Winter 2015-16 Annual Cross Country Awards Presentation,
RAFA Club Romford Friday 20 May 2016 (script used by Martin Chester)
Good evening everybody and welcome on behalf of Havering Athletic Club to the annual presentation of the 2015-2016 cross country awards. It’s always great to see so many familiar faces, especially in a much warmer environment than your average cross country race, and there isn’t even a hill in sight !
Tonight, is all about acknowledging the achievements of our athletes for both Club Best Performance and just as importantly Team Member Awards.
However, firstly we would also like to recognise and congratulate the parents for making sure athletes got to the start line in the first place, fit and well to wear the club vest with such distinction.
The awards are being presented this evening by the Club President, Kevin White, and, as ever, the respective team managers have selected most of the winners.
We are going to start with the Men, and then work through the various age Groups.
The Senior men had another good season. After a slow start, the team improved over the last two Essex Leagues, finishing first just after New Year and second in the last event of the season. The Vets also took the bronze medal in the road relays.
The first award is for Club Best Performance by a Male Veteran. It was good to see this athlete return to his old form, this season he consistently turned in a quality performance which earned him the silver medal in the over 40 category in the Essex League. He was also part of the Bronze medal winning team at the Road Relays. STEVE RAND.
The winner of the Team Member for male vets came up to me 11 years ago and said he would like to run for the team again and in that time he has never let the team or the club down. He was part of the Bronze medal winning team in the recent Road Relays. He has fought many battles over the recent years and he has overcome them all. I can only say I am proud to have such a guy in the Senior Men's team: PAUL BERRETT.
The winner of the Senior Men’s Best Performance award goes to an athlete who has time and time again led the team home. Although not at his best for quite a bit of the season he was still a top ten finisher in all but one of the Essex Leagues. He won the silver medal in the East of England cross country championships and took the bronze in the Essex League: ROB WARNER
The Senior Men's Team Member award, goes to a runner has stepped down from his marathon running and has had his first full season with the cross country team. I have personally seen a lot of both the back and front of his vest this season. He has shown that commitment and hard work does not go unnoticed. He is always trying for a position in the scoring team, causing a lot of friendly rivalry amongst his team mates. A good team member. JASON CRISPIN.
The Club Best performance award for Junior Men goes to a young man in his first season as a Junior man has come through it with flying colours. He is improving all the time he has represented Havering schools in the Inter Counties and finished 9th in the county championships. We are all sure he will progress to greater things next season. MATTHEW BRAYBROOK
The winner of the award for Junior Men Team Member is always pushing for a higher finish. This athlete has had another good season finishing 13th in the county championships as well as having a string of good results in the Essex League. He will always finish with a smile on his face no matter how hard the conditions have been. A very good member of the team. ABDUL MOHAMED
The Under 20 (Junior) women finished 3rd in the Essex League.
The Club Best performance award for Junior Women competed in 3 of the Essex Cross Country League Series and the Essex Cross Country Championships where she placed 3rd. She also represented Essex in the SEAA Inter Counties and UK Inter Counties Cross Country Championships. Next winter season will see her move away to University and we hope she will continue with her training and come back occasionally to run for Havering AC ! SARAH WILSON
The winner of the award for Junior Women Team Member is ran in 4 of the 5 Essex Cross Country League races as well as placing 6th in the Essex Cross Country Championships. She also represented Essex in the SEAA Inter Counties Cross Country Championships. She trains and competes regularly and is off to Camp America again in June, and we look forward to seeing her back for the winter season where she moves upto the ranks of the Senior Women. BELLA WOODS
The Under 17 Men superbly won the Essex League.
The Club Best Performance award for under-17 men goes to a young man in his first full season at cross country and what a fantastic season he’s had. He won the individual U17 Men's Essex League, and also team Gold. He finished 10th in the Essex County Championships, and was also part of the Bronze medal team. He also had Essex Schools and Inter Counties success, was 49th in the National, and rounded off the season by coming 6th in the London Mini-Marathon. BEN DAVIS
The Under 17 Men Team Member winner's hard working attitude has really paid off this season, and he was key member of the U17 Mens team which as mentioned a minute ago won the Essex League. He was a solid 14th in the individual Essex League final standings. Well done Kieran. KIERAN O'HARA
The Club Best Performance Award for Under-17 Women ran in 4 of the 5 Essex Cross Country League Races and came 12th in the Essex Cross Country Championships. She also ran in the South of England Championships at Parliament Hill. She comes to training regularly and also takes part in the parkrun events on a regular basis. She moves up to the U20 age group next winter season and we hope she continues with her training and competing. GEORGIA PHILLIPS
The Under 17 Women Team Member ompeted in 4 of the 5 Essex Cross Country League Races and she also ran in the South Of England Championships at Parliament Hill. She trains regularly and also moves up to the U20 age group next winter season. Again, we hope she will continue with her training and competing EMILY JAMES
The Club Best Performance award for under-15 boys was an ever present this season, and his performances just got better and better with a fine 11th in the individual Essex league, and 4th in the team competition. He was also a fine 23rd place in the Mini-Marathon. Keep it up SAM ATKINS
The Team Member award in this age group goes to another first season athlete who impressed, and showed great improvement in every race. He finished 17th in the individual Essex League standings, and was part of the County championship team that finished 5th , as well as the 4th placed Essex league team. ALEX FRIEND.
