Meet the winners: Andover & District Sports Awards 2015

That’s it! Another year, another Sports Awards over, and what an incredible night of sporting achievement it was. Take a look at our nominees and winners below:

Coach of the year: nominees

  • Andy Lavery – Andover Martial Arts/Dawn Breakers
  • James Coney – Andover Athletics Club
  • Kate Bone,Katy Ross, Maxine Hornby and Emily Hall – Muddy Runners
  • David Thomas – Ludgershall Elites
  • Danny Lunness – Sparten F.C.
  • Tim Byrne – Scorpion Judo Club
  • Dawn & Jez Cowley, Sarah & Ewan Davies – Andover Cricket Club Girls under 13’Sb
  • Jean Taylor – Andover Athletics & Road Runners
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Valley Leisure Sports Awards 2015 – Coach of the Year James Coney (left) receives his award on stage from sponsor Lee Kenway of Andover Patio Centre. 14th November, 2015 – Picture Andy Brooks

WINNER: James Coney, Coach to Andover Athletic Club
James has had a great season coaching at Andover Athletic Club.  This year in addition to two athletes gaining their first international vests, he has continued coaching a 3 times National Champion, a 2 time South of England Champion, a South of England medallist and numerous County Champions and medallists.

Team of the year: nominees

  • Gordon Mitchell – Fighting Falcons
  • Kate Bone, Katy Ross, Maxine Hornby and Emily Hall – Muddy Runners
  • Harry Blackburn  – Andover Cricket Club 2nd XI
  • Transplus Tigers Netball  – Transplus Tigers Netball
  • Andover Arrows Purple Senior Netball Team – Andover Arrows Purple Senior Netball Team
  • Mens 1st X1 , Captain Jamie Hacker – Hockey
  • Mens 2nd X1, Captain Guy Sleeman-Hiscock – Hockey
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Valley Leisure Sports Awards 2015 – Andover Arrows Netball Team. 14th November, 2015 – Picture Andy Brooks

WINNER: Andover Arrows Purple Senior Netball Team
They are currently Division 1 Champions of the Andover and District Netball League and therefore qualified to join the Hampshire League this season. Many of the players put something back into the sport by officiating and volunteering to support some 65 junior Club Members whose ages range from 8 -18 ensuring that the Club goes from strength to strength and encouraging youngster to participate regularly in sport. They are an inspiration for all Club Members.

Junior Sportsperson of the year: nominees

  • Holly Mills – Andover Athletics Club
  • Tom Hewson – Andover Athletics Club
  • Joe Burnip – Andover Town Youth Football Under 11’s
  • Olli Caldwell – Forest Edge Kart Club
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Valley Leisure Sports Awards 2015 – Coach James Coney picks up the Junior Sports Person Award on behalf of Holly Mills. 14th November, 2015 – Picture Andy Brooks

WINNER: Holly Mills
Following on from her 2014 successes as an U15 athlete where Holly won 3 National Titles and 2 South of England Titles in Long Jump, Holly moved up an age group to U17. As a first year athlete in the age group, Holly again secured 3  National Titles (finishing r/up in the other national competition) and 2  South of England Titles in the Long Jump. She also gained her first international call up to represent England in the Schools International Match in Scotland where she won the Gold Medal and was awarded the athlete of the match award for her performance.

Junior Team of the year: nominees

  • Andover New Street Swifts U14
  • Scorpion Judo Club
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Valley Leisure Sports Awards 2015 – Junior Team of the Year Andover New Street Swifts U/14 receive their award from sponsor Codie Dyderski-Fry of JPD Property Services. 14th November, 2015 – Picture Andy Brooks

WINNER: Andover New Street Swifts U14
2014/15 football season the U13 Swifts (now u14) were crowned Peter Houseman youth league division one champions. The team were unbeaten all season winning all of their 22 games, a brilliant achievement for any team and one rarely achieved at any level of football.  To achieve this result has required total dedication and hard work over the last four seasons.

Lifetime contribution to sport: nominees

  • Elaine Escritt – Netball
  • Tony Cook – Motorcycle and sidecar grass track racing
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Valley Leisure Sports Awards 2015 – Elaine Escritt receives her Lifetime Contribution to Sport Award from sponsor Helen Blyth of Simply Health. 14th November, 2015 – Picture Andy Brooks

WINNER: Elaine Escritt
Elaine has devoted over three decades to the sport of Netball resulting in successive generations of Andoverians being taught by her. Her drive and passion for the sport has never diminished and been influential through schools and the leagues. Elaine is well known and highly respected by them all. One of her many achievements has been to inspire so many children after leaving school to join local clubs and continue to participate and get involved in the sport.

