Summer 2012 Annual Track and Field Awards Presentation

AFC Hornchurch 30 November 2012 

 (text of presentation speeches from Doug Tierney}


Good evening everybody and welcome on behalf of Havering Mayesbrook Athletic Club to the presentation of the track and field awards for 2012.

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 an 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 track and field season was another successful one for the Club both indoor and outdoor. Countless medals were won by Club athletes in County and Regional competitions. The under-17 squad maintained their place in the top division of the National Young Athletes League and were always competitive in the Eastern Young Athletes League. The senior men, senior women and junior men and women all retained their status in their respective national leagues. The combined women and men’s Southern Athletics League team, having been promoted the previous season, had a good first season at the higher level. At an individual level, Club athletes performed with great credit as we will hear later

So this is an evening to celebrate those successes and once again it’s important to say well done to the club’s coaches, team managers and parents for making sure that athletes got to the starting line on time fit and well.

There are three categories of award this evening – in each age group we have the Club Best Performance Track Award, the Club Best Performance Field Award and also the Team Member Award. In addition, there are some special awards at the end of the evening for performances outside the league system.

For the first time in a number of years, we are pleased to be able to award trophies in the Veteran Ladies category. The Best Performance on the Field by a Veteran Lady goes to an athlete who was not only in her first season with the Club but also new to the Pole Vault event, only picking a pole up a year ago for the first time. Although her work commitments as a Police Officer often made it difficult for her to get time off, she was able to compete in four of the five Southern League matches and made her UK Women’s debut scoring excellent points for both teams. She also won gold at the Eastern Counties Veteran’s Championships and ended the season with a new PB, ranking her eighth in the Statpack all-time list. TINA QUINLIVAN.

It’s hard to believe that it is almost ten years ago since the winner of the Veteran Lady’s Team Member award was last honoured at this ceremony. She is one of the Club’s all-time greats, still ranked third in the 400m lists and in the top-10 at 200m and 800m. A fantastic servant of the Club over her long career, it was good to see her return to training and competition this Summer answering the Team Managers’ calls for both the Southern and UK Leagues to cover gaps in the 800m, 1500m and 3000m. RUTH O’SULLIVAN.

The next award is the Club Best Performance on the Track by a male veteran. Not even the need to have an operation to repair a damaged Achilles tendon could deter this athlete from competing in his beloved British League. His undying commitment to the team not only inspired him to win the 3000m Steeplechase at Derby and Swansea but also saw him filling in and securing valuable points in the 1500m and 5000m despite being in severe pain. Currently recovering from his operation, it is hoped that he will be back fully fit in 2013 when once again his dedication and commitment to track and field can be an inspiration to others. Winning the award for the second year in succession: JASON LENDON.

We are breaking with tradition for the next two awards in that they are being presented at the same time. In the words of the team manager, the world of entertainment has had many great double acts over the years – Starsky and Hutch, Bill and Ben, Hinge and Brackett, etc etc. Well, we have our own dynamic duo who have been Club stalwarts for many years, both being former decathletes who can call on their specialist skills to beat athletes half their age and who cannot be faulted for their enthusiasm and dedication and their encouragement of younger members of the team. We hope that they both continue for another thirty years or so. The Club Best Performance in the Field by a Male Veteran goes to ARRON BONNING and the Team Member award goes to DARRON KEEVIL.

The Track Best Performance for Senior Women goes to an athlete who just keeps improving, setting new PBs at 400m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m, 1500m Steeplechase and 3000m Steeplechase during the Summer. She missed only one fixture all season and in each meeting in which she competed took part in three gruelling middle distance races, piling up points for both the Southern and UK Women’s teams with numerous victories. The ultimate team player, she regularly commutes from Birmingham to compete for the team. The very worthy winner for the second year in succession is VICKY SMITH.

The Senior Women's Club Best Performance Field award goes to a young lady who made a welcome return to club competition after three years enforced lay off due to a serious injury. She won the B Javelin in all three UK League meetings and was first or second at all three Southern League meetings in which she competed. She was also the Club’s leading Hammer thrower improving her best throughout the season and she also competed in Shot, Discus and 100m to fill gaps. We hope that an injury free Winter will see a return to her best form for EMMA CHRISTMAS.

