Summer 2015 Annual Track and Field Awards Presentation

RAFA Club Romford 13 November 2015 

 (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 2015.  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 2015 track and field season was generally another successful one for the Club both indoor and outdoor. Numerous medals were won by Club athletes in County, Regional and National competitions. The Under 13/Under 15 YDL squad won promotion after finishing the season unbeaten. The Eastern Young Athletes League team once again reached the Top-6 Final where the under-15 girls’ squad came out on top.  The senior women maintained their UK Women’s League status whilst the Senior Men gained promotion after a thrilling win in the final fixture at Chelmsford. The Southern Athletics League squad also maintained their League status. English Schools’ performances included gold medals for Georgie Taylor and Max Law, a bronze for Lydia Hallam and a new Club Record for Jack Rice in the 1500m.  Finally, in the London Youth Games, the Havering under-15 girls’ team consisting entirely of Club athletes won a number of individual medals against the best young athletes in London and took the team gold medal.

So this evening is an opportunity 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.

The first award is for the Veteran Women’s Club Best Field Performance and It goes to an athlete who like vintage wine improves with age. After equalling the Veterans’ best performance for the Pole Vault, she improved it further in May with a leap of 2.80m and achieved the same height on a further six occasions including when finishing 8th in the World Veterans’ Championships in France. Now ranked 3rd on the Clubs’ all-time list, the winner is TINA QUINLIVAN.

The next award is the Club Best Performance on the Track by a Male Veteran and it goes to somebody who competed for the Club as a teenager, then gave up the sport, and then returned to the Club at the age of 33 in 2013. Upon his return he immediately showed that by training hard, he was determined to improve his personal best and get into the British League team. The 2015 season was truly unforgettable for him winning the Gold medal in the Vets 35 800m at the BMAF Championships in July, followed by a new personal best of 1.54 for 800m and 4.04 for the 1500m at the final BAL match at Chelmsford placing him 2nd and 5th in the V35 UK rankings. His enthusiasm and dedication is an inspiration to others and we look forward to him improving even more next seasonPAUL GRANGE

The next award is the Club Best Performance in the Field by a Male Veteran and it is difficult to say anything that hasn’t been said before about this fine athlete. A multi-eventer who averages five events per competition and who covered nine disciplines in the season under review. He is a vital points scorer and a team manager’s dream. With a growing family to cheer him on, we can expect many more years of competition from ARRON BONNING

And so to the Team Member Best Performance for Male Veterans and it goes to an athlete who had a season full of injuries but who didn’t allow them to stop him being a fine competitor. As ever, it was a case of quality rather than quantity as he won league events, the British Masters Steeplechase title and went off to represent his country in the World Masters competition. If you ask him nicely, he will show you his England kit which he probably has on under his clothes this evening JASON LENDON

We come now to the Track Best Performance for Senior Women award. There has been a lot of publicity recently about Jess Ennis’ comeback after having a baby but the winner of this award could teach her a thing or two. Returning to training within two months of the birth of baby Ella last October, she competed indoors three months later and went on to have a superb track season coming close to her career sprint hurdles best and scoring highly in a range of other events whenever family commitments allowed. An excellent role model for our young athletes. CHLOE VAN WULVEN

The Senior Women's Club Best Performance Field award goes to a young lady winning the award for the second year in succession. She was not only a prolific points scorer in the High Jump, Long Jump and Triple Jump in the Women’s Southern League and UK Women’s League teams, but also finally broke the Club High Jump record which had stood since 1962. She really needs no introduction:. BETHAN SIDDONS.

The Team Member award in this Senior Women's category goes to another athlete who has now been a regular competitor for the Club in a range of events for over 20 years. She competed in every meeting despite minor injuries and was always well placed in her hurdles events and is now turning her attention to pole vault  CLAIRE BRENNAN.

The Club Best Performance on the Track by a Senior Man goes to somebody who, having joined the Club as a fifteen year old, has consistently progressed through the ranks. In his first year as a senior man, he performed excellently throughout the season in the sprint events, especially in his main event, the 110m Hurdles with a new personal best of 15.4secs, placing him 9th on the Club’s all-time rankings. His infectious enthusiasm and willingness to help the team is second to none and will enable him to attain greater achievements next season. GEORGE HADLER.

