Summer 2014 Annual Track and Field Awards Presentation

Ardleigh House 12 December 2014 

 (text of presentation speeches from Doug Tierney}

 

 

Good evening everybody and welcome on behalf of Havering Athletic Club to the presentation of the track and field awards for 2014.  As is usual since he became Club President, the awards are being presented this evening by Kevin White. As ever, the respective team managers have selected most of the winners.

The 2014 track and field season was generally another successful one for the Club both indoor and outdoor. Countless medals were won by Club athletes in County, Regional and National competitions. The U17/U20 NYDL squad maintained their place in Division 1 whilst the Eastern Young Athletes League team were always competitive and came third in the top-6 final. The senior men and women both maintained their British League and UK Women’s League status respectively. As we will hear a little later, the Club’s most successful trio of under-17s enjoyed great success.

So this is an evening to celebrate those successes and once again it’s important to say well done to the club’s coaches and Team Managers  who give up an enormous amount of their time to ensure that athletes get 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.

We are pleased to have a winner of the Veteran Women’s Club Best Field Performance this year. It goes to an athlete who must be the only veteran Pole Vaulter who has also broken four hours for the London Marathon. After tackling London in April, she went on to improve her Veteran’s Pole Vault Record three times despite limited competition opportunities due to work commitments and injuries. She also now ranks 5th on the all-time Club female list. The deserving winner is TINA QUINLIVAN.

The first award is the Club Best Performance on the Track by a Male Veteran and it goes to a fine athlete winning the award for the fourth year in succession. He is a Life Member of the Club who first started winning awards just after the wheel had been invented.  Despite injuries and operations, he has maintained his enthusiasm for the sport and is still managing to win events in league competitions and masters’ competitions. JASON LENDON.

The next award is the Club Best Performance in the Field by a Male Veteran and it goes to another Life Member who has acquitted himself magnificently. Last year he collected this award as a Senior Man and, now a Vet, it’s business as usual. Kevin, his Team Manager, calls him Mr Reliable as he goes quietly from one event to another, often two events at the same time at different ends of the arena. A great example to others, young and old, the winner is AARON BONNING

The winner of the Track Best Performance for Senior Women needs little introduction as she has justifiably been a regular at these awards. Competing for Club teams week in, week out, she scored highly every time she pulled on a Club vest, racking up first and second places in the 800m, 1500m,  3000m and Steeplechase events. She also represented Essex with pride winning Steeplechase bronze at the Inter-Counties competition. Even by her own high standards however, tackling seven events at the Southern League match at Basingstoke was very impressive. VICKY SMITH

The Senior Women's Club Best Performance Field award goes to a young lady who was a prolific points scorer in the High Jump, Long Jump and Triple Jump for the Women’s Southern League and UK Women’s  teams despite her work commitments restricting her training. Recently inspired by a training session alongside Katerina Johnson-Thompson, the best is yet to come from BETHAN SIDDONS.

The Team Member award in the Senior Women's category goes to another athlete who is always willing to compete for the Club in a range of events. Ever present in the UK and Southern League squads, she is a team manager’s delight competing at 100m, 200m, High Jump, Triple Jump, Shot and Javelin in addition to her main Long Jump event. The worthy winner is  ZOE YOUNG.

The Club Best Performance on the Track by a Senior Man goes to somebody for whom we are beginning to run out of accolades. Totally dedicated and an extremely keen competitor, who makes winning look so easy. Those who see him training at the track week in, week out however are witness to the incredible amount of effort that goes into his performances. A fine example to old and young alike, the winner is ROB WARNER.

