Tel: 01623 707017
We've Got Mansfield, Ashfield & Sherwood Covered


Mansfield Sports Recognition Awards winners

Posted onPosted on 11th Dec

At the Mansfield Sports Recognition Awards at the Civic Corner, Mansfield, accolades were handed out to the area’s top individuals, teams, coaches, volunteers and clubs. Photographs were taken by Paul Horton.

The award winners were:

Sportsperson of the Year
(sponsored by Education Mutual)

Charlotte Henshaw (left) was named Mansfield’s Sportsperson of the Year for a fifth time after another great year in Para-canoeing.
The award was presented by Hannah Marshall, on behalf of Les Marshall, of Education Mutual.


Barry Gibson Disabled Sportsperson of the Year
(sponsored by Tyler Bros Ltd)

Charlotte Henshaw added this category to her Sportsperson of the Year title. Also nominated was ice skater Callum Mills.

The award, which honours a cricket-loving founder member of the Armchair Club, was presented by Joe Hays, of Tyler Brothers Ltd, to Charlotte Henshaw.


Roger Copestake Mayor’s Special Achievement Award
(sponsored by Linney)

The award is made in memory of Roger Copestake, a founder member of the Armchair Club and a sports enthusiast.

It was presented by Roger’s wife, Julia Copestake, and one of his children, Ben, together with the Mayor of Mansfield, Andy Abrahams, who spoke about the service of the recipient, swimming teacher Linda Bennett.

Every Monday for more than 30 years she has helped disabled adults and children benefit from time in the water via Sherwood Seals Swimming Club, based at the Rebecca Adlington Leisure Centre.

Linda was part of the team that formed the Seals in the 1980s, when the centre was called Sherwood Baths.

She was there volunteering on the first day — and she’s still there, the only original member of the club remaining.

Volunteering with the Seals is such an important part of her life that she has no plans to stop.

Sports Personality of the Year multi-winner Charlotte Henshaw, a Paralympic swimming champion, had her first swimming lessons with Linda.

Pictured, from left, are Ben Copestake, Julia Copestake, winner Linda Bennett, and Mansfield mayor Andy Abrahams.


Junior Sportsperson of the Year
(sponsored by Hopkins Solicitors)

Swimmer THOMAS SWALES topped a very strong category, which featured 11 sports, by one point. In 2023 he was a triple national champion as well as winning regional and county gold medals.

Also nominated were Pratibha Arambam (badminton), Addison Bettridge (football), Erin Broughton (gymnastics), Lawrence Burton (cricket), Sebastian Cave (golf), Oliver Golanowski (fencing), Lacie Handley (polo), Evie Haskell (rugby union), Freya Percival (dressage), Erika Proud (ice hockey), and Matthew Smart (athletics).

The award was presented to Thomas Swales (right) by Martyn Knox, managing partner of Hopkins Solicitors.


Coach of the Year
(sponsored by Collins Wealth Management)

Winner SIMON HILL has guided Sutton Swimming Club to success at national level for several years and is also strengthening the coaching set-up.

Also nominated were Ricky Cooper (Meden Vale Colts), Gareth Griffiths (Mansfield Lawn Tennis Club), and Darren Toyn (Mansfield Harriers).

The award was presented by Ben Collins (left), of Collins Wealth Management, to Simon Hill.


Junior Team of the Year
(sponsored by Hall-Fast Industrial Supplies)

2023 was a successful season for winners Mansfield Rugby Union Football Club Under-16 Girls — both as a team and for members who progressed on to the international stage.

The girls won their Midlands cup pool and then regional knockout stages, reaching the last four of the national competition.

Eight team members progressed into the Notts, Lincs and Derbyshire side, with two of them being selected for England under-18 camps.

Also nominated were 776 Gymnastics and Cheer, Mansfield Harriers Athletics Club Under-13 Girls, Meden Vale Colts Football Club Under-12s, and Sutton Swimming Club.

The award was presented by Malcolm Hall (right), managing director of Hall-Fast Industrial Supplies.


