Bedford Sports Awards 2013 nominees - part 2
We continue our look at the nominees in the 2013 Bedford Sports Awards.
The awards will be presented at Bedford Corn Exchange on Monday, December 9.
Young Sports Volunteer of the Year
Gino Ciampa – Football
Gino has now achieved 200hrs of volunteering in his sport and continues to offer help and advice to the younger members of his club. He also supports the County FA through volunteering at some of their events. Gino has now started a new development programme to become a level 1 coach and hopes that he can continue to move up the ladder throughout his time in sport. He is now looking to expand his knowledge in sport and hopes that he can continue the volunteering side of things when he starts college next year.
Greg Hubbert – Multi Sports
Throughout 2013, Greg has applied himself in a number of volunteering roles. He attends two disability multi sport sessions a week where he has developed a great rapport with young people with various learning and physical disabilities. He has volunteered with local schools by refereeing at a girl’s futsal league with pupils aged between 9-13 years old. Within his own school, he has helped with coaching younger year groups in rugby training, and has also assisted young children in a netball club. Greg is patient, hardworking and friendly volunteer who can approach the most challenging situations with a mature attitude.
Wayne Instrell – Multi Sport
It has been an inspirational success story for Wayne who has shown great character and determination to turn his life around. The Bedford Academy student and National Sky Sports Living Sport Student of the Year, had previously suffered from bullying which forced him to drop out of mainstream education. Volunteering his time for the Sky Living for Sport Project helped to boost his self-esteem and confidence to get back into mainstream lessons. Today, he has completed his GCSE’s and gained the grades for 6th form, he has also taken up Rugby and progressed to playing for Bedford Blues Youth. Wayne now hopes to inspire and help others to use sport to change their lives.
Benjamin Minney – Rugby
Benjamin’s love of Rugby has led him to volunteering many hours each week in the sport. For the Bedford Blues, he is a committed ball boy, kicking tee boy and kit/water helper at all of their home and away matches as well as assisting on training nights. Upon completing his level 1 and 2 referees qualification, he has been involved in the past year at middle school rugby festivals and gives up his time after school to referee Newnham Middle and Marston Vale school matches. On top of all this, he still finds time to coach tag rugby at Shelton Lower School.
Antonia Mitchell – Football
Antonia’s first season in charge at Bedford Ladies U11 football team saw her overcome self doubt, tears and selfsacrifice as she developed as a coach and mentor to her players. Children have responded well to her and she has inspired other teenagers at the club to coach, after seeing how rewarding the experience can be. As a result, she has started volunteering as a Teacher’s Assistant at Abbey Middle School, and is in the process of applying to Universities with the long term aim of becoming a PE teacher.
Alex Stark - Karate
Alex has grown up with the principles of martial arts and been learning karate since he was two years old. He is committed offering access to martial arts for people with disabilities and Alex has been involved with delivering a number of taster sessions for specialist disability groups such as Sport Zone, Mencap, Autism Bedford and many others. His superb attitude, patience and willingness to learn and pass on what he has learnt at such a young age and his work has been a credit to himself, the club and the sport of Karate. He is now a first degree black belt.
Sports Team of the Year
Bedford & County Cross Country and Road Team
Both the men’s and women’s teams have been successful at the National and Southern Championship events this year, bringing back medals for excelling in their age groups. Individually, one athlete represented GB as a senior, three as England U20 and one became the English Schools Champion. These dedicated amateur athletes train between three and fourteen times a week and have a range of excellent and inspirational coaches to help them to reach their goals. There are several athletes with the potential to represent Great Britain and the team is supporting them in achieving this.
Bedford Ladies Tug of War Team
The Bedford Ladies Tug of War Team has been training hard three times a week over the past year in all sorts of weathers in order to reach the European Championships in the Netherlands. This goal was achieved due to the commitment of their team and their coach and they were rewarded with a bronze medal in the Tug of War International Federation European Championships. They are now looking forward to bigger and better things in the future with their coach guiding them to achieve in this sport.
