West Oxfordshire Sports Awards celebrate the cream of the crop
The cream of West Oxfordshire’s sporting talent joined unsung heroes of the community to be honoured at a special awards ceremony.
A total of 45 individuals and organisations were honoured for their achievements from county to international level at the event held at the Witney Lakes Resort.
Cllr James Mills, Cabinet Member for Leisure, said: “It was wonderful to meet so many talented and inspirational individuals.
“Every one of them richly deserves their award, whether they are starting out on the path of a potentially brilliant sporting career or have been working in the community for years to improve the lives of others. Congratulations to them all.”
The awards are organised annually by West Oxfordshire District Council in conjunction with the GLL Sports Foundation to support budding sports stars and pay tribute to clubs and volunteers. They were presented by Cllr Mills and Phil Lane, head of sport development at GLL.
Winners receive grants ranging from £100 to £1,250 as well as free access to Council-owned leisure facilities in the District to assist with training.
Three special Sports Awards were given in the following categories:
· Club of the Year: Tower Hill FC. During 2015, the club has set up a disabled team and gained the Inclusive symbol showing it welcomes all abilities. It has also achieved FA Charter Standard Community Club status acknowledging the most advanced level of club development and football provision. Running more than 25 adult and youth teams with over 300 players, the club works closely with local schools, for example by lending equipment.
Club chairman Liam Walsh said: “We are delighted to be recognised – it means so much to the players, coaches, supporters and sponsors and we will use it to continue the development of facilities and opportunities for players.”
· Coach of the Year: Jeremy Bristoe, head coach of Witney Wolves (SEN) rugby team which caters for special needs boys and girls from the age of seven. Jeremy specialises in overcoming communication barriers to improve social skills and behaviour that in turn has a positive impact on both school and home life. He encourages team members to run coaching sessions encouraging responsibility and inspiring confidence.
Mr Bristoe, who picked up his award with club captain James Paul, 17, said: “This is absolutely fantastic and great for the youngsters I work with who are a big part of the club’s success. We have gone from one player to 36 in eight years and every Sunday morning I see them continue to blossom and achieve more.”
Unsung Hero: Glynn Yates, founding member of Carterton Town FC. Glynn not only helped set up the club in 1984, he was actually involved in constructing the building. Since then he has worked across many roles in the club and maintained the pitches to a consistently high standard. Cllr Maxine Crossland who nominated Glynn, said: “Glynn Yates is everything Carterton FC stands for: Football for All.”
· Ellie Kearney, 16 - hockey, Eynsham
· Aiden Wilkinson, 11 - cricket, Shipton-under-Wychwood
· Adam Blackwell, 15 – cross country athletics, Northmoor
· Phoebe Muir, 12 – synchronised swimming, Eynsham
· Matilda Feather, 14 – figure skating, Eynsham
· Molly Feather, 12 - figure skating, Eynsham
· Freddie Holford, 15 - rugby union, Bampton
· Jack Holford, 18 – rugby union, Bampton
· Alexandra Scrivener, 12 – athletics middle distance, Shipton-under-Wychwood
· Lucy Gotta, 15 – biathlon, Burford
· Georgina Duff, 14 – swimming, Finstock
· Alysha-Paris Godfrey, nine – karate, Witney
· Faye Godfrey, seven – karate, Witney
· James King, 16 – disability cricket, Chipping Norton
· Megan Attenborough, 18 – football, Carterton
· Amelia Leslie, 13 – squash, Freeland
· Laura Turberville, 13 – synchronised swimming, Burford
· Natalia Mitchell, 15 – badminton, Woodstock
· Rhiannon Saunders, 14 swimming, Bampton
· Oliver Stacey, 16 – athletics sprint hurdles, Bampton
· Joe Booth, 16 – rugby union, Carterton
· Ben Prosser, 15 – swimming, Witney
· Jake Williams, 14 – roller hockey, Chipping Norton
· Madeleine Barnicoat, 17 – kayaking, North Leigh
· Lois Moseley, 10 – trampolining, Woodstock
· Chris Goodfellow, triathlete and ironman athlete
· Janette Cardy, triathlon and aquathon athlete
· Graham Le Good, triathlete
· Cameron Tweddle, 17, sailing
· Katie Nutt, 15, water skiing
· Billy Wooton
· Natasha Reddy
· Christian Mitchell
· Callum Smart
· Jed Smithson
· Devon Shadbolt
· Libby Gotta
· Brett Massey
· India Thompson
· Max Warburton
Lucy Millington, Sophie McPeak
Inclusive sports and arts clubs recognised
Witney-based music society Lunchtime Recitals and Bampton Archery Club were the latest organisations to be presented with Inclusion Certificates at the ceremony, recognising their willingness to work with disabled people.
In addition to the Sports Awards, Council Chairman Cllr Norman MacRae presented a Chairman’s Award to Robert Wise of Carterton. For many years he was a Volunteer Reserve Training Officer in the Air Training Corps (ATC), helping lead and train hundreds of youngsters in aviation-related activities. He then became a member of the Civilian Committee which works with the squadron at RAF Brize Norton and filled the roles of Chairman, Treasurer, Auditor and organiser of the annual awards over the course of 24 years. That was followed by work for the Royal Air Force Association, helping to raise hundreds of pounds for the annual Wings Appeal. Having rejoined the Civilian Committee in 2014 to continue with fundraising, he has recently decided to stand down.
Mr Wise said: “It is marvellous to think that all my efforts have been recognised but I couldn’t have done it all myself. Having a good committee has maintained the ATC squadron which we built up from nothing.
“The ATC sets young people up for life and I have been fortunate enough to help thousands of them over the years.”
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