SPORTS AWARDS 2014: Winners announced

Sportswoman of the Year 2014 Jamie-Lea Winch
Sportswoman of the Year 2014 Jamie-Lea Winch

Success on and off the field recognised at 20th annual presentation of awards

Congratulations to the winners of Rugby’s Sports Awards 2014, who received their honours at the Benn Hall presentations on Wednesday evening.

Sportsman of the Year 2014 Kevin Murch

Sportsman of the Year 2014 Kevin Murch

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the awards, which are organised by Rugby Borough Council and supported by the Rugby Advertiser and Rugby FM.

The quality of entries in some categories again made it a very difficult task for the judges, after another superb year of sporting achievements and dedication.

Sportswoman of the Year went to Thornfield bowler Jamie-Lea Winch, who won silver for England in the Commonwealth Games women’s pairs in Glasgow last summer, adding to her bronze from Delhi in 2010.

Sportsman of the Year was athlete Kevin Murch, who broke the Over 55s British javelin record four times last year, as well as winning gold in the Midland Masters Championships and British Masters Throws Pentathlon.

Willoughby Cricket Club's Eric Palmer won the Lifetime Achievement award

Willoughby Cricket Club's Eric Palmer won the Lifetime Achievement award

Willoughby Cricket Club’s Eric Palmer won the Lifetime Achievement Award. Having joined the club as a 12-year-old in 1948 he has been involved in every aspect of its running, being club president since 2002 and celebrating his 50th year as treasurer in 2014.

Rugby Lions were pronounced Club of the Year, after being crowned RFU Midlands Junior Vase Champions and runners-up in the national final at Twickenham. Returning to the league structure after a year out, Lions earned promotion as unbeaten champions of their division.

And a stalwart of Old Laurentians RFC, Terry Wootton won the award for Unsung Hero. Since joining the club in 1941 he has been secretary, treasurer, fixture and match secretary and has done everything from looking after the bar and pitch to sorting out kit. He has also represented OLs for 40 years on the Rugby & District RFU as secretary and treasurer.

The Mark Gallagher Memorial Award for Coach of the Year was won by Rugby St Andrews’ Under 16s rugby coach Dean Smith, whose team are grateful for all his efforts in helping them to develop into a winning side, with success at the Syston and Manchester sevens tournaments.

The Lion Geoff Thompson award for Young Volunteer of the Year went to Abbie Deitch, for her work with Rugby Town Girls FC. The A level student has gained an FA Level 1 qualification, coaches the Under 8s team and is a club committee member.

It was a good night for Rugby Town Girls FC, whose Under 15s also picked up the Simon Warwood Memorial Award for Young Team of the Year. Among their trophies last season they won the Leicester City and County league cup and were runners-up in their division.

The inaugural winner of the Get Active Award, sponsored by Public Health Warwickshire, awarded to someone who has improved their health and well being through physical activity, was Kevin Rodgers.

And finally, the winners of Excellence in Sport awards for under 18s who compete at national or international level in their chosen sport, were: Jake Hersey (tennis), Ben McCann (windsurfing), Clayton Bell (gymnastics), Chelsie Giles (judo), Owen Print (gymnastics), Daniel Lewis (sailing), Jack Lewis (sailing), Lucas Marshall (sailing), Joshua Giles (judo), Ethan Plank (sailing).

The award includes £100 towards training or equipment.

See next week’s Advertiser for pictures from the presentations.