Bedford Mighty Eagles Ladies Team – Dodgeball
Bedford Eagles Ladies Team has been very successful despite only having been formed in the 2012/13 season. The team had high aspirations within the sport and within their first season they qualified for the National Dodgeball Championships by finishing second in the southern qualifiers. After an incredible performance at the Nationals the team finished first, making them the best in the UK in their first season. They were also promoted to the Premier League last season and have aspirations for a top three finish in this league this year. Their head coach is also the head coach of the England Women’s Dodgeball Team coach and attends training to ensure that players are performing at the highest level.
Bonito Squadra Corse Race Team – Cycling
This cycling team are led by an ex-professional road racer with over 30 years experience. The team have grown from 5 to 56 riders in less than one year and have many successes to show for their dedication and intense programme of cycle-specific training. Internationally, nationally, regionally and locally the team boast a huge number of achievements for both male and female riders. The elite ladies team which includes two Paralympian riders and 3 able bodied Paralympic Team members have the potential to be the strongest team in the UK. Bonito Squadra Corse aim to develop their ladies, men’s and masters teams to national level over the forthcoming seasons.
Khalsa Football Academy (KFA) U12’s Team
At this years prestigious UEFA Young Champions League Tournament KFA U12’s Team were victorious and came away as UEFA Young Champions League winners. The team were also triumphant in the London 2012 Inspire Futsal Championships and were the only futsal organisation nationally awarded the Olympic London 2012 Inspire Mark. KFA supports young people through football initiatives challenging barriers to sport and supporting their players. The Academy boasts a Brazilian Pro Licence coach and have an excellent reputation of developing young players, one of which, Dominik Topolsky has been offered an opputunity to play for some of the best clubs in the world.
Queens Park Youth Cricket Girls Squad U16’s
This squad has achieved inspirational success within the Queens Park community by challenging cultural barriers to sport. The U16 team are the only all female club squad in the County and have performed very well, winning half of their matches over the summer whilst playing against more experienced male teams. The squad coaches are dedicated to inspiring the next generation of female cricketers in the county, they have worked with Biddenham Upper School to organise the ‘Chance to Shine’ programme encouraging schools new female players to take up the sport.
Wootton Upper School U15’s Boys Rugby Team
The U15’s rugby team have had a very successful season winning both the County League and County Cup without conceding a single point in either competition. Their commitment to training and outstanding dedication at fixtures also saw them winning the East Midlands 7’s tournament. Some individual players have also achieved well this year with five players being selected for the county team, two for the East Midlands team and one for the EPDG Saints Squad. The school has also encouraged the boys to volunteer in many of their local schools and
clubs in order to help them in officiating tag rugby and to develop the sport across the Borough.
Sports Administrator/Club Person of the Year
Graham Brown – Rugby
Graham is the only non-playing volunteer for Bedford Tigers and in 2013 he organised £2000 worth of sponsorships from local companies. He has acted as club liaison to all oppositions at 1st and 2nd team levels to include completing match documentation on Saturdays and forwarding the results to the RFL at full time. On top of all this he also drives the mini bus for the Club.
Shaun Bower – Canoe Slalom
Shaun has been at the heart of Viking Kayak Club for over 6 years where he runs courses for new members and has worked tirelessly to increase community access to slalom racing at Cardington. He supports section coaches, runs safety and night paddling courses together with organising trips around the UK. He also ensures optimum use of club boats and equipment. He is the rock of this lively and friendly club and his leadershipship style, sense of fun ensures the best VKC experience.
Ian Cole & Steve Williams – Walking Football
Ian and Steve have introduced a walking football club to Bedford and now have up to 45 participants weekly. The club started in 2011 and since then they have worked on sustainability and the future development of the sport by encouraging their members to take first aid and football coaching awards. They work voluntarily giving time and commitment to provide this club. The club has members from all generations and many have not taken part in physical activity for some time, so this is a perfect start for anyone getting back into sport.