It should be noted the under-15 girls were the club’s stand out team finishing 1st in the Essex League, and winning all 5 of the individual races.
We come now to the award for Club Best Performance for under-15 girls regularly attends training and made big progress during the 2015/16 Winter Season. She ran in all 5 of the Essex Cross Country League Races, the Essex Championships where she came 4th, the Eastern Championships, where she came 5th, as well as the South of England Championships. She also ran for Essex County at the SEAA Inter Counties and the UK Inter Counties . Next season sees her moving up to the U17 age group where we are sure she will maintain her progress and hold her own against older athletes. JESSICA MITCHELL
The Team Member award in this under-15 girls age group is a regular at training and is a friendly and reliable team member. She ran in all 5 of the Essex Cross Country League series and placed 8th in the Essex Championships. She also ran in the South of England Championships at Parliament Hill. She remains in the U15 girl age group for next winter season and we are sure she will continue to achieve some great results.. MOLLY SWEETMAN
The Club Best Performance for under-13 boys consistently led the team home, which took a fine silver in both the Essex league and also the County Championships, and finished 5h in the individual standings. He also placed 4th in the County championships and gained Essex schools and Inter Counties representation. He was also a fine 39th in the Mini-Marathon. Hex has another year in the age group so there will hopefully be even better results to come. ALEX FORD.
The Team Member award for under-13 boys was an ever present this season in his first season at cross country, and was part of the 2nd place Essex League team. He was 23rd in the individual standings, always giving 100% in all of his races. Well done TIMI McDANIEL.
The under-13 girls finished third in the Essex League.
We have reached the youngest age group and come now to the Club Best Performance award for under-13 girls and it goes to another young athlete who scompeted in 4 of the 5 Essex Cross Country League races as well the South of England Championships at Parliament Hill. She came 6th in the Essex Cross Country Championships and gained her Essex vest at the UK Inter Counties Cross Country Championships at Birmingham in March. She regularly attends training and competes in parkrun events. She will have another year in the U13 age group winter season 2016/17 and we’re sure she will go from strength to strength and continue her excellent progress !. SYDNEY FOLEY
The Team Member award in this category is a regular at training, turning up for all sessions without fail. She competed in all 5 of the Essex Cross Country League series and the South of England Championships at Parliament Hill. We are impressed with her commitment to training and look forward to seeing her progress next winter season as she remains in the U13 age group. REBECCA O'ROURKE
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 an athlete who has competed and worn the club and international vests at the highest level over many, many years. After a short break from the sport she returned with a series of superb performances which won her more national medals and international honours to add to her collection. She achieved the silver medal in the England 10k Championships, bronze in the National 10 mile Championships and another bronze in the National Half Marathon Championships and 10th place in the European Trials. She gained another GB vest in the Edinburgh International in January where she finished in 15th place and she earned a trip to Bermuda for England where she won an international 10k race. An excellent ambassador for the Club - FAYE FULLERTON.
The second of these special awards is in the Female Under-13 to Under 17 age group and it goes to an athlete who had an outstanding winter season. She dominated the county scene, with wins in four of the five Essex League fixtures, gold in the county champs and another gold in the Essex Schools’ event against older opposition. At Regional Level she won gold in the Eastern Championships, silver in the Southern Inter Counties and 4th in the Southern Championships. Nationally she also ran superbly, adding 5th place in the Inter Counties, 8th in the National and 18th in the English Schools before an excellent 3rd in the recent London Boroughs Mini Marathon. A fine prospect –– KATE O'NEILL.
And now we come to two more special awards.
The first has nothing to do with Cross Country although followers of the winner on social media will probably agree that he is often “Cross” ! The winner of the award for Services to Coaching, although one of our younger coaches, already has an excellent record of success as a coach, which puts many older, more experiences coaches in the shade. He has an excellent coaching eye, backed up by regular use of video technology, and has built on early success in developing the raw talent of Bonne Buwembo to a string of national titles at U15-U20 level, has gone on to coach other athletes to national successes including English Schools’ gold, England Schools’ representation and GB U20 discus selection. Last year he has achieved senior success in coaching Louise Lockwood (now Lacy) to rank 6th nationally at Javelin and has achieved further outstanding success in coaching Max Law from Under 13, winning the English Schools junior javelin gold in his first year of asking in 2015 with further impressive improvements already this season including a world age-13 javelin best, and 4th best all-time by a UK U15. The deserving winner is SAM HARRISON
And finally, we come to one more special award, for Services to Cross Country. The winner joined the club almost 40 years ago as a young athlete and his dedication to the club and endurance events and cross country even extended to marrying a member of the Naylor family! It is almost impossible to calculate how many hours of his time this man has dedicated to cross country for the club as a competitor and supporter on behalf of the Club - and its members - over many, many years. For several years now he has followed our teams around with his camera, taking a series of excellent action photos which have enhanced our website, Facebook page and press coverage. Now developing his skills as a coach the Services to Cross Country award deservedly goes to GARY HOWARD.
That concludes the formalities for the evening, can all the winners please come up to the area just behind me for the traditional group photo.
For everyone else (over 18 of course) the bar is still open, and there is a buffet.
Thank You for your continued support and attendance tonight on behalf of Havering AC
All photos have been reduced in size and/or cropped from originals - if anyone wants copies of the originals please email
If any athlete or parent is concerned about the inclusion of any photo of themselves or their child , please drop a line to the above email address asking that it be removed