Summer 2016 Annual Track and Field Awards Presentation

RAFA Club Romford 11 November 2016 

 (text of presentation speeches from Tony Benton & Clare Brennan}



Good evening everybody and welcome on behalf of Havering Athletic Club to the presentation of the track and field awards for 2016. As is usual our Club President Kevin White will be presenting the awards this evening and for the first time our Vice Chairman Claire Brennan will be saying some kind words from the respective team managers about each of the winners.

As I’m sure you all know by now the club has won the London Athletics Club of the Year Award and our athletes’ performances indoors & out during the 2016 track and field season have been a big factor in that success.

Club athletes regularly made the podium at County level and there was also medal success at South of England and National competitions while club athletes feature highly in the Power of 10 rankings. No fewer than 17 club records have been beaten or equalled across all age groups – so the future looks bright. 

The Under 13/Under 15 Youth Development League (YDL) squad won promotion to the highest possible national division after a brilliant season, and the Eastern Young Athletes League team continued their unbroken run of reaching the Top-6 Final, where the under-13 boys’ squad came out on top. The YDL U17s & U20s won their division after a great season and wait to hear who our opponents will be next year.

The senior women pulled off a brilliant result in their final fixture to maintain their UK Women’s League status whilst the Senior Men British League team were in the promotion hunt until the final fixture. The Southern Athletics League squad also maintained their League status.

So this evening is an opportunity to celebrate those successes.  But none of this would be possible without the efforts of our brilliant team of club coaches, our Team Managers, our Officials and all the other volunteers who give up an enormous amount of their time to ensure that athletes are able to do their best when it matters.

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 which have been selected by the respective team managers. In addition, there are some special awards at the end of the evening for performances outside the league system chosen by the club committee.  

Before passing over to Claire I’ll present the first award myself!

This first award is for the Veteran Women’s Club Best Performance on the Track which goes to an athlete who is new to the Masters' ranks - I can't believe it's over 20 years ago that she first came to me to do some hurdling!  The 2016 season was her best for several years - ever present in all eight SAL & UK League fixtures, recording victories in four of the five SAL matches, including a hat-trick of wins in Round 4, and she also placed first or second in her three UK League 400m hurdles races. She set new club veteran marks for both 100m & 400m hurdles & high jump, adding a pole vault PB at the club champs. The winner needs no introduction: CLAIRE BRENNAN.

Over to you Claire

The next award is the Club Best Performance on the Track by a Male Veteran.  Having competed for the club as a teenager he returned to the sport at the age of 33 and after a truly unforgettable season in 2015, now aged 37, he has once again demonstrated his remarkable determination to reach even higher goals by eclipsing his 800m record with a new personal best of 1:53.46 placing him a clear first in the UK M35 rankings. His enthusiasm and dedication to track and field – in what has been a difficult year for him at home – is an inspiration to others. We look forward to further improvements in 2017 from the winner for the second successive year - PAUL GRANGE

The next award is the Club Best Performance in the Field by a Male Veteran and his team manager says that it doesn’t seem that long ago that this athlete was a junior - thank goodness he’s lasted the test of time and still enjoys the thrill of competition. He is a fine example of his worth to the team was at the last Southern League fixture when he teamed up with Stuart Tufton in the pole vault and despite their competitive years as club athletes (only just less than the rest of the men’s team combined) managed to win the A & B string pole vault – a true credit to the club ARRON BONNING. Unfortunately due to work commitments Arron can’t be here so his team manager Kevin White will collect his award.