It’s always good to see a younger athlete coming up through the ranks and that description applies to the winner of Club Best Performance in the Field by a Senior Man award. Joining as a 15 years old, he has stayed loyal to the Club despite almost certainly having opportunities to move to one of the bigger clubs. As a Shot Putter, he has had his share of injuries but has managed to shake them off and this year’s track and field season saw him produce a series of fine personal best performances. LAURENCE GOODACRE

It’s good to see a new name taking the Team Member award in the Senior Men category. It goes to one of the younger members of the senior ranks who consistently showed great enthusiasm and could always be relied on to double up event wise and whose season included a new personal best in his favourite event, the 800m. We are looking forward to him breaking the ‘two minutes’ barrier next season.  PAUL KAVANAGH

Now to the U20 Women and the Club Best Performance on the Track award and it goes to an athlete who has begun to confirm the promise shown in previous years. She was ever present in the Youth Development League fixtures, scoring well at both sprints and after making her UK Women’s League debut against Christine Ohuruogu, never looked back and went on to smash her PBs week after week. We look forward to much more to come from TAYLA HUMM

The winner of the  U20 Women's Club Best Performance in the Field award continued to progress in her first year as an U20 with a fine series of results in the UK Women’s League, Southern League and YDL teams plus medals at the Essex Championships and the South of England Championships. She also achieved top-6 finishes in the English Schools and England Athletics Championships in addition to a top-6 National ranking. The winner is RACHEL FORDER

The winner of the U20 Women’s Team Member award goes to a young athlete who competed regularly for Club teams and showed good form throughout the season over the barriers, not only in the Steeplechase but in the 400m Hurdles as well as competing at 800, 1500m, 3000m and the 4 x 400m relay. With another year as an U20, there’s a lot more to come from ISABELLA WOODS

Now to Junior Men and the winner of the Club Best Performance on the Track award and it goes to a young man who had already proved to be a dedicated and committed member of the Club and who was an essential part of the team with a positive and friendly manner. He worked hard at training and competed for the YDL and British League teams.  He has achieved U20 UK rankings of 18th for 200m, 30th for 100m and 9th for Long Jump.  JOSHUA OLAWORE

The award for Best Performance in the Field by a Junior Man goes to another dedicated young athlete who had an excellent season as a first year as an U20. He regularly represented the Club in the YDL and British League teams and is the Club’s star of the Pole Vault. He represented Essex at English Schools Championships and is currently ranked 14th in the UK with a pb of 4.40m. A fine example of a committed athlete  – ED THOMPSON

The Team Member award in this age group scored regularly for the Club in YDL and British League competitions in sprints, hurdles and relays. He continued to work hard in training and has always been positive, committed and totally reliable and has proved to be a fine role model for younger athletes: KARL TUCKER

Moving down the age groups, we come back to the girls and the Club Best Performance on the Track award by under-17After dominating the local sprints scene both indoors and out with victories in league fixtures and county championships, the winner in this category also more than made her mark at National and International level with medals at the English Schools Championships and the Schools International in her first year in the age group. An impressive talent, we look forward to more success for MODUPE SHOKUNBI.

The Best Performance award in the Field in this age group goes to an athlete who scored a string of victories in the Youth Development League and the Eastern Young League and won gold in the Essex Championships and Essex Schools Championships. She also competed well against senior opposition in the Southern League in her favoured Discus event and regularly added Shot and Hammer points.  With another season as an U17, there’s much more to come from FREYA GUTTERIDGE.

Finally in this Under-17 age group, we come to the Team Member award. After a delayed start to her season due to injury, this athlete was soon a valued team regular racking up excellent points not only in her favoured 800m events but also at 200m, 300m, Long Jump and Discus and she even covered a gap in the Hurdles in the Eastern Young Final. A fine example to other team members, the winner is. HEIDI SURMAN-WELLS

Moving to the Under-17 men where the Best Performance on the Track award is s a dedicated and committed member of the Club who had an excellent season. He regularly represented the Club at 100m and 200m achieving a huge points score over the season including being an essential part of the relay squad. His improvements in his personal bests were due reward for his hard work in training and we look forward to much more to come from LEWIS BAILEY