Club of the Year
(sponsored by Fidler and Pepper)

Winner SUTTON SWIMMING CLUB was a Swim England Club of the Year finalist in the past 12 months and its membership is now back to pre-covid numbers.

Two swimmers gained the Top Boy and Top Girl awards at county level, with members also claiming regional and national titles. More than 50 swimmers gained county times and 22 regional times.

Also nominated were 776 Gymnastics and Cheer, Mansfield Rugby Union Football Club, Mansfield Harriers Athletics Club, and Meden Vale Colts Football Club.

The Club of the Year award was presented to Sutton Swimming Club members by Rob Nettle (above), senior manager with Fidler and Pepper.


Maurice Brackenbury
Team of the Year
(sponsored by Adkin Sinclair)

Mansfield Harriers Senior Men’s Road Team had the most successful year in the club’s long history.

Having never won a Midland road title previously, it won two in 2023 — the 10-mile and Masters 6 Stage relay — as well as retaining the Notts AAA Championship Summer League Series. and winning the BLD Road League.

Also nominated were Mansfield Rugby Club 1st XV, Owen Spiers Karting Team, and Sutton Swimming Club.

The accolade was presented by Chris Adkin, a partner with accountants Adkin Sinclair, which sponsored the award, and Jennifer Brackenbury.

Maurice Brackenbury was a local housebuilder and a founder member of The Armchair Club.

Pictured receiving the award is Paul Wright (centre), of Mansfield Harriers, with Chris Adkin and Jennifer Brackenbury.



John Slater Volunteer of the Year
(sponsored by Pinders Opticians)

Winner Graham Hall, who turned 70 in 2021, has been volunteering in grassroots football for more than 40 years and currently spends a lot of his time helping Meden Vale Colts Football Club, which he helped to launch five years ago.

He has been involved in administrative roles for regional leagues and the Nottinghamshire FA, and was secretary of Mansfield Youth Football League for many year.

Also nominated were swimming coach Linda Bennett (Sherwood Seals Swimming Club), Steve Hopkinson (Mansfield Badminton Club) and Michelle Hall (776 Gymnastics and Cheer).

The award is in memory of a founder member of The Armchair Club, John Slater, who died in 2022 after a long illness.

John was a keen golfer, footballer, and a former commercial manager at Mansfield Town FC.

His widow, Nicola Slater, helped to present the award.

Hannah Shooter (centre), director of award sponsor Pinders Opticians, presented the award to Adam Elce, who received it on behalf of winner Graham Hall, watched by Nicola Slater.


Ian Bagshaw Memorial Award
(sponsored by The Armchair Club)

The Ian Bagshaw Award is presented to a person in the swimming or cricket community in Mansfield who has made a significant contribution.

Ian was passionate about sport and manager of Water Meadows before he sadly died due to illness.

Winners Cuckney Cricket Club claimed a remarkable last-ball success to lift the prestigious ECB National Clubs Championship at the home of cricket.

They defeated Bexley by having lost fewer wickets, after the two sides were tied on 219 at Lord’s when Cuckney scored two runs off the last ball.

A week later Cuckney won the Notts Premier League for the first time since 2017 to make it a trophy treble, having earlier lifted The Derbyshire Cup.

The award was presented on behalf of the Armchair Club in Ian’s honour by member Gary Jordan (left) to Mansfield mayor Andy Abrahams, who received it for Cuckney Cricket Club.


Junior Sports Leader of the Year
(sponsored by John Sankey Estate Agents)

Winner Isobel Westwood was nominated for putting her volunteering and mentoring work at Mansfield Harriers ahead of her own performances, which are of a county standard.

She supports the club at cross-country fixtures, recently arriving on course at 5am for a 12-hour stint.

On training evenings she takes new and young athletes on warm-ups, explaining training sessions and how the club works.

Also nominated was Freya Watson (776 Gymnastics and Cheer).

The award was presented to Isobel Westwood (left) by Armchair Club member Emma Cherry, representing John Sankey Estate Agents.