Alison Cooper – Triathlon
Alison is devoted to coaching swimming, cycling and mountain biking she encourages people by motivating all abilities and ages. She has consistent leadership, thoughtful planning, an inclusive training approach, gives advice and shares experiences. Since 2010 she has worked with Harriers Triathlon arranging tasters, club championships, and team events to increase participation. Alison has organised teams for Triathlon England National Championships and co-ordinated the Olympic legacy cycle ride through Bedford. She has worked on local events as a volunteer to encourage more participation.
Katarina Darcy and the Bedford Parkrun Volunteer Team – Running
Katarina and her Bedford Parkrun volunteer team organise a 5k run, jog or walk for all ages and abilities every Saturday morning promoting health, wellbeing and happiness to a lot of people. Katarina and the team are always there to set up the kit, organise briefings, timings and dismantle after the run. This fantastic weekly sporting session has been running for 2 years now. Katarina volunteered at the Olympics but still found time to make sure the Parkrun continued to run smoothly in her absence.
Martin Darlow – Cricket and Football
Martin has initiated and brought together clubs, schools, governing bodies and the local authority to work in partnership to deliver a project to increase participation in cricket and football in Queens Park. Martin has helped secure funding from the Sports England’s Inspired Facilities Award together with creating working partnerships with nine stakeholder clubs which benefit and are run by volunteers. The funding will benefit in excess of 200 sports people playing in clubs in this area.
Will Everitt – Rowing
Will is the Events Secretary for the four events that Bedford Rowing Club organises through the year which is a massive task in itself. Will has also found the time to write the code for a very successful timing/results computer system which allows competitors to receive their results witin minutes of crossing the finish line. A credit to the club, it is in no small part to Will that BRC events ran successfully and smoothly in 2013 and the October event entry reached record levels.
Steve Janes – Athletics
Steve has a dual role at Bedford and County AC: as a middle distance coach to some 40 U15 boys and as a successful Young Athletes Team Manager both winter and summer, with teams sometimes as large as 50. He spends an immense amount of time selecting and contacting athletes with a view to take part in competition and spends an average of six hours most weekends at events with the teams which he manages. His Cross Country Teams comprise largely of athletes he coaches and they won a number of medals at the National Championships this year.
Graham Laming – Road Cycling
Graham Laming is the driving force behind the 30 odd cycling events that Bedfordshire Road Cycling Club arranges each year. He supports time keeping, signage and provides all web assistance. He runs the Summer League, which attracts almost 200 different riders, average of 60 a night each Thursday. An inspiration to many at the club, one day and night during September, Graham stalwartly rode solo for 24 hours, around an 11.3 mile circuit over a very tough hill 27 times and riding 326 miles in total. In doing so he raised a very respectable £2,500 for Moggerhanger Hospice.
Mike Perry – Rowing
In three years as President of Bedford Rowing Club, Mike has set the foundations for developing an inclusive club that has seen membership double. Under Mike’s direction the club has run Sports Makers meetings, finished two successful Sportivate programmes and secured funding for much needed equipment as the club continues to grow. The club is looking forward to the development of new community partnerships which has seen them partnering with Bedford College’s Foundation group and getting their pupils with learning difficulties out on the water.
Derek and Sue Richards – Athletics
Derek is a supremely efficient Membership Secretary and Sue has, at different times, been both Secretary and Treasurer at Bedford and County AC. They jointly run the club reception desk at the track on Tuesdays and Thursdays and assist with reception for the Saturday morning Beagles section. In 2013, their tireless work in registering new members and dealing with all aspects of growing membership following the 2012 Olympics has been instrumental and essential to the smooth running of the club.
Daren Tee – Fencing
Daren is one of the most valued members of Bedford Fencing Club as well as one of the longest serving committee members. As well as being the Club Armourer, he is also a volunteer coach, mentor, competition organiser and is responsible for attracting and developing talent. He is a driving force behind the club’s continued success. Daren regularly travels to competitions as an unpaid coach to support the team and individual fencers. Daren continues to strengthen links between local clubs in Herts, Beds and Northants and has been actively involved in running training sessions for fencers across the region/borough.