And so to the Team Member Best Performance for Male Veterans. What can we call the next athlete? Vet? Supervet? Inspirator? Coach? Competitor? - to name just a few. Longevity is his strong point, he can be seen encouraging, giving advice to athletes and is still as competitive as ever teaming up with Arron to win the B string at the last Southern league and also competed for the British league this season. He is always on the lookout for victims (or volunteers) to take up his great passion for vaulting, so please have a go – he welcomes the competition.  STUART TUFTON

We come now to the Track Best Performance for Senior Women award.  The winner of this award is an athlete who was ever-present in club league fixtures, scoring well for the club, including three victories in the SAL 400m races, also gaining good points in hammer & discus as well as adding 4x400m relay legs.  After several injury-hit years she is now returning to her best form, so we're very pleased to present this award to a very deserving winner NINA BRENNAN


The Senior Women's Club Best Performance Field award once goes to an athlete who has won countless awards at these evenings in a 20+ year career that has brought her international vests, national medals and a host of club records. She continues to pull on a club vest whenever her busy family commitments allow and her name on the team declaration sheet is always a massive boost to the squad. Still piling up points for UK & Southern League teams with some fine jumps performances the winner is KATE COWLEY.- who has also now joined the Vets!


The Team Member award in the Senior Women's category goes to another athlete who was ever-present in club fixtures, despite moving away from the area. She was unbeaten in her main high jump event in the SAL and placed first or second in the three UK League meetings. She also regularly competed in the long & triple jumps, stepped in to compete in the hurdles & relay in the UK League. She once again represented Essex with pride, and  won medals at the Essex & Southern Championships, in addition to equalling her own club high jump record. We need more senior athletes like BETHAN SIDDONS

The Club Best Performance on the Track by a Senior Man goes to an athlete competed in both SAL and BAL teams in the sprint events (100 & 200) gained valuable points for both teams. Each competition saw him run respectable times especially against some strong opposition in the BAL.  He finished the season with a wind assisted time of 10.88s in the 100m, and it’s only a matter of time before he  does that time and faster legally. When called upon this athlete turns his hand to triple jumping picking up some useful points – the winner is NATHAN STEELE.

The award for Club Best Performance in the Field by a Senior Man goes to a young man who in 2016 has demonstrated a new commitment to the sport and in particular the discus and javelin. In his second year as a senior man, he performed excellently throughout the throwing events, especially in his specialist events, winning the discus at all four BAL matches and achieving a fine new personal best in the javelin.  With his new commitment and the prospect of him also combining his training with that of the javelin and possibly the sprints, his future looks extremely bright - the winner is: DUANE JIBUNOH

The winner of the Team Member award in the Senior Men category is a fine example of someone prepared to help out the team. Thankfully he is a versatile athlete and when someone gets ill or injured the team manager only needs to call his name and he is up and doing fast strides in the opposite direction. This unorthodox method of warming up has served him well and he has produced fine results, scoring valuable points for the club this season. We wish him a good winter’s training and look forward to another fine season from KARL TUCKER

Now to the Under 20 Women and the Club Best Performance on the Track award goes to an athlete who continues to give her best, competing regularly for the club in the Youth Development, UK Women's and Southern leagues at hurdles & sprint events. A silver medalist in the 100m hurdles at the County Championships, she is a hardworking and committed athlete and an asset to the team. Now studying at St Mary’s University, the winner is: LUCY BAILEY

The winner of the Under 20 Women's Club Best Performance in the Field award has been described as a one women team, always ready to fill gaps and take on the maximum events she’s allowed to. A multi eventer who, having achieved Heptathlon Gold at English Championship, went on to set new club U20 long jump & heptathlon records at an International competition in Tenerife, later adding the club U20 hurdles record.  A very hardworking, committed athlete and a valuable member of the team, the winner is MICHELLE HUGHES who can’t be here as she’s studying at Harvard in the USA.

Finally in the Under 20 Women age group we come to the Team Member award. The winner is an athlete who has contributed to the team, scoring points in the YDL, Southern and UK Women's Leagues. She has competed regularly in 200m, 400m, high jump and triple jump, and has always shown a positive and helpful attitude. The winner, who has two further years in this age group, is KATIE DAWSON

Now to Junior Men and this year’s Club Best Performance on the Track award goes to a young man whose performances have been ever consistent. In the YDL he was never outside a top two place, continuing to make a big impression, heading this season’s club rankings for both the 100 and 200 metres. At this year’s Essex County Championships he had a fantastic competition, picking up a bronze in the 100 metres and just missing out on a medal in the 200 metres. He has also represented the club in both the Southern and British leagues, where his contribution to the cause remains second to none. In recognition of his fine performances this season the worthy recipient is LEWIS BAILEY (Unfortunately he’s on holiday so his team manager John Duncan will collect the award on his behalf)

