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Mansfield celebrates its sporting heroes

Posted onPosted on 8th Dec
Mansfield celebrates its sporting heroes

It was a great night for sport as Mansfield celebrated the 2015 Sports Recognition Awards.

The annual ceremony, organised by Mansfield District Council in association with The Armchair Club and the Chad, recognised the district’s best teams, coaches, volunteers, sportsmen and sportswomen. The guest speaker was John Dabrowski, who played basketball both as a professional and for England in the Commonwealth Games.

Staged at the John Fretwell Sporting Complex, Sookholme, the awards attracted 45 nominations across 10 categories.

There were also two additional awards; the Roger Copestake Mayor’s Special Achievement Award, which recognises the work of an individual in promoting sport within the district and the Ian Bagshaw Memorial Award in memory of Water Meadows manager Ian Bagshaw, who lost his life to leukaemia in May last year, aged 57.

The winners were:

Coach of the Year (sponsored by Collins Wealth Management)
Richard Massey (athletics)

Richard has been a member of Mansfield Harriers & Athletic Club for over 40 years as athlete and coach. A middle distance runner at 800m and 1500m, his promising career was curtailed by injury, so he turned to coaching the Junior Middle Distance Squad at the club. Over the last two years, his tireless work, enthusiasm and great motivation have enabled athletes to achieve outstanding successes, including:

Archie Rayner gaining an England Schools Cross Country vest in March 2015
Luke Duffy coming 2nd in the English AAA under-15 Final and 2nd in the English Schools final 2015
Ella Hughes finishing 3rd in the U20 Midland Cross Country Championships and 4th in the English Schools 1500m final.

Richard is also a member of the National Coaching Mentoring Scheme, taking four to five sessions a week. As well as attending races with his athletes, he is now helping to mentor a coach at another local club.

Volunteer of the Year (sponsored by Pinders Opticians)
Peter Hutchinson (rugby)

Mansfield Rugby Club launched and incorporated O2 Touch in November 2014 and appointed Pete Hutchinson as volunteer O2 Touch Manager.

O2 Touch is a non-contact form of rugby and is suitable for everyone and a great way to keep fit and have fun.

Pete has recruited new players aged from 18 to 58 by using social media, local press and word of mouth.

He has spent many hours each week working tirelessly to engage with the community and get the O2 Touch rugby initiative off the ground at Mansfield Rugby Club. He has now created one of the most successful O2 Touch centres in the country according to feedback from the RFU.

Junior Sportsperson of the Year (sponsored by Hopkins Solicitors)
Elliot Clogg (swimming)

Elliot swims for the City of Sheffield Swim Squad at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.

He trains eight times a week including Monday and Friday mornings, which see Elliot get up at 4.20am to be in the pool from 5.30am to 7.30am.

This year saw Elliot qualify for the British Championships which is the pinnacle British swimming event. He swam in five events making each final and won three silver medals in the 100m backstroke, 200m backstroke and 50m freestyle.

He was also one of eight boys to be selected to swim at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Tbilisi, Georgia as part of Team GB. This was Elliot’s first international experience and he was able to secure a sixth place in the 100m backstroke final.

Elliot was also selected to swim for England North at the Sainsbury’s UK School Games in Manchester, where he won five medals, including three golds and two silvers.

Junior Team of the Year (sponsored by Hall-Fast)
Mansfield Harriers U13 girls’ track and field team

Mansfield Harriers U13 girls’ track and field team has been unbeaten in all of their twelve league fixtures in 2015.

During the summer, the team won all four of their fixtures in the East Midlands Division of the UKA Youth Development League. They also won all five of their fixtures in the Nottinghamshire Mini Track and Field League.

This unbeaten string of wins has continued into the winter season with the team winning all three of the Nottinghamshire mini league sports hall fixtures held so far this season.

Seven of the girls from the Mansfield team were selected to represent Nottinghamshire at the Inter counties match in September. The seven Mansfield athletes made up more than half of the 12 girl squad selected from all of the athletics clubs in Nottinghamshire.

The Roger Copestake Mayor’s Special Achievement Award (sponsored by The Linney Group)
Ann Brown (tennis)

Ann is a long-time member of Mansfield Lawn Tennis Club. Over the years, Ann has produced some fantastic results and achieved some amazing personal goals.

Her achievements in 2015 include:
•Winning the Yorkshire open veterans singles and doubles
•Winning the Nottingham veterans grass court championships singles and doubles
•Winning the Majorca veterans grade one doubles in 2015
•Captaining the Nottinghamshire veterans team for twenty years. In 2015 they won their league and were promoted to division one

Ann represents and captains Wales in the four nations each year and has won the Gold Medal. Other achievements include:
•Winning the veterans clay court doubles in Bournemouth twice
•Winning the veterans Wimbledon grass court championships singles 3 times
•Representing Great Britain on three occasions and winning the Gold Medal in 2014 in Turkey by beating USA
•Winning Gold at the veterans ladies doubles and singles world championships
•Winning the doubles at the veterans British indoor championships

Ann always helps out in the annual play tennis days to encourage youngsters and adults to take up tennis and she is always on hand to offer help and advice to other members. She is very well respected and everyone at the club is exceptionally proud of her.