The award for Club Best Performance in the Field by a Senior Man goes to a young man who continued in 2015 where he left off the previous year with a string of fine performances. Not often are we able to congratulate a Senior Athlete on becoming the Club’s all-time record holder but this is such an occasion, having thrown the Shot to a record 15.82m, breaking Scott Hayes’ record from 1991 by almost half a metre and placing him 12th on the UK rankings. With the prospect of even greater achievements and future international representation, the winner for the second year in succession is LAURENCE GOODACRE

The winner of the Team Member award in the Senior Men category has been around a long time but when you look at his results and his competitive attitude to his sport, you can see that he is still a youngster at heart. He can always be seen giving advice to old and new and, sometimes, to the opposition. He still gives 100% every time he competes and managed to achieve personal bests in 2015. He is also a loyal Coach providing an essential service to our younger athletes.  SAM HARRISON

Now to the Under 20 Women and the Club Best Performance on the Track award and it goes to an athlete winning the award for the second year in succession although she missed the second half of the year through injury. She scored well with victories in both sprints in the Youth Development League and also took on strong opposition in the UK Women’s League! Now at University in Brighton, we hope to see more next year from TAYLA HUMM

The winner of the  Under 20 Women's Club Best Performance in the Field award is a regular at these awards ceremonies and is back this year after a superb season which saw her improve all her throws PBs. She again won the English Schools title and took medals at the England Athletics Championships, ending the year 2nd on the Power of 10 U20 Discus rankings. Not surprisingly she was unbeaten when competing for the Club in her discus speciality. The hugely talented winner, now at St Mary’s University in Twickenham is GEORGIE TAYLOR

The winner of the Under 20 Women’s Team Member award goes to a young athlete who competed regularly for Club teams and was once again, a valued team regular scoring excellent points in events ranging from 400m to 1500m as well as relays. A recent sufferer with appendicitis, we hope to see her back training soon on a regular basis as with two more years in the U20 ranks, we want to see many more performances from HEIDI SURMAN-WELLS

Now to Junior Men and the Club Best Performance on the Track award and it goes to a young man who didn’t hang about in his debut season for the Club in making a big impression. Never finishing outside the top-two in both sprints in the Youth Development League, his performances in the 200m led to him leading the season’s U20 Men’s rankings, the event at which he won the Essex County Championship. He also represented the Club in both Senior Men’s Leagues and the future looks very bright for  TIMI KUYE

The winner of the Best Performance in the Field by a Junior Man goes to a young man who is a real asset to the Club and an excellent all-rounder. It was good to see him back on his game , free from injury and congratulations must also go to his Coach (Trevor Wells) for getting him back to his best. In the Youth Development League, he regularly covered four field events and ran the anchor leg in the 4 x 100m relay. Only once did he finish outside the top two in any event in which he competed and his points tally was invaluable. He also contributed well to the success of the British League and Southern League Men’s teams.  County Champion again in the Long Jump, he was selected to captain the Essex Team at the English Schools Championships, a fine way to end his schools’ career  – ALEX LAW

The Team Member award in this age group goes to a fine and dedicated young athlete who never knows when he is beaten and always gives of his best. In the Youth Development League, he covered the 400m, the 400m Hurdles and the 4 x 400m Relay. His performances on the anchor leg of the relay were so good, they merited an entry fee to watch. County Champion at the 400m Hurdles and yet another appearance at English Schools, he also represented the Club at senior ranks contributing valuable points in both Leagues TOM PITKIN

Moving down the age groups, we come back to the girls and the Club Best Performance on the Track award by under-17In her first year in the age group, this athlete was always one of the first names on the team sheet and always earned top-3 placings in her 100m and 200m sprint events and also showing promise with wins in the 300m at the end of the season. The well-deserved winner is HOLLY NASH.

The Best Performance award in the Field in this age group goes to an athlete who scored a string of Shot Putt victories in the Youth Development League and the Eastern Young League , also winning the event at the English Schools Track and Field Cup Final improving the Club record she had set earlier in the season. She also competed well in the 300m, Javelin and Discus events and with another season as an under-17, we can expect more improvement from ELYSHA THATCHER-GRAY.