The winner of the Best Performance in the Field by a Junior Man goes a fine all- rounder who regularly covered all throwing events in the YDL, scoring well for the club and making some good contributions on the track. He heads the season’s age group rankings for discus and again represented Essex in that event in the Inter Counties. He has also significantly improved in the javelin and set new marks in the other throwing events. Another athlete who has stepped up to represent the club’s senior teams, he is a fine asset to the club and there’s plenty more to come from MICHAEL DUNCAN

The Team Member award in this age group goes to a young man who has worked hard to improve as an athlete.  Always available, his contributions to our YDL successes were significant - on every occasion he covered a minimum of three throwing events where he always placed in the top three and also filled picked up valuable javelin points for the team. He is a team manager’s delight and has readily stepped up when called on to help our Southern men’s team.  Now at university and already being missed by his training group we still hope to see him turning out in club colours next season in his final year as an Under 20 - ED BRINTON-QUINN..

Moving down the age groups, we come back to the girls and the Club Best Performance on the Track award by under-17 goes to an athlete in her first year in this age group who was only beaten once in 10 league competition in her 1500m & 800m races. She also won silver medals in both Essex County & Essex Schools Championships and achieved a UK top 50 ranking for 1500. She has proved to be a reliable, hardworking and committed athlete and with another year as an Under17 we’re sure that there’s a lot more to come from JESSICA MITCHELL

The Best Performance award in the Field in this age group goes to an athlete who has made a huge contribution to the team, competing regularly in hammer, javelin and shot, scoring excellent points in both the EYAL and YDL. She broke the club U17 hammer record in her first competition in March and improved it on four further occasions during the season. She is improving all the time and with another season in the age group we can look forward to more good performances from PHILIPPA GILL

Finally in this Under-17 age group, we come to the Team Member award.  This award goes to another first year U17 and again a very hard working athlete who has returned from injury. She competed regularly in both the YDL and Eastern Young, scoring good points for the club in sprints, long jump, shot and discus. A lovely young lady with lots of potential the winner is ISOBEL McDONACH

Moving to the Under-17 men where the Best Performance on the Track award goes to ever improving athlete, and a mainstay of the team throughout the season. His contribution to the team was immense, and was strengthened by his first class attitude. He improved his 800, 1500 and 3000m PBs, and helped the team with vital points in other events without hesitation. He also often led the 4x100 relay team off also, and was the only U17 man to compete in every EYAL and YDL meeting – something to be proud of!. He finished his track season in style winning the club championships in a new PB, the thoroughly deserved winner is SAM ATKINS

The Best Performance Field award goes to another athlete whose stock is rising more than rapidly after an outstanding season. A clear top in both the long and  high jump club rankings, his  mighty 6.80m long jump placed him third on the U17 all-time list, and seventh nationally. His 1.90m High Jump also ranks third on the all-time list and for good measure he also topped the club 100m rankings. Continued improvement should see him qualify for the English Schools long jump and he will be a great asset to the British League team: The winner is SHANDELL TAYLOR

There is a clear winner of this year's Under-17s Men's Team Member award. As reliable as they come, this athlete is always willing with a great attitude happy to encourage others. He just gets on with it, and if needed sacrifices his own preferred events for the good of the team. He competed in all but one EYAL/YDL meetings and also competed in the Southern League. As well as being the club’s number one U17 sprint & 400m hurdler, winning silver in the Essex Schools, he competed regularly in the 100m, 200m, 400m and to top it off he’s a decent Javelin thrower. The only drawback we can find is that he supports Arsenal! We need more athletes like this – both team managers want to say a massive thank you to KIERAN RIDDELL

Down another age group to the Under-15 girls and the winner of the Best Performance Track goes to an athlete who was an ever present in league matches and competed in the EYAL Top 6 final. She gave strong performances in both 800m and 1500m, heading the club rankings at both events. She also showed determination in running in the 300m and contributed well for the 4x300 team. She excels at training and competing and was a reliable part of the team throughout the season. She can look forward with confidence to continuing her ability when moving to Under 17 next season. MOLLY SWEETMAN