The  Team Member award in the Senior Women's category goes to an athlete who has proved her worth to a succession of team managers over her long career. Despite nursing an Achilles injury for much of the Summer, she was ever present in all nine senior fixtures where she was a prolific points scorer at her speciality events, the 100m and 400m hurdles. Always willing to fill gaps, she also scored vital points in the high jump, long jump, pole vault, shot and javelin as well as being a regular in both relay teams. The Club needs more athletes like  CLAIRE BRENNAN.

The winner of the Club Best Performance on the Track by a Senior Man goes to somebody who continued in 2012 where he left off in 2011. In his second year as a senior man, he performed excellently throughout the sprint events, especially in his specialist event, the 400m Hurdles with new personal bests in that event and the 200m and 400m. He won all four 400m Hurdles races in the British League culminating with a new best of 52.23s at Swansea ranking him 24th in the UK and 2nd on the Club’s all-time list. Retaining this award for the second year and with prospects of even better to come in 2013, the winner is  ISAAC OGUNLADE.

The Club Best Performance in the Field by a Senior Man goes to a young man who in his first year as a Senior Man has confirmed what a talent he is by putting the Shot to a new personal best of 14.17m ranking him 42nd in the UK and 2nd on the Club’s all-time list. With the prospect of him combining his training with that for the Discus, the future looks extremely bright for LAURENCE GOODACRE.

The Team Member award in the Senior Men goes to another athlete winning the award for the second year in succession. He improved his competitive standards since 2011 making him even more of a Team Manager’s dream, always prepared to step in at the last moment to get those vital points. Last year, the Team Manager commented that this athlete’s enthusiasm bordered on insanity. This time around, he merely wonders if he should be ‘committed’ having volunteered to compete recently in a cross-country event where he kept wandering off course to hurdle the odd fence or two! A really nice guyJEREMY WATSON

Turning to the U20 Women and the Club Best Performance in the Field award. When the winner of this award was in plaster less than 12 months ago after breaking bones in her foot, a successful Summer season and the chance of appearing at this evening’s awards ceremony, seemed unlikely. But she returned to competition in May to win gold at the Essex Championships in a new javelin PB and never looked back. Ever present in the UK League and unbeaten in the National Junior League at javelin and shot, she became only the fourth club female to throw beyond the 40m line in javelin, ending the season as No 2 on the all-time junior javelin list and fourth in the shot. The worthy winner is DEBORAH KNIGHT

Now to Junior Men and the winner of the Club Best Performance on the track award goes to a young man who has been a fine example to younger athletes in recent times, assisting with Team Manager responsibilities. He competed regularly for the Junior team with a series of consistent performances ranging from 200m to 3000m but with his best coming over his favoured 800m and 1500m. For good measure, he also made his debut for the Senior Men’s British League team. Now at University, we look forward to him making rather longer journeys than has been the case to date in order to turn out for Club teams: MASSI DENDANI

The award for Best Performance in the Field by a Junior Man goes to a very special, highly talented young athlete. He is a very good multi-eventer only being prevented by injury from medalling at the English Schools Decathlon Championships. It his Long Jumping, however, that has won him the award with gold at the Essex Championships, bronze at English Schools and fine performances for Junior and Senior Club teams JOSHUA OLAWORE

The Club Member award in this age group goes to another talented young athlete who is comfortable at a range of events including long, triple and high jumps, hurdles (sprint and 400m), discus and javelin. He competed in numerous events for the Junior League team, clocking up a large number of points and he thoroughly deserves this award: JAKE NELSON

Moving down the age groups, we come back to the girls and the Club Best Performance on the track award by under-17This athlete moved into the higher age group with ease and should be looking forward to a very successful season next summer. Highly committed and gutsy, she has proven herself at all sprints up to the 300m and she also competes well in the high and long jumps. She also shines as a role model to younger athletes giving praise and encouragement. A credit to the Club TOMI AKINGBADE.

The Best Performance award in the field in this age group goes to one of the powerful duo of Club throwers in the age group. She continued to improve her personal bests throughout the season, training and competing with 100% commitment. She won the South of England Championships, was 4th at English Schools and 5th in the England Championships,  In addition, she is ranked 4th for discus on the U17 all-time list, 3rd for shot and is ranked 5th nationally on the Power of 10 for discus. . An athlete who shows real passion for her events RACHEL FORDER.

