Saturday saw a celebration of sporting achievement at the Romsey and District Sports Awards. The event, held at Crosfield Hall, saw a total of 13 awards handed out to teams, veterans and junior sporting stars who have made an impact in their fields across Romsey and the surrounding villages.
Included in the awards ceremony were opening speeches by Kevin Paterson CEO of Valley Leisure Ltd and the Deputy Mayor of Test Valley Councillor Iris Anderson.
Guest speaker, Lin Woolmington from the Katie Piper Foundation presented an inspiring and heartfelt speech about how she overcame and conquered life threatening injuries from a terrible accident through the help of one of Valley Leisure’s chosen charities of 2014. The Katie Piper Foundation is a charity dedicate to improving burns rehabilitation, helping anyone with burns and scars through their recovery, including advice on scar management and access to specialist treatments, workshops and social activities which help to establish a peer support network.
In a room full of nominees and just 13 awards to give out, the hopefuls of all ages and abilities turned their heads to the stage to see who would be crowned the winners.
Junior Team of the Year: Under 15’s Old Tautonians and Romsey Cricket Club
During 2014 the team remained unbeaten to secure league and cup doubles. James who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome has joined the club and is playing regularly. “I called the players together to congratulate them on a marvellous achievement overall and I was told the players had decided who was going to collect the trophy…James. This was a wonderful decision by a group of young lads.”
Junior Sportsperson of the Year – Girls: Katie George (Football)
Katie was selected for the England U19 women’s cricket development winter squad; she also played for the U16s England schools football team last season and currently plays for the U17s Hampshire Centre of Excellence. She is sports captain at Mountbatten School and helps to coach Romsey age groups for cricket.
Junior Disability Sportsperson of the Year: Warren Clark (Golf)
Warren has cut his handicap this year from 32 in May to 9.3 and has represented the England Disabled golf team against Wales, winning his games on both days. He regularly plays and represents the Disabled Golf Association and has won several competitions this year against both disabled and non-disabled golfers. He also takes part in charity golf events and helps where necessary.
School Team of the Year: U16s Hockey team, Hampshire Collegiate School
The team won the U16s County Tournament on 1st October in which the HCS team played against some of the top schools in Hampshire and won the tournament quite comfortably! All the schools commented on how well the HCS team had played throughout the day. They show tremendous team spirit and all get on really well.
Sportsperson of the Year: Alice James (Equestrian)
Alice qualified with the Hursley Pony Club Intermediate Dressage Team for the National Championships. Outstanding performances at the Championships saw them crowned National Individual Intermediate Dressage Champions, Alice has been a keen member of the Hursley for many years.
Junior Sportsperson of the Year (Boys): Ben Upfold (Athletics)
Ben has won 29 gold, 6 silver and 9 bronze medal positions in javelin, hammer, discus and some sprinting and relay events since May this year. He has represented his school, the county and his athletics club. He represented Hampshire at the English School competition winning the most medals for his team, finishing the season with two top ten UK rankings. Ben is sports leader and has been a sports ambassador.
Veteran Sportsperson of the Year: Marina Cornwall (Powerlifting)
In 2014 Marina won the World Powerlifting title in South Africa winning a total of five medals and breaking two world records. She also retained her British Masters title and whilst she receives some sponsorship, she pays for flights, etc. to travel to these events.
Coach of the Year: David Miles (Hockey)
Dave has coached what is now the 1st team to 9 promotions in 11 seasons, and seen them rise from the lowest league to now compete in the Hants/Surrey regional league 2. He has now moved away to become Director of Coaching at the club, now coaching the Ladies team and running the junior coaching on a Sunday. He spends all his free time on developing and growing Romsey Hockey Club.
Volunteer of the Year
Phil has been involved for 10 years. 8 years ago he was made vice chancellor and 3 years ago he volunteered for chairman and hasn’t looked back. He lives and breathes the club and looks after and supports the managers and coaches. 6 months ago he took on the role of vice chair of Romsey Town FC too. Phil has always dedicated so much time, it is as if this is his full time job.
Lifetime Contribution Award: Glenn Longland (Cycling)
Glenn has been competing in cycle sport and organising races for nearly 45 years, starting his own racing club in 1976 and racing as a professional from 1995 – 1998. He has been crowned the 12 Hour National Champion a total of five times, and earned the title of Britain’s Best All Rounder on two occasions in the 1980’s. He holds five Road Records Association records in addition to his 11 time trial records. He has always put an enormous amount back into his sport. His record as an event promoter is second to none and each year organises several very popular events. He is a true legend in the cycling world and especially on his ‘home patch’.
Valley Leisure Award for Special Recognition: Claire Ludwell
Claire has been teaching the children of Romsey and surrounding areas to swim for 40 years. She started teaching locally at the Crosfield Hall pool and has now taught three generations of Romsey families. Claire has worked tirelessly to promote the benefits of parent and toddler swimming for the past 25 years at The Rapids. At the age of 71, Claire is still here every week as enthusiastic as she was 40 years ago.
Outstanding Personal Achievement Award: Amy Teal (Athletics)
Amy is a dedicated member of Southampton Athletics Club. She set new club records in both 100 and 200 metres and was crowned Hampshire 100m. She has gone on to represent Hampshire at the English Schools Athletics Championships and selected to represent South West England in the UK school games.
Sporting Inspiration Award: Isaac Fitzgerald (Football)
Isaac was diagnosed with leukaemia in December 2012. Just after he finished his 6 months of heavy chemo, he joined a team, and even though they couldn’t offer him a place in the team at the time, he showed up to every practice session. During this time he had no hair and was still (and still is) receiving chemo every day. He was overjoyed to find that he had a place on the team for the season after attending their trials. He played his first full match in a friendly last week where he scored a hat trick. Isaac is only 8 years old but has shown strength and dedication in the face of adversity through a true love of the game.
Councillor Tony Ward, Community and Leisure Portfolio holder closed the ceremony and as the disco started, it was very clear that everyone in the room felt moved and inspired by the various stories of sporting achievement they had heard throughout the evening. A very successful night was had by all.