The Best Performance Field award goes to a young man who joined the Club as an U15 and quickly settled into the role of a dedicated and highly motivated team member. He regularly competed for the U17 team not only in his favoured Javelin event but also earning good points in the Discus, Shot and Hammer competitions. He is ranked 23rd in the UK with his javelin PB of over 52m SONNY NASH

The winner of the Under-17s Men's Team Member award is a relatively new member of the Club with his first experience of a track and field season. He proved to be a committed and valuable member of the squad, always prepared to support other athletes where necessary by filling in gaps. He regularly represented the Club at 400m, 800m and Long Jump and was always willing to attempt other disciplines. FINN HUTTON

Down another age group to the Under-15 girls and the winner of the Best Performance Track. It goes to a dedicated and talented athlete who started the season lacking in confidence but who proved to be a strong team member. She placed 1st in three of the four YDL races gaining valuable points for the team and, at 1500m, never placed lower than 3rd. When needed, she was part of the new 4 x 300m relay team and was also part of the 3 x 800m team that romped to victory at the Essex Relay Championships. Congratulations to - KATE O'NEILL

The Best Performance Field award in this age group in this age group goes to a young athlete who had a good first season in the age group. She achieved fine results all season throwing the Shot and Javelin including bronze medals in the Essex Championships  but it was in her new event, the Hammer, that saw her improve dramatically. Always keen to add another string to her bow, she was also seen having a go at the Pole Vault in training so watch this space.  With another year in the age group, 2015 could be exciting for PHILIPPA GILL

The Team Member award in this age group goes to a young lady who brings a smile to the faces of her teammates at every competition. She made herself available for every league meeting and had good results in Discus and Hammer.  She also stepped up to compete at under-17 level in the Eastern Young Top-6 Final gaining valuable points for the team. Always one to encourage other team members at every opportunity, the very deserving winner is YINKA SHOKUNBI

Now to the Under-15 Boys and the winner of the Best Club Performance Track award and it goes to an athlete who had a really good season consistently scoring good points especially in his favoured events, the 800m and 1500m. In addition, he also contributed points in the 200m and 300m together with being a regular in the 4 x 300m relay team at YDL meetings. For good measure, he also persevered at a favoured field event, the High Jump. OLIVER MORTER

The U15 Club Best Performance award for Field events goes to a quieter member of the team but someone who let his performances do the talking. In his debut season, he managed to head the 2014 rankings for Discus, Shot and Hammer. His efforts in his main event, Discus, saw him produce a string of good results that saw him elevated to 7th in the Club all-time top-ten. Encouraged by his Team Manager to also compete regularly in the Shot and Hammer, he produced more valuable points for the team. PAUL OKESOLA

Finally, in this Under-15 boys age group, we come to the Team Member award. It goes to a fine young athlete who, in the words of the Team Manager ‘is a joy to have in the team’. Always happy to help out when gaps appeared on the team-sheet, resulting in many useful points in numerous events including 800m, 1500m, 300m, Shot, Discus and Javelin in addition to both relay squads. He should be very proud of his efforts. SAM ATKINS.

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 an excellent competitor who was a strong participant in the 70m Hurdles, finishing top of the 2014 rankings and 4th on the Club’s all-time list. She contributed well as part of the 4 x 100m squad and showed endeavour in the 100m. This was backed-up with a series of fine results in field events where her natural talent was clearly displayed. A well-balanced young lady who clearly enjoys competing and training and was a real asset to the team. MILLIE HODGES

The Club Best Performance award for the Field events in this category goes to a young lady who produced consistent performances especially in the Long Jump. This led to her heading the 2014 Club rankings in a very competitive event. Added to this, useful points were gained at Shot Putt and High Jump. For good measure, she ran a fine 100m and sprinted well as part of the 4 x 100m squad.  A really good season from  CHARLOTTE FRANSHAM

The Team Member award goes to a young athlete who competed regularly throughout the season in a variety of events. Most of these were on the track encompassing all middle distances, sprints and relay. On a couple of occasions, she also threw the Javelin. She was always happy to get involved at short notice which made a real difference and contributed well to the overall team performance. CHLOE MORTER.

