Winter 2013-14 Annual Cross Country Awards Presentation

Campion School Friday 15 August 2014  

Good evening everybody and welcome on behalf of Havering 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 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.

Regrettably, quite a few of the recipients of the awards cannot be with us this evening due to holiday and other commitments. We shall ensure that they receive their awards as soon as possible.

The 2013/2014 cross-country season was once again a successful one for the club, perhaps more so for the girls and ladies.  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. One of the highlights was the Vets Men winning the first ever 40+ Vets Road Relay by quite a large margin.

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. 

We are going to start with the Club Best Performance for Lady Vets and it goes to a lady 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 first places, she was 5th overall in the League, won the Vets 35+ award, was 8th in the County Championship and 34th in the South of England Championships.  DEBBIE APPLETON.

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 races, steadily improving and helped her team to 3rd place overall. She also competed in the South of England Championships CLARE RUDGLEY

The next award is for Club Best Performance by a Male Veteran and it goes to an athlete who, over the years, has been a regular at these award ceremonies. He continued to impress with a series of splendid performances, inspiring the younger runners. He was part of the gold medal winning team in the Road Relays and took the Vet 40 silver medal in the Essex League. MATT BLAND.

The winner of the Team Member is also picking up an award for the first time. Every now and then, a parent comes along to the Club and asks to compete. This guy did so a couple of years ago and has made steady improvement since then. His first words on finishing a race are ‘I enjoyed that, did I make the scoring Team?’. He didn’t do it often but he did achieve it and we wish him further success: BARRY WARD.

We now come to the Club Best Performance award for Senior Ladies and it goes to a young lady who is one of the Club’s most dedicated performers, not only across the cross country courses but in track and field during the Summer months. She is a team manager’s delight. In the season under review, she was always in the top-10 in League races, was 8th in the County Championships and 34th in the South of England Championships VICKY SMITH

Returning to the men and the winner of the Senior Men’s Best Performance award. This athlete leads by example coming home first of the Havering contingent in every event. Anyone who sees him train can see how much effort he puts into his sport. A true Club member who is always the first name on the team sheet. He completed his 93rd Essex League race during the season, taking the bronze medal in a very tough League. His 5th place in the County Championships earned him another County vest in the UK Inter-Counties competition:  ROB WARNER

The Senior Men's Team Member award, goes to another athlete who consistently turns in a solid performance for the team. He was part of the Senior Men’s Road Relay team that came 4th in the County Road Relays and was an ever present in the Essex League. His number of first places in Park Runs is becoming legendary. IAN ANTHONY.

We come now to the Club Best performance for Junior Women and it goes to a young woman who helped the combined U17/U20 team to score in the Essex League races and she was 12th in the Essex Cross Country Championships. She also represented Essex in the Southern Inter-Counties Cross Country event at Biggleswade in December. She remains in the U20 age group and we wish her the best of luck in the forthcoming winter season. ISABELLA WOODS.

The Club Best performance award for Junior Men and goes to a young man who, to start with, found the going tough in his first season in the age group. However, with determination and help and encouragement from the seniors, he progressed to be a reliable member of the squad. We hope that he will continue to improve and be a fine example for other juniors to follow. ANDREW HOLLAND

The Club Best Performance Award for Under-17 Women  goes to one of the Club’s most successful young athletes in recent years. She finished in the top-5 in the four Essex League races that she competed in and finished 4th in the County Championships. She was selected to represent Essex in Birmingham at Inter-Counties helping the under-17 girls team to win team gold. She was also selected for Essex Schools competing in the English Schools Championships again being part of the winning senior girls team. She now moves up to the U20 ranks. LYDIA HALLAM.

The Team Member Award for Under-17 Women goes to a young lady who trains regularly and is a reliable team member.  She competed in all five Essex League races, placing in the top-10 in every race. She finished 5th in the County Championships and was also selected to represent Essex at the Inter-Counties in Birmingham. She also was selected for the English Schools Championships where she ran for the Inter-Girls. She remains in the U17 category for next season and we are sure she will continue her winning ways. SARAH WILSON.

