Winter 2018-19 Annual Cross Country Awards Presentation, 

Hornchurch Conservative Club Friday 10 May 2019  

(script used by Martin Chester)

Good evening everybody and welcome on behalf of Havering Athletic Club to the annual presentation of the 2018-19 annual cross country awards. It’s always great to see so many familiar & friendly faces, with no hills, mud clogged shoes, a warm temperature and not even a hint of rain in sight.

Firstly as always, 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. So let's give them a round of applause.

Tonight, is all about acknowledging the achievements of our athletes for both Club Best Performance and just as importantly Team Member Awards. The awards are being presented this evening by the new Club President, Claire Brennan, and, as ever, the respective team managers have selected most of the winners. First of all we start with the awards for the seniors and veterans.

If anyone thought the 2017/18 season was a great one, this season for the senior men and women has completely blown that out of the water. The senior men won every Essex event they entered, from the cross county relays in September, through the County championships for the first time in 30 years, to the road relays in March. Plus every Essex league meeting - the senior men won the lot. The senior women superbly won three of the five fixtures to win the Essex League for the first time since 2003. With such strong teams available both team managers have had a far less stressful job than usual, and Pete Warner's biggest headache has been who to select for any relay teams.

I’ll start with the award for Club Best Performance by a Male Veteran. This athlete is an example to all the younger runners in the team. His dedication shines through even though injury has limited his appearances, he still managed to be part of the silver medal winning team in the Vet 50 road relays and bronze medal winning team in the county Vet Cross Country Championship, the award goes to MATT BLAND. (unfortunately Matt is on holiday but we'll see he gets his award)

The winner of the Male Veteran's Team Member Award goes to someone who has been on the county scene for more years then he would care to remember. New to Havering AC, he has applied his talents to the Vet's team, helping them to win the silver in the road relays and bronze in the Essex Vet Cross Country Championship. He also won the bronze in the overall standings in the Vet 50 category in the Essex League. The winner is TONY PECORARO.

The award for the winner of the Veteran Ladies’ Best Performance award was once again a "no contest" decision !  A brilliant competitor, in both the Senior and the Veteran's category, she placed highly in all five Essex League races and it was no surprise that she came first in the overall placings for V45/V50 ladies. At the Essex Vets Championships she was seventh overall to win gold in the V45 category, and at the Senior Champs she was 19th overall, and again first V45 to finish. Part of our strong Ladies’ Cross country team – Well done to DEBBIE APPLETON.

The Ladies’ Vets Team Member is another consistent team member. This athlete ran in four of the five Essex League races – only missing the last one due to injury and finished a fantastic sixth overall in the V45/V50 placings. She also competed in the Essex Vets championships and the Essex Senior Championships. A highly valued member of our team, she is currently training for an Ironman competition in the summer – Good Luck with this race -– JO SULLIVAN.

Now onto the Senior Men’s Best Performance award. A club member as a young athlete, this man went on his travels to look for success in pastures new but since his return to club colours he has gone from strength to strength and has proved to be even a greater asset since coming back to the club. Part of the cross country relay winning team, the county championship winning team, where he took the individual bronze medal, and the road relay winning team. With a tally of four medals plus a call up to the Essex cross country team and the county 10K road team shows how well this athlete has matured.  GRANT TWIST.

Next to the Senior Men's Team Member award. This athlete has shown a lot of determination to change his athletic career around. His Essex league performances in the past have been patchy, but this season he has got his head down and has shown the calibre of runner we hoped he would grow into. He was runner up in the Essex league final standings, part of the county cross country winning team plus part of both road and cross country relay winning teams. JAMIE BUCKLEY-STANTON. (Jamie is unable to be here so we'll get his trophy to him)

The Senior Women’s Best Performance award goes for the second year to a very committed team member who trains and races regularly and can be relied upon to turn out for the team. She started the cross country season as part of the Gold medal winning Mixed relay team, and took part in four of the five Essex League races, only missing one due to injury and placing a brilliant runner up in the senior standings. Also competing in the London Championships and the Nationals at Leeds, she represented Essex at the Southern Inter Counties in December. Well done and good luck for the upcoming Summer track season to GINTE BAILEY.