And so the Under-13 boys and the Best Club Performance Track award, being won for the second year in succession by a very special young athlete. He had another excellent season at 100m, 200m and Long Jump. He well and truly smashed the age-group records for each of those events that had all stood for 16 years – a brilliant achievement. His record for the 100m was set at the EYAL Top-6 Final. He also played a pivotal role in the relay team, bringing them home in 1st place in most of the races. He is also showing huge potential as a High Jumper. JAIRZINHO MORRIS

The Best Club Performance for Field events in this age group goes to an astonishing young athlete who was outstanding throughout the Summer. He was dominant in two throws events – Javelin and Discus – which culminated in setting a new Club record and finishing as UK number 1 & all time number 2 in the former and another Club record & also UK number 1 for the latter. Adding to this, he also found a liking for the Shot ending the season 5th on the Club’s all-time list. His potential for the future, especially in Javelin is immense and he can move up an age group next season with confidence. MAX LAW

Now to the Team Member award and and it has been won by a young athlete who was a regular competitor throughout the season gaining valuable points in High Jump, 800m and once notably for Discus at short notice and with minimal preparation. He consistently improved at Long Jump to finish 2nd in the 2014 rankings but saved his best for Shot with strong performances that placed him in the all-time top-10. JOSEPH HOGAN-O'NEILL

We now come to the 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 the winner is a truly remarkable young athlete who had a magnificent season. She won gold at English Schools in the 300m Hurdles, repeated the performance in the England Athletics Championships and UK Schools Games. For good measure, she won gold at the South of England Championships and silver medals in the Schools International, representing England. in Cardiff and the English School Heptathlon. She is ranked in the Power of 10 top-ten for the 300m hurdles, 80m hurdles, 400m and Heptathlon. Finally, she broke Club records for the U17 Women 300m hurdles and the Heptathlon. The Club is very proud of. MICHELLE HUGHES.

This year, the equivalent award for Males in the age range U13 –U17 goes to an exceptionally talented young hurdler who also had a superb season. In the 400m hurdles, he won the silver medal at English Schools and bronze in the England Athletics Championships. In the South of England Championships, he took the silver medal and the bronze in the SIAB event in Cardiff. On the Power of 10, he is ranked 5th nationally. A fine ambassador for the Club and a really nice young man –  THOMAS PITKIN

Now to the Female age group U20 – Veterans and it goes to another extremely talented athlete who is no stranger to these awards. An ever present at English Schools in recent years, she was 6th in this years’ Discus event and she was 4th in the England Athletic Championships. In the South of England Championships, she took the silver medal and is ranked 2nd on the Power of 10. GEORGIE TAYLOR.

Finally, we come to the Male age range U20 – Veterans and the award goes to a young man who only joined the Club in December last year. In the season under review, he was 8th in the Discus event at English Schools and 5th in the England Athletics U20 competition. He also won silver in the South of England Championships and gained an U20 international vest for Great Britain in the prestigious Loughborough International.  On the Power of 10, he is ranked 5th in the U20 list. A great first year with the Club DUANE JIBUNOH

{KEVIN WHITE] …..and before you all raid the buffet we now we come to the final award of the evening and this is for Services to Coaching. It was established some years ago in memory of Sydney Edwards, who is still fondly remembered by those who knew him as a man who loved the sport and cared very much for his athletes. A number of the Club’s Coaches have received the award since its inception and tonight's winner lives up to those high standards.

The recipient came to the club like many volunteers as a parent, and his two sons competed for many years for club teams. Over the years he has held many roles as team manager, coach & now Chairman and has also managed borough teams in the London Youth Games & mini Marathons. He has also for may years been a key member of the club's coaching  team and the deserving recipient of the Services to Coaching award is DOUG TIERNEY.     

 

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