The Under-15 girls Best Performance Field award has been won by an athlete who consistently performed well during the summer, most notably in the discus event. With her good throwing technique she was virtually unbeaten this season and was ranked in 10th place nationally. Clearly relishing the opportunities to compete she achieved a 100% attendance in all 10 league meetings and she also competed well on the track at 800m, 300m and 200m and she was also part of the 4x300 quartet that set a new club record. After competing at the English Schools Championships she went on to win discus bronze in the England Athletics Championships. A fine athlete who was a joy to have in the team. ROSIE BROWN

The Team Member award goes to a young athlete whose efforts for the team cause brought rewards in performance and gaining some valuable club points. She competed well in 800m, improving her times more or less with each match, particularly in the YDL competition. Further scoring contributions came in the 1500m and high jump - she was always happy to help when asked by her team manager. Good training certainly has paid off for this young athlete. The winner is CHARLOTTE WRIGHT

Now to the Under-15 Boys and the winner of the Best Club Performance Track award goes to an athlete who once again put in good performances during the season, especially at 200m where he finished either 1st or 2nd in every league race he could compete in. He topped the club rankings at both sprint events and also at 300m, where he was ranked 2nd in the club all- time top ten. His speed made the difference when anchoring the 4x100m squad. Some fine work at long jump capped off yet another rewarding season for this talented individual. JJ (JAIRZINHO) MORRIS

The U15 Club Best Performance award for Field events has been won by an athlete who quietly went about producing regular strong contributions in three of the throwing events. His best points scoring was in the shot, closely followed by a telling showing at discus and hammer. He also stepped in at long jump when requested  and was a useful asset to the 4x100m team on a number of occasions. For the second year in succession this award goes to:           JOSEPH HOGAN-O’NEILL

Finally, in this Under-15 boys age group, we come to the Team Member award which has been deservedly won by a young man who could be called upon by his team manager to fill the gaps, sometimes at short notice, and gain those all-important extra points. His numerous events competed in include: 200m, 300m, high jump, shot, discus, hammer, 4x300m and 4x100m. Keen and always willing to help when required, making him the ideal team player AARON FRESHWATER  

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 had a fantastic season. She ranked seventh nationally for 70km hurdles and was also in the top 20 for high jump, javelin and shot put!!  She set a club U13 javelin record, equalled the hurdles record and is second in the all-time club lists in the high jump and fourth in the shot. A very mature young lady always, giving a 100% in everything that's been asked of her. She proves to be a vital team member, always there to support her team as and when needed.  The winner is RUBY MACE

The Club Best Performance award for the Field events in this category has been won by a versatile athlete who won the Under 13 track award last year.  She has again performed well on the track at 800m & 200m but a brilliant season on the field has seen her rank first in UK for her discus. After getting knocked off the top spot she was very keen to regain her number 1 placing – which she did!  - her throw also breaking the club U13 discus record. She has been extremely focused this year but also enjoyed herself with thr team throughout each competition.  We are sure to see more in future years from ALICE BROWN.

The Team Member award goes to a young athlete who competed in every league fixture, always giving her all to everything she does  She is a fun, lively member of the team, always happy to do whatever is asked of her in hurdles, sprints, 800m, jumps or throws.  It's been fantastic to see this athlete mature throughout the season and we look forward to her performances in the U15 age group next summer. Her older brother has already won an award this evening so that makes it a family double for ALICE ATKINS. 