Brian Woodrow – Hockey
Brian Woodrow OBE DL has been a member of Bedford Hockey Club since 1968 and as Club president the last 20 years, his hard work and dedication was instrumental in establishing the Bedford Sports & Hockey Centre, now a major facility in the Bedford Sports Network. As Chairman of the Bedford Sports Foundation, he has established a cricket square, nets and tennis courts and also helped the Shaheedi Games giving them a platform at Bedford Sport and Hockey Centre. Brian has just stepped down as President, the 1000 people who now use these facilities each week is a great legacy to Brian’s tremendous voluntary work.
Sports Coach of the Year
Allen Adamson – Athletics
With almost 40 years experience coaching Athletics Allen is a Level 4 Performance Coach in Sprints and is a member of the National Coach Development Programme. In past years Allen has coached a number of athletes to English Schools Titles, begun coaching two Paralympic athletes, he is a mentor to a number of coaches and was a team coach for England at the Loughborough International. Allen’s hard work and dedication to his sport has not gone unnoticed and he received the Athletics Eastern England Award for Services to Sport 2013.
Mark Bavington – Rowing
Being a nationally accredited rower in his youth Mark is a dedicated, inspiring coach and an advocate of rowing. Mark believes rowing should be available for all children to try whatever their background. Mark’s made a huge impact in the development of junior rowing at the Star Rowing Club, has implemented a ‘Try Rowing Scheme’, offered within the curriculum in 6 borough schools and was part of the schools programme which saw numbers of year 9 pupils try rowing rise from 200 in 2012 to 900 in 2013. Mark’s also coached an ex junior rower recently disabled in an accident in a customised boat which Mark engineered the purchase of.
Wendy Bedeau and Neslyn Pearson – Cricket
Neslyn and Wendy have coached the Queens Park Girls Cricket Team since 2007, an inseparable and complimentary double act who have developed not only a local team but woman’s cricket in Bedfordshire. Working perfectly together, Wendy on the skills side, Neslyn on the nurturing they have created opportunities for those girls whose culture doesn’t allow them to play mixed sport. In 2013 the girl’s team won half of their matches played, against all male teams. As a team they have maintained their strong reputation of sporting spirit, respect, excellence and friendship.
Leo Bonito – Cycle Racing
Developed by Leo, in only their first season of competition, Bonito Squadra Corse Team announced their arrival on the cycling scene by winning the Women’s Event of the Tour Ta Malta April 2013. Leo dedicates over 20 hours of coaching a week and attends cycle races throughout England to support his fellow riders. Internationally, nationally, regionally and locally the team boast a huge number of achievements for both male and female riders.
Simon Collier – Table Tennis
Simon started coaching a junior section at Elstow Table Tennis Club a couple of year ago to allow children of all ages and abilities to enjoy the game. Simon had the honour of coaching the Olympic Team from the Maldives last year and more recently started an over 60’s club which has seen its membership steadily grow. One youngster whom Simon coaches is in the top 20 players in the Country. Simon’s achievements are amazing, he puts others before himself and works very hard to get the best from standards from everybody he coaches.
Jackie and Dave Cheshire – Athletics
Both Jackie and Dave each coach three sessions per week within the Athletics Club. Jackie also undertakes additional sessions at St John’s Special School & College, they are both unpaid and work on a purely voluntary basis. Both have attended a number of workshops this year to improve their coaching knowledge and skills. They train and mentor young people to coach on the Beagles Scheme. 20 of their young athletes have achieved the nationally recognized 365 Awards and around 60 passport athletes have now graduated into the main club. The
tireless efforts of these two have meant that the coaching schemes they run continue to bear fruit and attract new members to the club.
