MALVERN sports heroes have been recognised once more at a glittering awards ceremony.
A total of 11 accolades were handed out to teams and individuals last Thursday (July 3) for the fourth annual Malvern Hills District Council Sports Awards.
The event was held at Malvern College and sponsored by UK Flood Barriers while AN:Event Services ensured everything from a technical side went smoothly on the night.
More than 200 guests attended the event which opened with a spectacular performance by Bromyard Tae Kwon Do followed by inspirational speeches from Paul Garner, education coach at University of Gloucestershire and Jack Rutter, captain of England’s Cerebral Palsy Football Team.
Ivor Pumfrey, the council’s head of community services, said: “A fantastic evening was had by all celebrating sporting achievements in the district and recognising local people’s contribution to sport over the past year. Congratulations to the individuals, clubs and teams who were nominated for the awards. The council is extremely proud to be able to celebrate and reward them.”
Harry Robinson, winner of the Young Male Sports Personality Award, added: “It is an honour just to be nominated along side such great athletes. To win just really topped off the night for me. It was an absolute pleasure to get the award.”
Club Team of the Year: Malvern RFC U’17’s
• First time Malvern Rugby Club have ever fielded an Under 17 side
• Not a large squad but committed and trained hard
• No superstars or prima donnas just boys who have great respect for each other and their coaches.
• Secured a place in the North Midlands league – a first for Malvern Rugby Club -winning the league on their first attempt only losing one game in the whole season
• Qualified for the National U17’s Cup losing only to the eventual winners of the tournament.
• Other victories include spectacular wins by over 100 points during a European Tour and a pulsating last game together in the final of the prestigious Hilversum Tournament losing by a single score.
• Fundraising for various charitable causes and some of the team already making their debut for the clubs development XV the Under 17’s are a credit to themselves and Malvern Rugby Club.
Young Volunteer of the Year: Rob Mallett
• Rob plays a very active role in a number of sports and is a first class ambassador for The Chase High School.
• Discovering a member of staff had an American Football coaching qualification Rob helped with the set up of both a boys and girls team.
• Rob attended EVERY training session possible determined to see the teams become a long term and established club within the school helping with equipment, officiating and running training drills.
• Rob also has a very active role off the field attending committee meetings and raising the profile of the club through social media.
• Rob is a valuable asset and without him there would be no club in the first place.
• During the holidays Rob volunteers with local coaching group Zig Zag to deliver activities to children and at Aztec Sailing Club supporting the less experienced groups. In addition to all that Rob was also major contributor the Sport Relief event.
Coach of the Year: Ted Grizzell
• Ted Grizzell has been a dedicated coach throughout his career
• Specialising in football. He was formerly an FA Skills coach and Football Development Officer
• Ted set up his own company, Zig Zag Coaching and diversified into a range of sports using skilled instructors right across the Malvern Hills District taking sport into schools and the community offering opportunity where it had never previously been
• Ted also spends his time as an Academy Coach for West Bromwich Albion Football Club.
• Ted is now the new Sporting Director of Malvern Town Football Club rescuing it from administration in January and already has development plans in place for a much brighter future
Inclusive Project of the Year: Shoot for the Stars
• Is a group for vulnerable young people with additional needs based in Tenbury Wells.
• Guided by volunteers the group take on responsibility for running the sessions themselves helping them to gain confidence and self esteem preparing themselves for the future.
• Recent issues discussed are independence, keeping safe and drug and alcohol awareness.
• Their latest project Team Tenbury has seen them focus on sport and recreation
• Successful in securing funding to take this one step further Shoot for the Stars have thrown themselves into exploring the world of sport trying everything and anything that they could find a coach for.
• Such was their success they were awarded a visit from Paralympian swimmer Clare Cashmore and are awaiting a visit from her with great excitement
Community Project of the Year: WM Lacrosse Malvern
• Starting out with just a few enthusiastic players wanting to bring Lacrosse to Malvern – West Midlands Lacrosse Malvern was formed.
• Working hard to secure some funds from Sport England leaders ran sessions at 6 local primary schools culminating in a competition at the Chase.
• Enthusiasm was such that not 1 but 2 clubs have been set up and The Chase and Hanley Castle High Schools
• The project has included coaching courses for young leaders as well as coaching for school staff to try to secure the sustainability of lacrosse in schools
• The first ever lacrosse fixture between the 2 clubs was played this year
• Quite a moment for Lacrosse in Malvern and the clubs continue to develop.