Finally in this Under-17 age group, we come to the Team Member award. The winner was a valued team regular scoring well at 200m, Long Jump and Shot and adding points in the 100m and Javelin. She also competed in the relay and non-scoring events. As with both the best performance winners, she also has another year as an U17, so we look forward to another fine season from JOSIE WADDAMS SURMAN-WELLS

Moving to the Under-17 men where the Best Performance on the Track award goes to a young man who was ever present in both the Eastern Young and Youth Development Leagues and also represented the Club in both the Southern and British Leagues. He’s another of those ‘team manager’s delights’, always ready and willing to roll up his sleeves and do his best. A glance at the seasons’ rankings is testament to his hard work and dedication where he tops most if not all of the sprints and hurdles lists. He was runner-up in the County Championship 400m Hurdles and also made the 400m Final. We can only expect more next season as he focuses on sprinting. MATTHEW OWERS

The Best Performance Field award goes to a young man who was also a regular for the Eastern Young and Youth Development teams. In his first year in the age group, he was close to medalling at the County Championships only to be denied a podium place with the final throw of the competition. Putting that disappointment behind him, he has continued to make steady progress and is now ranked 8th on the Clubs discus all-time rankings and in the top-40 nationally. With another year in the age group, 2016 could be very rewarding for PAUL OKESOLA

This year's Under-17s Men's Team Member goes to another young man who is an asset to the team and who epitomises a true team player. A regular for both Eastern Young and National Development teams, he is always ready and willing to cover any event to ensure the best possible points result. On one occasion, having got a ticket for Arsenal’s semi-final game, he turned up early in order to gain maximum points before leaving for the match. A versatile all-rounder, he won County Championship bronze for the 400m Hurdles in his first year in the age group and as with others, we look forward with anticipation to another fine season for KIERAN RIDDELL

Down another age group to the Under-15 girls and the winner of the Best Performance Track. It goes to a dedicated young athlete who went from strength to strength during the season. Gaining in confidence, she became a strong front runner in her 1500m and 800m events and consistently gained valuable points for the Club and earned herself a number of personal bests. When needed, she was also happy to step in to compete in the 300m or a 4 x 300m relay. On top of that, she was always a pleasure to have around: JESSICA MITCHELL

The Best Performance Field award in this age group goes to a young athlete who had a phenomenal season and showed what an extremely talented multi-eventer she is. She is top-ranked in the Club for Discus, High Jump and Long Jump and also places in the top-three for Javelin and Shot. She represented Essex at the English Schools Championships for multi-events and was also selected to compete for the individual Long Jump. A fine sprinter, she was always part of the 4 x 100m relay team and is also top ranked for Hurdles, A true talent. MAYI HUGHES

The Team Member award in this age group goes to a young lady who very much met the criteria for the award, a joy to have in the team. She gained in confidence during the season resulting in some excellent pbs in the 300m and Shot events. She was also Essex County Champion in the Shot. She was always happy to step in at short notice to cover gaps, sometimes with a very short rest period between events. In addition, she was always quick to encourage teammates ISOBEL McDONACH

Now to the Under-15 Boys and the winner of the Best Club Performance Track award and it has deservedly been won by an athlete who was a strong performer throughout the season, equally comfortable at 800m and 1500m, his favoured events. He finished inside the top-2 in each League race that he competed in and achieved an all-time age group Club record at 1500m as well as hitting 8th place in the 800m rankings. For good measure, he picked up good points for the Club at 300m and was a member of the 4 x 300m squad.. JACK RICE

The U15 Club Best Performance award for Field events goes to an athlete who was ever present during the season. He scored many points for the Club particularly in the Shot event together with some sterling work at discus and his new event during the Summer, the Hammer. Always willing to help the team, he also contributed long jump points and was a member of the 4 x 100m squad when called upon. JOSEPH HOGAN-O'NEILL

Finally, in this Under-15 boys age group, we come to the Team Member award. It goes to a young man who made a real difference when it mattered. He competed regularly at High Jump, 80m Hurdles and as part of the 4 x 100m squad. He stepped in at various times to run the 800m and, on one occasion, for the 4 x 300m team. He also made a telling contribution at Pole Vault that proved useful for the team cause. NATHAN LEACH.