The Maurice Brackenbury Award for Team of the Year (sponsored by Adkin Sinclair)
The Mansfield Harriers Men’s Veteran Team (athletics)

The Mansfield Harriers over 45 men’s veteran team have had a very successful year. In the summer Nottinghamshire Road Race league they finished with the County Silver Medal.

At the beginning of October they competed in the National Masters road relays finishing with the Bronze Medal.

Their biggest success came at the end of October this year when they went on to compete in the British masters cross country relays gaining the Gold Medal and being crowned national champions.

Junior Disabled Sportsperson of the Year (sponsored by Mansfield District Leisure Trust)
Ben Foulston (swimming)

Ben was chosen to represent team England Central for the second consecutive year, winning the Gold Medal in the 100m Butterfly and the Silver Medal in the 100m Freestyle. At the British Para-Swimming International Meet in Glasgow, Ben produced a personal best and a hard earned Silver Medal.

Ben went to the British Gas Open Short Course Para-Swimming Championships in Manchester and won three Gold Medals in the 100m Freestyle, 100m Backstroke and 100m Butterfly.

He continues to be on the British Para-Swimming World Class Podium Potential Programme for 2015/2016 and is training hard with the aim of qualifying for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Japan.

Junior Sports Leader of the Year (sponsored by TIS Mansfield)
Natasha Ingleby

Natasha has been a dedicated member of the Mansfield Leadership Academy for the past two years and has returned in 2015/16 as a mentor to support new leadership academy students.

Throughout 2014-15 Natasha has been a member of the Mansfield Football Futures programme, completing six sessions of football leadership. She gained her Junior Football Leaders Award and has volunteered at many sports competitions and festivals.

As a result of her commitment and enthusiasm, she was chosen to represent Nottinghamshire at the National Football Futures Camp at St George’s Park. This was a four day residential camp where students can focus on specific leadership skills.

Natasha is also currently a member of the Nottinghamshire County FA Youth Council.

Ian Bagshaw Memorial Award (sponsored by The Armchair Club)
Wendy Siddall

Wendy started work as a YTS trainee at the Sherwood Baths (now Rebecca Adlington Swimming Pool) and moved to the Water Meadows when it opened in 1990 as a Team Leader. She took on the role of National Pool Lifeguard Trainer shortly afterwards.

Wendy has very high expectations for herself and her staff. She was placed third overall in the Serco Lifeguard Competition, an event which involves competing with lifeguards at all Serco managed facilities nationally. She was also runner-up as a Serco Trainer Assessor, once again competing with staff at other swimming facilities in the UK.

​Wendy has been praised by the Mansfield Swimming Club for the help and support she gives to ensure that galas and swimming competitions are well prepared, doing much of the work in her own time. She receives much praise from senior managers for her mentoring role in helping staff with lifeguard exams, again often working in her own time to help many of our young lifeguards progress in their careers.

Club of the Year (sponsored by Dunville and Company)
Mansfield Town Football in the Community

Mansfield Town Football in the Community runs several projects each year ranging from holiday clubs to working in local schools and after school clubs.

Their Saturday morning club is an inclusive club and has grown each year. Over the years this project alone has made a fantastic contribution to the young people of Mansfield. Participants learn new skills, gain confidence and self-esteem, which contributes to enhancing their life skills.

Another one of their main projects is the FA’s Female Football Development Project which has seen over 200 girls take part in Mansfield between November 2014 and February 2015.

Mansfield Town Football in the Community has contributed significantly to this new initiative and the FA’s target of 30,000 girls participating in football in the UK in 2015.

Disabled Sportsperson of the Year (sponsored by Tyler Bros (Sutton) Ltd)
Ollie Hynd

Once again, Ollie has had a fantastic year in 2014/15. At the IPC World Championships in Glasgow July 2015, he took the Gold Medal in the Mens 400m Freestyle, breaking his brother’s world record.

Ollie also took Great Britain’s first Gold Medal of the Championships in the Mens SM8 200m Ind Medley, breaking the European Record in the process. Ollie now remains unbeaten in this event in a major championship since 2011.

He is the holder of all four major championship titles – Paralympic, World, European and Commonwealth. He also took an excellent Bronze Medal in the Mens S8 Category 100m Backstroke, just missing the Gold by 0.5 of a second.

Ollie is now back in training and looking towards the Rio Paralympic Games. Trials for the GB team are in April in Glasgow.

Sportsperson of the Year (sponsored by The Schools Advisory Service)
Ben and Tom Birchall (Sidecar Racing)

The International Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) races are an annual motorcycle road racing event traditionally held in June.

​For many years, it has been regarded as the most prestigious, oldest and possibly the most dangerous motorcycle road race in the world.

In the TT sidecar races, former world sidecar champions Ben and Tom Birchall won the overall TT Sidecar Championship, setting a stunning new race record of 58m 24.971 seconds.

Commenting on the 2015 Sports Recognition Awards, Portfolio Holder for the Environment at Mansfield District Council, Cllr Andrew Tristram said: “Mansfield is deservedly proud of its athletes, teams, coaches and volunteers, who have made 2015 yet another memorable sporting year.

“As we have seen tonight, our sportsmen and sportswomen are competing at a very high level, putting Mansfield on the map, both nationally and internationally. I would like to celebrate all our winners and thank them for all their outstanding contributions to sport in the district.”