Club of the Year: Malvern Town FC
• Has found its place in the Malvern Community since being taken over in December by new owners
• Over 200 people watched the last game of the season with overall attendance in 2014 up by 50%
• Away supporters traveling with the club often outnumbering the home team
• Finishing 8 places higher in the league than last year with a pleasing 2-0 victory over the unbeaten eventual league winners
• Opening the venue up to the wider community the club hosts bingo, dance clubs, skittle teams and also opens as a youth centre and opening up for people to come together to watch big sporting occasions.
• Since only December Malvern Town Football Club have provided stability for the first team, offered development sessions for youngsters, have a reserve team, a ladies team and are about to bring back an U18’s team next season.
Volunteer of the Year: Neil Coleman and Bosko Medakovic
• Leigh and Bransford Badgers FC describe Neil and Bosko as the ‘Rocks’ of the club.
• Devoting hours and hours to the club undertaking a multitude of tasks from ground maintenance, to FA courses and meetings, volunteer coordination, fixtures, coaching, development, finance, memberships, fundraising the list goes on….
• They have ensured that the club is underpinned by strong values and leadership enabling all youngsters to be able to play in a safe, friendly, professional and reputable environment no matter what their ability.
Newcomer of the Year: Evie Richards
• Evie has only been riding mountain bikes seriously for 6months
• Her achievements to date are quite unbelievable
• Evie is currently ranked 1st in England in Mountain Bike Cross Country and 2nd in Great Britain
• Being new into the sport Evie does not have a sponsor, no specialized or fancy equipment, no support team or back up Evie ranked number 1 rider in the under 18 AND Womens Cross Country even though she is only 17
• Shortlisted for the Rio Olympic Training Programme Evie made it into the top 6 but narrowly missed out on a place this time.
• With sights set on the 2018 Commonwealth Games this seems like a realistic target bearing in mind Evie has not completed a full season of training yet!
• A model student at the Chase High School her resolve and determination are hard to match
• Charming and modest Evie is no doubt set for great heights
Young Male Sports Personality of the Year: Harry Robinson
• Starting rugby only at the age of 12 Harry has progressed quickly through the ranks of local, regional, national and now international rugby
• Selected to play for the Worcester Warriors Academy Harry is now a member of the Elite Player Development Group
• Harry has represented his school The Chase, Worcestershire, the North Midlands and now England Midlands after a series of trial games
• In April this year Harry competed in an International Rugby festival
• Following these games Harry was selected to play for the U17 England Saxons Team where he started on the wing scoring the winning try in Englands 10-8 victory over Italy
• An exceptional role model to his peers Harry has secured a place at Hartpury College one of the best sporting colleges for rugby in this area
Young Female Sports Personality of the Year: Emma Witherford
• After only 2 years of Freestyle Kayaking Emma finished in 2nd place at the GB Kayak Selections entitling her to a place at the European Championships and the World Series
• Finishing 2nd in a GB event this time last year and 4th at an International event with over 170 paddlers Emma has been shortlisted to compete for Great Britain at this years Youth Olympic Games in China
• In addition to this Emma is 1 of 25 girls selected from a pool of 1800 talented athletes to participate in an Olympic talent identification programme. Intensive testing and measuring Emma has passed all three stages of the programme which aims to support and prepare athletes for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Unsung Hero: Julian Burton
• Mr Burton joined Bromyard Tae Kwon Do as a white belt at a fairly late age progressing through the ranks to Black Belt.
• At that time the club was struggling with only 16 members and on the brink of closure
• Looking through the clubs archives Mr Burton uncovered some old pictures and certificates from years gone by and this spurred him on to try and save the club
• Fast forward to today Bromyard Tae kwon Do has sessions running in Leigh Sinton, Sport Martley, Sport Dysons, Leominster, Ledbury and Norton.
• Instructing Instructors the club now has a self sustaining structure that continues to develop and grow
• A fully inclusive club Mr Burton actively welcomes members with additional needs, behavioral and social difficulties, learning or physical disabilities or those who are particularly vulnerable.
• With the club growing to over 200 members Mr Burton opened a permanent Martial Arts Centre in Leigh Sinton to offer a wider variety of classes to a wider range of abilities
• With a focus on health, fitness, good nutrition and high quality coaching Mr Burton has secured Bromyard Tae Kwon Do for generations to come from a beginner level to National Champions
• Involved in many charity fundraisers and conducting video grading for a terminally ill student Mr Burton has dedicated over 21 years to Martial Arts in Malvern