The Club Best Performance award for under-17 men goes to a young man who had a very good cross country season and who still has untapped talent to burn. Competing in all five races, he finished in the top-20 on each occasion (in the fifth race finishing 8th) and was 9th in the County Championships. He had a good run in the South of England Championships and also in the Essex Cross Country Relays. The best is yet to come from ABDUL MOHAMED.

The Team Member award for under-17 men goes to a young athlete who is an ever present at training and has worked extremely hard at his sport. He ran in each of the five Essex League races where he was never out of the top-20. He was 14th in the County Championships and built a name for himself in Park Runs where he had seven successive victories. MATTHEW BRAYBROOK

We come now to the award for Club Best Performance for under-15 girls girls and it goes to a young lady who competed in all the Essex League races as well as the Hockley and Aldershot relays and the Essex Championships. She shows enormous commitment to her training and her racing and, as she stays in the U15 age group for another season, we are confident that she will achieve some great results EMILY MARSHALL

The Team Member award in this age group goes to to a young athlete who competed in most of the cross country league races as well as the Hockley Relays and the Essex Championships where she placed in the top-10. She attends training regularly and is a very likeable member of the squad. We wish her well as she moves up to the U17s for the winter season. HOLLY HYDE.

The Club Best Performance award for under-15 boys boys goes to a young man who had a solid cross country season. He ran in all Essex League races, finishing in the top-20 in races 4 and 5. He ran well in the County Championships for 25th place and his overall performances in the League helped the under-15 boys’ team to 5th. LEWIS DEBENHAM

The Team Member award in this age group goes to another young athlete who, in training or in competition, always gives of his best. In the Essex League, he improved throughout the season culminating in a 26th placed finish in race 5. He also ran in the South of England Championships and is a team manager’s delight for his effort and perseverance JAMES STEWART.

We have reached the youngest age group and come now to the Club Best Performance award for under-13 girls and the winner consistently placed in the top-5 in all the Essex League races and she came 3rd in the Essex Championships in January. She also took part in the Hockley and Aldershot Relays as well as the Southern Championships and she was selected for Essex in the Inter-Counties Cross Country. She attends training consistently and is a confident and ambitious athlete who it will be good to see in the U15 ranks this Winter. . KATIE MITCHELL.

The Team Member award in this category goes to a fine young athlete who also competed in each of the Essex League events, the Hockley and Aldershot relays and the Southern Championships. She ran an excellent race for 8th place in the County Championships and was selected to represent Essex at Inter-Counties in Birmingham. She is a popular member of her training group  and we know that she will continue to do her best as she moves up this Winter to the U15s. SOPHIE RAND

The Club Best Performance for under-13 boys goes to a young man who had a really good season competing in the Essex Relays where the team finished 7th, the Essex League where he finished 10th on his debut, and had subsequent top-20 finishes and was  also 16th in the Essex Championships. For good measure – and for the experience – he also ran in the South of England Championships.  A strong young athlete who should have a good Winter in front of him JOHN FENNESSEY.

The Team Member award for under-13 boys has been won by a young man who was also in his first season and whose performances were very consistent. He ran in the Essex Relays and four of the five Essex League events and was 31st in the Essex Championships. Overall, with his help, the team finished 3rd in the League. KIERAN DAVIES.

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 special awards this evening is in the Female  Under-20 to Veteran category. It goes to a young lady who has flown the Havering flag for some years now and who had another excellent season representing Great Britain over the cross country courses of Europe, including helping the team to the gold medal in the European Cross Country Championships in Belgrade - LAUREN DEADMAN.

The second of these special awards is in the Male Under-20 to Veteran category and it goes to a very deserving athlete for a magnificent Marathon PB just weeks after his 50th birthday in the Edinburgh event, clocking 2hrs 38mins and 43secs. This was a new Club 50 mark and also improved the M45 and M40 age categories SIMON HART.

 … and finally, the third of these special awards Female  Under-13 to Under 17 and it goes to a very special young athlete for her third place finish in the 2014 London Mini Marathon. Competing against some 200 other athletes from all 33 London Boroughs over the last 4k of the main Marathon course in front of thousand s of spectators, she ran a superb raceKATE O'NEILL.

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