Outstanding Personal Achievement: nominees

  • Spencer Whiteley – Crossfit
  • Catherine Pearson – Taekwondo
  • Andy Lavery – Andover Martial Arts/Dawn Breakers
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Valley Leisure Sports Awards 2015 – Catherine Pearson receives her Outstanding Personal Achievement Award from sponsor Ben Moseby of The Breeze Andover. 14th November, 2015 – Picture Andy Brooks

WINNER: Catherine Pearson
Catherine won double gold in Italy in July making her a double World Champion. In addition to this she is the current holder of the Welsh, Scottish and British Championship titles. Catherine juggles a schedule of studying for a Sports Science degree in Manchester, a hectic training schedule not to mention her competing schedule.

School team of the year: nominees

  • Smannell and Enham Church of England School – Rugby and football
  • St John The Baptist Catholic Primary School – Tag Rugby
  • Harrow Way Community School – Harrow Way Year 9 and Year 10/11 Netball Teams
  • Balksbury School – Football Year 5 and 6 teams
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Valley Leisure Sports Awards 2015 – Pupils of St John the Baptist School, winners of the School Team of the Year pictured with sponsor Richard Turpin of Control Techniques Dynamics. 14th November, 2015 – Picture Andy Brooks

WINNER: St John the Baptist Catholic Primary School
The school tag rugby team has been a work in progress over the last few years. They started out with little or no knowledge of the game but their enthusiasm commitment and desire to achieve has paid off. Dedication from staff and coach has helped the children to achieve their win in the Andover Schools Tournament and placed 6th in Hampshire Schools Tournament.

Sportsperson of the year: nominees

  • Alex Hibdidge – Andover RFC
  • Connor Gorsuch – BASC Shooting
  • Brandon Prince – Kickboxing
  • Spencer Whiteley – Crossfit
  • Catherine Pearson – Taekwondo
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Valley Leisure Sports Awards 2015 – The father of Connor Gorsuch receives his son’s Sports Person of the Year Award from Sponsor Richard Turpin of Control Techniques Dynamics . 14th November, 2015 – Picture Andy Brooks

WINNER: Connor Gorsuch
In September 2014 Connor became the BASC .410 World Champion, he was the winner of the junior class and the overall winner of the competition.  As the overall high gun in the competition, Connor was also presented with the .410 World Championship Challenge Cup. Connor competed in the International Shooting Sports Federation’s World Championships in October winning Bronze. At 18 years old Connor is dedicated with a clear ambition to represent the country at the Olympics.

Veteran Sportsperson of the year: nominees

  • Gordon Mitchell – Kickboxing
  • Susan Julyan – Taekwondo
  • Tony Cook – Motorcycle and sidecar grass track racing
  • Spencer Whiteley – Crossfit
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Valley Leisure Sports Awards 2015 – Gordon Mitchell winner of The Veteran Sports Person of the Year receives his award from sponsor David Coole of JPD Property Services. 14th November, 2015 – Picture Andy Brooks

WINNER: Gordon Mitchell
Last November Gordon represented Great Britain at the WAKO European Championships in Slovenia, He won the 74kg Veterans European Title. This year at the age of 47 years he has won the WAKO British title at two different weights -74kg and -84kg and has once again been selected to represent Great Britain at the World Championships at the end of November. He returned from the Flanders Open in Belgium with a gold in the 75kg Veterans, he is working hard to finish what will be his last competitive year on a high.

Volunteer of the year: nominees

  • Simon Eggington, Kim Holmes, Paul North and Ian Beveridge – Park Run
  • Kim Belbin – ADNA Netball League
  • Jeremy Duff – Tag Rugby at St John The Baptist Catholic Primary School
  • Andy Bridge – Andover Hockey Club
  • Jane Tunney and Barbara Snow – Andover Arrows Netball Club
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Valley Leisure Sports Awards 2015 – Jane Tunney (left) and Barbara Snow (left) receive their Volunteer of the Year Award from sponsor John Murray of JB Motors. 14th November, 2015 – Picture Andy Brooks

WINNER: Jane Tunney and Barbara Snow
Jane and Barbara were the founder members of the club 12 years ago. The club has developed and gone from strength to strength with over 80 members and a Silver CAPS accreditation. They are both coaches, umpires and active committee members. The club was recently awarded at the Goalden Globe Awards, Most outstanding Club in Hampshire and The South and is shortlisted in the National Awards. They both represent the club and the sport on other committees in Test Valley and Barbara is the Andover representative on the Hampshire Netball Committee.

