championships.

The first of these awards this evening is for the Best Performance by a female in the age category Under 13 – Under 17. It goes to a young lady who, by her own high standards due to niggling injuries, didn’t have the best of seasons (although 22nd in English Schools and 32nd in Inter-Counties sounds great to me) but who saved her best for last. In her first year in the 15/16/17 age group, she won the Virgin Mini London Marathon with a tremendous performance against some 200 competitors. For her efforts, she appeared on BBC TV’s coverage of the winners and got a cuddle from Prince Harry. LYDIA HALLAM.  

The second of these special awards is in the Female category Under-20 to Veteran. It goes to a young lady who has flown the Havering flag for some years now and who had another excellent season. She was 8th in the South of England Championships, 14th in the Nationals and gained another GB vest in Edinburgh in January and an England vest in Spain in December. A wonderful Ambassador for the Club - LAUREN DEADMAN.

The last of these special awards is in the Male Under-20 to Veteran category and it goes to a very deserving athlete for a fine series of half marathon age group wins (Brentwood and Great Bentley) and a tremendous personal best performance in the London Marathon. He was the first Club member to finish in a superb 2hrs 42 mins – taking two minutes off his previous best and setting a Club Veterans record. A fine example to younger athletes and a really great guy – SIMON HART.

 … and finally, we have one more presentation – that for Services to Cross-Country - an acknowledgement of the efforts of someone who has given up a great deal of time in recent cross-country seasons ensuring that the Club gets the best of representation, and that all the competing female athletes in the age groups under-13 to under-17 inclusive  get the very best of team management support. She goes about her business in a quiet, extremely organised way and is extremely popular with the young athletes. Being a Team Manager during the track and field season is hard enough. During the Cross Country season, it requires an enormous amount of dedication coupled with excellent inter-personal skills and a great deal of patience. The Club relies entirely on volunteers in all aspects and we’re in very good hands with people like this lady around – JANE HALLAM.

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