Ian Douglas – Swimming
Ian has been with Moderian Swimming Club since he was a competitive swimmer in his youth. He has progressed from swimmer, teacher, coach to chief coach within five years. Ian was selected for England Talent Program coaching team, he got seven swimmers to the national stage this year and two through to finals, this is three times as many as any other club in the county and sitting within the top five clubs in the region for national qualifiers. Ian is a innovative coach and mentor who works closely with the committee of the club to continue growth.
Robert Flynn – Multi Sports
Robert started coaching YMCA Bedfordshire residents in April 2013 and his consistency has seen great improvements in terms of resident’s development. His style of coaching is inclusive and he always uses positive reinforcement even in times of managing difficult behavior. Robert established the sports training company Sporting Edge, he mentors and predominantly works with 16 – 24 year olds but has coached children as young as four and as old as 72 years old.
Barry Johnson – Athletics
Barry is a level 4 high jump coach and has been successful for a number of years in athletics winning medals at Southern and Northern Championships. Four of the athletes he coaches ranked within the top ten within their age groups in 2013. Barry is a voluntary and dedicated coach who’s aim is to take athletes from beginner level to national level. This year he has continued to study, learn, use his knowledge and experience for the benefit of the athletes he coaches.
Deborah Jones – Netball
Deborah has coached within her school role, coached the U18 netball academy to the national school finals and also taken on a new role of an assistant coach within a youth team. All of Deborah’s work is voluntary, at both school and club level, it is purely for her love of netball. Deborah’s school teams were league winners in two year groups and the netball academy team were district league winners, county champions and in the national finals narrowly missed out on the semi-finals by one goal.
Dr Jonathan Katz – Fencing
Professor Jonathan Katz, a three Weapon Performance Coach and coach educator has been senior club coach at Bedford Fencing Club for 20 years, leading a team of professional and volunteer club coaches. He has integrated a program of coach education and coach mentoring, supporting the growth of the club, which celebrates its 60th anniversary. He continually integrates his professional knowledge and experience in performance sport psychology to complement coaching at the club enhancing training, skills acquisition and competition performance.
Nikki Ledwick – Archery
With her hard work, commitment to promoting archery and the important role coaching play in the development of players Nikki has been a great ambassador for Ouse Valley Archers. She started a Junior Academy to exclusively train, improve and coach juniors within the club, setting goals and helping them to achieve them. Nikki’s dedication to the sport has been vital in the progress of the club, coaches and increase of participants.
Luke Simpson – Canoe Slalom
As an unpaid coach Luke introduced and managed a slalom coaching programme for U14 juniors at Viking Kayak Club. Luke also a structured training course at the Etienne Stott White Water Arena course which led to all 9 paddlers being promoted in the National BCU rankings, as a result can now compete alongside athletes from all around the country. Luke is closely involved in the ‘Paddle Power’ introduction initiative and participated in the 200 mile ‘Wales to Wash’ charity event.
Matt Smith – Football
Matt has been coaching for seven years and has worked with children from the ages of 5 to 11 years old. He has always emphasized that the development of the players in more important than winning and has stuck with this philosophy throughout his development as a coach. He has a Level two coaching qualification and he is currently working through the Module 3 Youth Award. Last year Matt received the FA National Community Coach of the Year in recognitions for his role as a grassroots coach.
Sam Smith – Blind Golf
Sam has been coaching Billy McAllister, a totally blind golfer, two to three times a week and has help him progress from 112th in the world to his current 6th ranking. Sam has attended conferences and lectures for courses on how to assist disabled people and cope with their needs as well as learning how to communicate on all levels. While coaching Billy he also teaches disabled children and is heavily involved in the coaching in the England and Wales Blind Golf Association.
Katherine Winger – Multi Sports
In the last year Katherine has qualified as a Level 1 FA coach and Level 2 Hockey coach, she attends coaching workshops and works with Early Years professionals to understand the Pre-School physical development. Katherine provides free hockey coaching to year 3 and 4 pupils at Hazeldene. She is also the founder of Sporty Mites which provide quality extra-curricular multi sport sessions for schools and has grown the group to 50 preschoolers and 30 school children.