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Valley Leisure Sports Awards 2015 – Spencer Whiteley receives the Valley Leisure Special Recognition Award from sponsor Helen Blyth of Simply Health. 14th November, 2015 – Picture Andy Brooks

Valley Leisure Special Recognition Award: Spencer Whiteley

“He is just an incredible athlete who never ever gives up on himself or others. He inspires people all the time and trains himself with such determination that others are left thinking they have no excuse; if Spence can have a full time job, a family, coach part time, train and compete at a high level giving the other European athletes a run for their money, then they can do it too”.  – Toni Whiteley

Valley Leisure Service to Sport

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Valley Leisure Sports Awards 2015 – Swimming Instructor Sandy Braxton receives her Valley Leisure Service to Sport Award from James Robinson of The Andover Advertiser. 14th November, 2015 – Picture Andy Brooks

WINNER: Sandy Braxton (Swim teacher, advance levels)
“Sandy originally started teaching at the old Andover outdoor pool in 1973 at the tender age of 17yrs.  In 1975 Sandy joined the Leisure Centre staff as a Duty Manager and continued her teaching career.  In 1987 Sandy left the UK for 15 months to teach swimming at the Hilton Hotel in Rabat, Morocco.  In 1990  Sandy returned to Andover Leisure Centre to teach pre-school children and has remained here ever since.”

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Valley Leisure Sports Awards 2015 – Swimming Instructor Rexian Thomas receives his Valley Leisure Service to Sport Award from Test Valley Mayor Cllr Iris Anderson. 14th November, 2015 – Picture Andy Brooks

WINNER: Rexian Thomas (Swim Teacher, babies to adults)
“Ian has been a swimming teacher at Andover Leisure Centre for 30 years.  During this time he was also Andover Swimming Club’s Club Manager and Co-ordinator for 10 years and coached alongside Graham Wardell – current Head Coach for Scotland’s Team Aquatics. It is impossible to record the amount of people Ian has taught to swim over this time and it is entirely possible he is now teaching 3rd generation swimmers.”

Valley Leisure Sports Awards 2015 - . 14th November, 2015 - Picture Andy Brooks
Valley Leisure Sports Awards 2015 – . 14th November, 2015 – Picture Andy Brooks

WINNER: Jane Turner (Swim Teacher, Pre-school and improvers)
“I moved to Andover from Leeds where I had been an infant school teacher and also taught swimming.  I started working at Andover Leisure Centre in the Crèche what was then called the “Thomas Room” and gradually started to teach swimming for the Leisure Centre as well. I have taught swimming for at least 23/24 years at ALC and it’s quite disconcerting to find I have taught a number of the lifeguards to swim and am now teaching children of some of the children I taught in the early days.”

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Valley Leisure Sports Awards 2015 – Robyn Brown receives his Valley Leisure Service to Sport Award from Test Valley Mayor Cllr Iris Anderson. 14th November, 2015 – Picture Andy Brooks

WINNER: Robyn Brown (Gym Instructor)
“Robyn started his weight lifting career in 1968 and has achieved phenomenal success over the years, including 10 World Titles and 5 European Titles and setting 37 world records along the way. Over the past 25 years he has worked tirelessly to share his passion and knowledge with literally thousands of local people and is living testament to the benefits of an active lifestyle.”

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Valley Leisure Sports Awards 2015 – Debbie Shephed receives her Valley Leisure Service to Sport Award from Cllr Ian Carr of Test Valley Borough Council. 14th November, 2015 – Picture Andy Brooks

 

WINNER: Debbie Shepherd (Gym Instructor, Studio Instructor, Aquafit Instructor and Swimfit Activator )
“At the age of 9 Debbie was spotted and trained by ex England competitor and coach Phil Banning. She competed for the Town and County with the Andover Athletics club. After having a successful running career, Debbie continued her success by winning several races including the Test Valley 10k, the Winchester 10k which she subsequently won for 5 years consecutively and placing 3rd in the great south run. Debbie’s successful running career spanned over many years and she has applied her determination, dedication and passion to Valley Leisure and the thousands of members that have passed though the centre. She thrives on helping others to reach their goals.”

Until next year….

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