Finally in this under-17 age group, we come to the Team Member award and it goes to a quieter member of the team but someone who became a very strong part of the team from early in the season. She would always compete whenever possible and was happy to have a go at anything. Her natural talent was in running longer distances and she worked hard to achieve a series of PBs. She showed true grit late on in the season to help the team avoid relegation. Despite having a hard race on the Saturday, she turned out again on the Sunday to run a 3000m knowing how important it was for the Club:. ISABELLA WOODS

Moving to the under-17 men where the Best Performance on the track award had a fantastic season. With 400m hurdles as his speciality, he had a great start to the season winning the County Championship in May from where he went from strength to strength. He improved his Club record when he won the silver medal in the 400m Hurdles at the South of England Championships, a week after representing Essex at Gateshead in the English Schools championships, an event that many of us watched live on Sky TV and in which, going into the final as an outsider, he blasted through to win the bronze medal, breaking the Club record for the first time.  Also in May, he represented the South East in the UK Schools Games at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford – a wonderful experience. He not only holds the 400m Hurdles record but is also in the all-time top-10 for sprint hurdles and 200m. He has represented the Club in Senior and Junior leagues already and can look forward to his first full season as a Junior in 2013.  GEORGE HADLER.

The Best Performance award in the field in this category goes to a young man who was a regular in league meetings and was a big points scorer for the Club especially at his preferred event, the Pole Vault. He is ranked 7th on the Club’s all-time list and has another year in the age group so further progress looks inevitable. He is able and willing to try any event when asked and, at league meetings, can often be seen running from one event to another. He always has a smile on his face and is a truly dedicated athlete ED THOMPSON

The winner of the under-17s men's Team Member award competed at every meeting for both the National Young Athletes League and the Eastern Young Athletes League – quite an achievement in itself. He covered all manner of events during the season encompassing middle distance, throws, jumps and even steeplechase. He was always willing to help the team and step in to try something new. Like Ed Thompson, he has another year in the age group so we can expect a lot more of the same in 2013. His versatility has been a joy to the Team Manager and he made a huge difference to team points over the season ADAM HILL

Down another age group to the under-15 girls and the winner of the Best Performance track. It goes to a dedicated and extremely talented athlete who although in the first year in the age group, still dominated the sprints. She showed great spirit even when up against older, more experienced athletes from the top sprint clubs, seeing every one as a new challenge and wanting to improve her PB at every opportunity. She won gold and silver medals at the Essex Championships and, potentially, is a real star of the future. Watch the Club records next season! .. MODUPE SHOKUNBI

The Best Performance field award in this age group in this age group goes to a young athlete who is very talented at both the high and long jumps. She has the ability to compete at the highest level – indeed she already has in school multi- event competitions. Her sprinting is also excellent, surprising herself with her first attempt at 300m in a time that took her into the Club all-time, top-10 list. She could always be relied on to produce solid performances in each of her events, accumulating many points in the process.. CHENICE CONSTABLE

The Team Member award in this age group is invariably highly competitive but this year it goes to a young lady from whom big things are expected next season. She has all-round ability and is highly enthusiastic, shining both on the track and in the field. She was also willing to have a go whenever needed and was an invaluable asset to the team. She also performed with great credit when selected to represent the Borough of Havering in the London Youth Games at Crystal Palace. KATIE DAWSON

Now to the under-15 boys and the winner of the Best Club Performance track award. According to his Team Manager, this young man was a pleasure to work with. His performances over 300m improved race by race as the season progressed with a series of PBs including in the Eastern Young Athletes Trophy competition. He was a bronze medallist at the Essex Championships and also competed for the Borough of Havering in the London Youth Games at Crystal Palace over 400m. The best is yet to come from THOMAS PITKIN

The Club Best Performance award for field events goes to a young athlete who has worked extremely hard at the throwing events and who has shown regular improvement. His favoured event is Javelin – now throwing over 30m – whilst he can also turn his hand at Shot and Discus. He was a regular for the u15 boys squad and amassed a large number of points for the team. JJ NELSON

Finally, in this under-15 boys age group, we come to the Team Member award. It goes to a young man who joined the Club just last year and who has shown a talent in a variety of events,  particularly high jump and hurdling. He achieved a PB in the High Jump in the Eastern Young Trophy match and, during the season, racked up many points for the team. A very quiet young athlete who, as he gains in confidence, will, increasingly, be a force to be reckoned with. MATTHEW OWERS.