The team manager found it hard to select the winner of Senior Women's Team Member award as there are so many committed team members with several in the running (good pun !) for the award. The eventual winner is fairly new to Cross Country and in her first season ran in four of the five Essex League races and came a well-deserved fourth place overall.  She joined Ginte as part of the Gold medal winning Mixed relay team, and also competed in the Essex Championships, the South of England Championships, the London Championships  and the Nationals! A valuable member of the ladies team, we're sure she will continue to run brilliantly on the track, the roads and country next season – she is of course MORGAN CAMPBELL.

The winner of the Club Best performance award for Junior Men has the ability to go on to greater things. As an Under 20, he was still picked for the Senior county team. He ran the first leg in both the cross country and road relay gold medal-winning teams, and also won an Essex league senior race, which most people will tell you is very hard to do, plus he took the overall league title for the U20s in the Essex league. BEN DAVIS.

Now to the winner of the award for Junior Men Team Member. This young man has determination and enthusiasm by the bucket load. He is always willing to compete, no matter what is asked of him. Part of the U20s gold medal-winning team in the county championships which saw him take a very good individual bronze, plus ever present in the Essex league scoring teams. JAMES STEWART.

The Club Best performance award for Junior Women had a great first season in the age group winning the first round of the Essex League, finishing second in the Essex Championships, ninth in the South of England and top 20 finishes in the National & Inter Counties. The highlights of her winter were an English Schools bronze and two England vests in Belgium and Ireland. A great future lies ahead for KATE O'NEILL.

Onto the Junior Women Team Member award. The winner had a series of good results for the club in the Essex League, sixth in the County Champs, seventh in the county schools, and 32nd in the South of England Champs. She also represented Essex in the Southern & National Inter Counties and English Schools Championship. Congratulations SOPHIE RAND.

The winner of the Club Best Performance award for Under-17 Men award had another excellent season, only missing out on an individual league placing due to clashes with school races, with three top 10 finishes and an excellent runners spot in the final race of the season. A very good 12th in the county championships in a very competitive and tough age group, he performed well for the club at the Southern Champs and for Essex in the SE Counties. He goes from strength to strength each season and will be a real asset to the U20s next season - the worthy winner is HARRY JONES.

The Under 17 Men Team Member award goes to a committed team member in his first season at Under 17, only missing a final individual placing due to illness. Throughout the season he showed a real commitment to the team going over and above when running when ill and injured to help the team, always giving his all. A real team player, who puts in the training and is fully committed to the team and club. Well done to LUKE CHESTER.

The winner of the Club Best Performance Award for Under-17 Women goes to an athlete who competed well in three rounds of the Essex League, including the freezing, windy conditions at Horseheath. With another year as an Under 17 we look forward to more performances in club colours from JESSICA JAMES.

The Under 17 Women Team Member award goes to a young lady who is still fairly new to competition and who represented the Under 17s in two of the Essex League races, including horrible Horseheath. Keep up the training and good luck in the U20s next year, ANGELICA THOMSON.

The Club Best Performance award for Under-15 Boys’ award goes to an athlete who won every Essex race he took part in, winning both the individual league title and county gold, and leading the team to county silver and Essex League runners up. Represented the club at southern and national champs, competed for Essex twice, and  won all his school races, including the regional English schools cup. We look forward to more of the same in the Under 17s next year from  ALEX FORD

The Under-15 Boys Team Member award goes to a fully committed team member who has really shone and performed well this season, being a valuable member with his points helping the team to a second in the league, with some very good top 10 finishes and a team silver medal in the county championships. Throughout the season he pushed and applied himself in races and training to ensure he finished as high in each race as possible for the benefit of the team, a real team player with another year in this age group, the winner is SHANE HART.