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 athlete who performed consistently well at 800 and 1200m, heading the Club rankings for both events. She has an abundance of ability and can only improve further as she has another year in the age group. She also contributed to the 200m and the 4 x 100m relay when asked to do so. All this backed up with very good displays in the Discus. A young lady who clearly enjoys training and competing alike – ALICE BROWN

The Club Best Performance award for the Field events in this category has been won by an athlete who had an excellent season when competing in both the Discus and Shot events, comfortably finishing top of the Club rankings and also finishing in the all-time Club top-10 for these events. She displays good technique and concentration and shows huge potential with the Javelin. When asked, she also put in some good performances at 200m.  ROBYN MOODY

The Team Member award goes to a young athlete who competed in every League meeting and most notably achieved a Club record for the Javelin, an excellent performance. She contributed well for the team by gaining really useful points especially in the Shot and 70m Hurdles events.  She is also talented with the Discus and is clearly a natural thrower. Always happy to help out when asked to do so and a privilege to have in the team. ADELAIDE THATCHER-GRAY.

And so the Under-13 boys and the Best Club Performance Track award, being won by a young man who took the 100m and 200m events by storm, breaking both Club records in the process with outstanding 11.7sec and 24.2 fastest ever clockings and not being beaten in a single race under Club colours. Those performances saw him ranked 2nd nationally for both events. Other 4 x 100m relay teams were visibly nervous when they realised that this young man was anchoring the already strong Havering quartet. A truly exceptional talent – KAREEM JEROME

The Under 13 Best Club Performance for Field award goes to a young man who became Essex County Champion in the Javelin event with a throw of 33.65m, which also saw him enter the Club’s all-time list. He was also the silver medallist in the County Discus competition and delivered consistently good – and usually winning -  performances in the League throughout the season. For good measure, he also competed in the Shot Putt, Long Jump, 800m, 100m, 75m Hurdles and the 4 x 100m relay – an invaluable all-rounder. PETER BRINTON-QUINN

Now to the Team Member award and it has been deservedly won by a young athlete who is a fine athlete in his own right. With good 100/200m and sprint relay performances and an outstanding Long Jump pb of 4.32m, his attitude is first-class. Always willing to help the team and can be relied on to take responsibility when required. He is also very popular with his teammates and a member of the 4 x 100m team that took the silver medal in the Essex Championships. ASHTON THATCHER-GRAY

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 Males in the age range U13 –U17 and the winner is a truly remarkable young athlete who had a magnificent season. His ability with the Javelin has to be seen to be delivered ably demonstrated by his victories at the English Schools Championships and the England Athletics Championships. Not surprisingly and for some time, he has been ranked first in his age group on the Power of 10 listing. As recently as the end of September, he added three metres to his previous best with a throw of 56.80m. In addition, he also competed with the 700gm Javelin used by the under-17s and threw an impressive 55m, a new World best for an athlete of his age. The winner is the very talented  MAX LAW

Now to the Female age group U20 – Veterans and it goes to another extremely talented athlete who is no stranger to these awards. In the South of England Championships, she took the gold medal indoor in the 400m; nationally she took the bronze medal in the 400m Hurdles in the England Athletics Championships and the gold medal in the U18 Heptathlon competition; she represented England U18s in the indoor 400m, England Schools U18s and, on the world stage, represented Great Britain in the U18 Heptathlon at the World Youth Championships.  She features on the Power of 10 top-ten for the U20 400m Hurdles and the U20 High Jump. For good measure, she is the joint Club record holder for the U20 Long Jump. MICHELLE HUGHES.

Finally, we come to the Male age range U20 – Veterans aand the award goes to a very talented athlete whose University commitments mean that, currently, we don’t see him that often at the Stadium. However, he had another fine season Long Jumping with the silver medal in the CAU competition, 4th place in the England Athletics U23 Championships, 8th in the British Championships competing against Greg Rutherford and the Gold medal in the highly competitive British Universities Championships. A credit to the Club and a fine ambassador JOSHUA OLAWORE

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