Now it’s the turn of the youngest age group, the under-13s, who have been waiting patiently.  The Best Club Performance on the track by an under-13 girl goes to a fine young sprinter who also amassed a large number of points in Eastern Young and National Young competitions. Rarely out of the first two, she could also be relied on to score well in High Jump, another event at which further improvement is guaranteed. JOSIE WADDAMS

The Club Best Performance award for the field events in this category goes to a young lady from the same training group and who also was something of an all-rounder, picking up many points in the process including in the sprint and hurdles events. She was particularly successful at High Jump and, given normal improvement, should continue to score well in that event next season. HOLLY NASH

The Team Member award in this age group goes to yet another young lady from the same training group – someone who was prepared to try anything to gain points for the team and who was an invaluable member of the U13 girls squad. However, it was Long Jump where she showed a real talent and it is this event in which it is hoped she specialises next season ISABELLA PURDIE.

And so the under-13 boys and the Best Club Performance track award. It goes to an athlete who impressed greatly throughout the season especially in his favoured event, the 1500m. He improved throughout the Summer and this helped him to head the Club rankings for the distance. He also contributed well at High Jump and Long Jump on a regular basis. In addition, he represented the Borough of Havering at Crystal Palace and always showed that he is a dedicated and talented Club athlete. OLIVER MORTER

The Best Club Performance for field events goes to an athlete consistently scored well in Discus, not the easiest of events for young athletes to master. He never failed to finish outside the top two places in the Eastern Young competition. He also gained useful points with his efforts at Shot. He will be a welcome addition to the under-15s next season JOSEPH HILL

Now to the Team Member award and and it has been won by a hard working and polite athlete who during the season competed in a variety of events. He always gave his best whether on the track at 75m Hurdles, 100m, 200m or relay or in the field at Discus, Shot and Long Jump. He has a really good attitude to competing and was a real asset to the team and to the Borough team in the London Youth Games HARVEY ADDISON

We now come to the second of the special awards being presented this evening and it is the Cleanaway Havering Best Relay Performance trophy. The Cleanaway Havering organisation contributed some £50,000 towards the costs of refurbishing the track and field facilities here at the Stadium some eight years ago and the trophy was presented for the first time at that time. It wasn’t an easy choice this time around with five teams winning gold at the Essex County Relay Championships in July. However, the award goes to the U15 girls 3 x 800m team as they beat teams from Chelmsford, Basildon, Southend, Thurrock, Woodford and Orion. In addition, their time would have won the U17 Women’s Championship! The winning three athletes are AMY BAGGS, ABIGAIL SPINK and HEIDI SURMAN-WELLS.

Finally, we come to four special awards presented for Best Performances by the Club Committee performances outside the usual Club/League competitions.

The first of these is for females in the age range U13 – u17 a remarkable young athlete taking the trophy for the third year in succession.  Her achievements in the season under review were many including the Gold medal in the Discus at the English Athletics Championships and the gold medal in the Discus at the crème de la crème of young athletes competitions, the English Schools Championships.  She also gained an international vest in the Schools International and is ranked 2nd on the Power of 10 for Discus. She also set a new Club record for U17 Discus. GEORGIE TAYLOR.

This year, the equivalent award for males in the age range U13 –U17 goes to an exceptionally talented young athlete who won the silver medal in the sprint hurdles at the English Schools Championships, was 4th in the England Athletics Indoor Championships in a new Club record time for the U17 60m Hurdles, is ranked 2nd on the Power of 10, broke the Club record for U17 men 100m Hurdles and gained an international vest in the prestigious Schools International. The tremendous talent that is ROBBIE CLARRICOATS

Now to the age group U20 – Veterans and we start with the ladies and the award goes to a dedicated Club athlete who has had a superb career in the sport. In recent years, she has concentrated on the daunting Pole Vault event with remarkable success. In the season under review, she won the silver medal in the Inter Counties Championships at Bedford and went on to break the Club record on more than one occasion culminating in a 3.90m leap that took her into the top-10 UK vaulters list for 2012. She also took silver at the South of England Indoor Championships.  KATE COWLEY

We now come to the male age range U20 – Veterans and it goes to an athlete who won this award last year and who, a year earlier in 2010, picked up the award for the younger age group so you can see that he is a very special athlete indeed. His performance at the English Schools Championships this year was superb, completing an impressive hat-trick of triple jump victories despite a heavily strapped knee with a new personal best of 15.01m. He is also ranked  5th on the Power of Ten for U20 triple jump. Destined, we believe, to go to the very top – JIMI TELE



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