And so the final three age group awards, those for, the Under-13 boys. The Best Club Performance Track award in this age group has been won by a young athlete who is well mannered, fairly quiet on the outside but definitely a very driven and consistent performer on the track. He took Essex 800m County Silver, won an Eastern Young 1500m race at St Albans, and finished second on a further four occasions in the EYAL or YDL. He was part of the Essex County bronze medal winning 3x800m relay team. The only club U13 Boy break 5 minutes for 1500m this year in addition to a more than respectable 800m time. Keep up the good work in the Under 15s:  ALEX FORD

The Under 13 Best Club Performance for Field award goes to a young man who is a rising star. He is a consistently good points scorer in a range of events, with too many victories to even mention individually! He ended the season joint top of the club high jump rankings, third in long jump and fourth in the shot put. For good measure he also recorded good performances in 75m Hurdles without any real hurdles training and competed at 100m, 200m, 800m, and 4x100 relay when required. He was another member of the Essex County bronze medal winning 3x800m relay team.  He is also a delight to have as part of the team and is a real talent who has another season in this age group. We look forward to seeing more good performances from JACOB BLANC

Now to the Under-13 boys Team Member award which has been deservedly won by another star across a variety of events. He started the season with a bronze medal in the Essex Pentathlon Championships, took Essex County silver in the high jump and was joint first in rankings with Jacob. H is shot, 200m & hurdles PBs all placed him third in the club rankings, also competing at 100m and was a vital member of the sprint relay squad.  A team manager and coach’s dream, always polite and willing to do what he’s asked, without question. He limped home in the 200m in the EYAL final despite picking up an injury - which tells you everything you need to know about him. Look out for him in the U15s next season. Well done DARAGH THOMAS

We now come to the Special Awards presented for Best Performances by the Club Committee for performances outside the usual Club League competitions.

The first of these is for Males in the age range U13 –U17 and it’s not a surprise that the winner is an amazing athlete who wins the award for the second consecutive year. He started his season with a new club U15 javelin record in March and ended it with yet another record in September. In between he won everything there was to win at county, regional and national levels to remain unbeaten at javelin in his age groups for four years. In addition to his national top javelin ranking, he was also in the U15 top 10 for discus and set a new World age javelin best. He now moves into the U17 age group having already thrown a distance which ranks in the top five for javelin in that age group. Once again the winner is the very talented MAX LAW

Next it’s Female Best Performance in the age range U13 –U17 and the winner is a multi-talented athlete who has already featured regularly at these presentations and we’re sure will do so again in future. She made her Under 17 debut with a bronze medal at the South of England Indoor pentathlon and outdoors added county high jump and hurdles medals. Her first attempt at triple jump debut in May saw her smash the 13 year old club triple jump record with an 11.25m jump which earned her selection for the English Schools Championships, where she finished an impressive fourth against specialist jumpers. In her first year as an U17 she already ranks in the club all-time club top 10s for 80m hurdles, 300m hurdles, high jump, long jump, triple jump, shot, javelin & heptathlon so the future is very bright for MAYI HUGHES – she can’t be here so we’ll see that she gets her award.

Now to the Female age group U20 – Veterans.  This award goes to another extremely talented athlete who has been a great role model during her 20+ years with the club.  Her fine 10,000 run in May was a new club record and earned her yet another GB vest where she performed with distinction for the British team in the European Team Championships in Turkey in June. She went on to finish fourth in the British Olympic 5,000m trials and a few days later she had a win double for the UK league team, setting a new league 3000m record. Only a few weeks ago she was third in an international race in her half marathon debut, wearing the club vest at top level as always.  We’re delighted and very proud of the achievements of  LAUREN DEADMAN.

Finally, we come to the Male Best Performance in the age range U20 – Veterans and for the second successive year the award goes to a very talented athlete who is no stranger to awards, having consistently headed the rankings for both club and country since joining the club in 2009 at the age of 13. He started as a multi-eventer progressing over the years to eventually concentrate on the sprints and long jump.  In a year that was restricted through injury he opened the season by retaining his BUCS indoor long jump title before going on to break the club’s all-time senior 200m record which had stood for 25 years with a winning time of 21.35s and also setting new personal best in the 100m of 10.66s.  With the prospect of even greater achievements and future international representation, the winner is JOSHUA OLAWORE. – his coach Trevor Wells will collect his award as he’s studying for his Master’s degree in Bath)

















































































The photos below have been reduced in size for easy web loading & viewing.

If any athlete or parent would like a copy of the original please get in touch




These photos have been reduced in size for easy web loading & viewing.

If any athlete or parent would like a copy of the original please get in touch