SPORTS AWARDS: Pictures from Rugby Sports Awards 2017 presentation evening
Special guest Warwickshire and England cricketer Ian Bell answered questions about his career
PICTURES BY JAMIE GRAY
Wednesday’s presentations of Rugby Sports Awards 2017 saw winners and finalists recognised in 12 categories.
The Simon Warwood Memorial Award for Young Team of the Year, presented by Robin and Margaret Warwood, was won by Rugby Swimming Club’s Junior Synchro team, who improved throughout 2017 to finish fourth at the national age groups championships. Runners-up were Old Laurentians Under 10s and Rugby School’s sailing team.
The Lion Geoff Thompson Young Volunteer of the Year award, sponsored by the Rugby Rokeby Lions was presented by president John Nelson. The winner was Chloe Raine, for her work with Rugby Town Girls Football Club, with Sean Fernando, who helps Rugby Sport for the Disabled and Rugby & Northampton Athletics Club’s Sam Whittaker the other finalists.
Young Sportsperson of the Year, sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Rugby, was RS Tera Pro World sailing champion Jack Lewis, a member of Draycote Water Sailing Club. The runners-up were Great Britain tumbler Malakai Bojang and Scotland Under 16s rugby player Ben Muncaster.
The Unsung Hero Volunteer Award, sponsored by WCAVA was won by Tracey Milne for her work behind the scenes with Bilton Ajax Junior Football Club. The dedication of Old Laurentians fixture secretary Michael Roberts and Rugby Triathlon Club’s Simon Hull was recognised in the runners -up spots.
Winner of the Mark Gallacher Memorial Award for Coach of the Year was Rugby Gymnastics Club’s Sergey Kotlyarov. He has developed his squad to contain regional and national champions and is ensuring the club is a firm contender at national level. Brooke School’s Pete Brinkley and Jack de Bokx of Rugby Triathlon Club were the other finalists.
Rugby Cricket Club were Club of the Year, sponsored by Nationwide Windows, after winning the Warwickshire Premier Division and becoming the first club in the borough to qualify for the Birmingham League. Their Under 11s, 13s and 15s also won their leagues.
The runners-up were Newbold on Avon RFC, whose 1st XV won Midlands 1 West to gain promotion to the Midlands Premier division and 2nd and 3rd XVs also gained promotion; and Rugby Triathlon Club, who had multiple successes throughout their age groups.
Primary School of the Year, sponsored by the Hinckley and Rugby Building Society was presented for the first time this year. Oakfield Primary Academy were the winners, ahead of Boughton Leigh Junior School and St Marie’s Catholic Primary School.
The Get Active Award, sponsored by Public Health Warwickshire, went to Rhory Bell.
Sportsman of the Year was sidecar racer Mark Cossar, double British champion last year who has qualified for the world championships in Australia.
The other finalists were Rugby Cricket Club captain Owen Edwards, who scored 1971 runs last season; and cyclist Phil Roach of Team Jewson-MI Racing, British Over 55s cyclo-cross champion and National Trophy series winner.
Sportswoman of the Year, sponsored by Anytime Fitness, went to Invictus Games athlete Jen Warren, Great Britain team’s vice captain in Toronto last year who has won a total of 18 medals at swimming, wheelchair racing and handcycling at two Invictus Games.
Veteran fencer Vivien Frith, of the Salle Ursa Fencing Club and Rugby Canoe Club’s Kimberley Woods were the runners-up in an extremely strong category.
Viv won European and World titles in 2017, as well as World Championship team silver, while Kimberley became Senior European champion, won World Cup gold and U23s World Championship bronze.
The Lifetime Achievement award went to Mike Warwick, for his work with Old Laurentians RFC since 1968.
In addition to the three finalists for Young Sportsperson of the Year, the other Excellence in Sport winners, sponsored by GLL Sport Foundation, were:
British Men’s Artistic Performance Squad gymnasts Clayton Bell and Luke Marsh of Rugby Gymnastics Club.
Hockey player Oscar Kay, who represented England at the National School Games and plays at national league level for Olton & West Warwickshire 1st XI .
Thornfield Indoor Bowls Club’s Oliver Fowler, who plays for England Under 25s.
Coventry Blaze U18s ice hockey player Rhodes Mitchell-King, who earned selection for England U14s and Midlands U15s squads.
Rugby Swimming Club synchronised swimmer Laura Cunha, who has been selected to represent Portugal at the European Junior Championships.
Rugby & Northampton Athletics Club’s Josh Faulds, who represented England at the Commonwealth Youth Games, reaching the 400m hurdles final and winning silver in the 4x400m mixed relay.