We now come to the award for Club Best Performance for Under-15 Girls - where shall I start with this young lady!? She placed 3rd, 5th and 7th in her Essex League races and won county bronze and Essex Schools’ silver. A top 20 finish in the South of England champs was followed by her running most of the National with one shoe ! She earned Essex vests in the Southern & National Inter Counties and recorded a fine series of performances for her school, including 10th in the National Final. Still an U15 next winter, the winner is NATALIE SEWELL.

The Team Member award in this Under-15 Girls’ age group goes to an athlete who was ever-present in the Essex League, with a best placing of ninth.  She also achieved top 30 finishes in the county U15s and Essex Schools Champs. A regular at training and Parkruns, we hope that she has a successful track season this year – MADDIE BARKER.

An excellent first season sees the Club Best Performance for Under-13 Boys award go to an athlete who represented the club at all of the five league races with three top 10 finishes and only just missing out on an individual medal. A real asset to the team helping them finish a very good second in the league only just being pipped to the league title. He performed well and gained valuable experience at the Southern Championships and showed huge potential in his first cross country with another year in the age group, the future looks bright for RYAN CARROLL.

The Team Member award winner for Under-13 Boys goes to a great team member who showed real commitment to the cause, taking part in four of the five league races, missing the fifth due to a clash with his school’s Cross country cup regional final. His efforts helped the club team to a very good runners up position in the final standings. Someone who gives his all for the team, in races and at training the well-deserved winner is NATHAN HART.

We have now come to the Club Best Performance award for Under-13 Girls.  An excellent season saw her compete in all five Essex League meetings with a best finish of second, and overall fifth place. Other top results included sixth in the county champs, 13th in the Essex Schools and fifth in the Essex Schools Year 8 competition, and sixth in the London Youth Games. Last week saw her finish tenth in the Mini Marathon and part of the winning Havering team. What she lacks inches she makes up in sheer determination TILLY CANTY !

The Under-13 Girls Team Member award winner faced a challenging first full winter season at the club, being sent off course at the county relays and held at the start by the officials at the National Relays at Mansfield and showing great courage to battle to catch up. She recorded top six finishes in all the four Essex league races she contested, finishing fourth in the standings. Fourth in both the county champs and Essex Schools champs she missed out on the English schools selection due to injury. Good luck in the Under 15s RUBY HIGGINS.

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We now come to the first of the special awards 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 whose talent shone through despite a health-affected winter. Fifth place in the British Athletics Challenge in October earned her England selection for a race in Spain where an early fall affected her position. After winning the senior Essex league race in December she won the county championships and then the Essex Schools, before finishing second in the Essex League senior race. A sixth place in the Southern Champs was followed by a superb silver medal in the Nationals in Leeds but two DNFs in the Inter Counties & English Schools saw a disappointing end to her cross country season. She bounced back in style last week with an impressive win for England against international opposition in the European Under 20 5k road race, leading  the England team to bronze. The winner is JESSICA MITCHELL.

The second of these special awards is in the Male Under-20 to Veteran category and the winner has been a fixture at this awards evening for more years than we can count - but is winning this award for the first time. Victory in the final Essex League race sealed his third successive individual league title, leading the men's team to a second title, adding fourth place in the County Champs. But this winter also saw him earn a long-overdue first international vest when in November he represented the England M35 team at the Home Countries International at Cardiff, placing sixth and part of the gold-medal England team. A model club athlete - who needs no introduction ROB WARNER.

That concludes the formalities of the evening, so in a moment could all the winners join us at the front for the traditional group photo. The food will also be opened, so please help yourselves. Thank You.











All photos have been reduced in size and/or cropped from originals -

if anyone wants copies of the originals please email - Apologies a few not up to the standard of most others!

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