Bobby White – Handball
Based at Biddenham College, Bobby has started and coached an England Handball’s Centre of Excellence which has already produced several Bedford based England and Future Handball Stars. On top of being the England Handball Captain he has been visiting schools all over the Country delivering master classes and inspirational assemblies to ensure the message from London 2012 is still being heard.
Disability Sport Award
Bedford Adult Multi Activity Club
The club was started in July 2013 in order to help offer some regular year round sporting opportunities to adults who participated in the annual summer Bedfordshire Games. The club aims were to attract participants from a wide range of settings so they could try out new sports, socialise and have fun. The club has attracted participants from over 11 different settings and more than 50 different people have attended the programme.
Eric Hartwell & Jean Gray – Blind Bowling
Eric and Jean have been working at the club for many years and run sessions for partially sighted and blind bowlers of all ages. Formed in 1999 and influenced by one man who had never played bowls before but was determined to play a sport after losing his sight. Eric and Jean are both unpaid coaches who dedicate many hours to the running of the club and are committed to ensuring it’s continuous success.
Claire Norman – Tennis
After securing Disability Tennis Network Status for Riverside Tennis Club in May 2013 Claire has taken the tennis sessions for people with disabilities from zero to five per week. Participants have gone from a handful of individuals to over 200 players through her programmes. Claire is now mentoring new coaches in other clubs throughout Bedfordshire in order to spread the skills and offer more activities.
Anne Tredget and Kathleen Stephens – Bedfordshire Games
The games are an annual athletics meeting for teenagers and adults with learning difficulties. Anne and Kathleen started the Bedfordshire Games in 1983 as they were concerned about the lack of competitive athletic events for older students. The games have grown over the years to boast over 350 participants competing each year to include a great number of different activities, races and competitions.
Sports Personality of the Year (Adult)
Rob Ashton – Rugby League
Rob took on the role of coach two years ago and he currently coaches two teams at Bedford Tigers. Both teams have participated in a regional league with the development side winning their league and a winning regional competition for the first time in the clubs history. Rob’s commitment is second to none, through Rob’s efforts the club’s participation has grown over the past two/three years, his dedication to the club, the local community and the sport of Rugby League have given many people the chance to participate in the sport.
Paul Brown – Drag Racing
At 24 years old Paul won all three Championships available in 2013 gaining him the titles of UK National Drag Racing Champion, Santa Pod Raceway Champion, and Shakespeare County Raceway Champion. At 20 he started racing and won the Santa Pod Championship in his first season proving that through hard work and preparation it is possible to race successfully in a low budget car. His achievements this year along with last years UK National Championship win make him one to watch again next season.
Reg Challinor – Ballroom / Latin Dance
Reg has opened a full time dance studio which runs seven days a week welcoming all ages and abilities. He uses his 40 years of experience to train and progress the careers of many, leading them to become world champions and just recently, a dancer from Bedford represented England in the Singapore titles. Reg has been instrumental in raising funds for dancers and charities alike raising over £17,000 from a ‘Strictly Bedford’ event. Reg has been an inspiration in the movement of Dance in Bedford.
Tom Church – Pool
At the age of just 17 Tom became a member of the England U18 Pool Team and for the last two years he has played for the England U21 Pool Team. He was a member of the England U21 four man team that won the World 8 Ball Tournament and played an important part of the team which beat Australia 5 – 0 in the 2013 final in Blackpool last June. Tom continues to practice regularly, dedicates time to help to coach the Bedfordshire County Youth Squad and is a role model for our future pool champions.
Rachael Clough – Ice Hockey
Rachel was selected for the England Ladies Ice Hockey Squad that toured Finland in August 2013. Rachel currently plays for MK Falcons and was part of the team that helped them to stay in the Premiership this season: She works very hard to try and achieve sponsorship and support. Rachel is determined to work hard to reach her goal key to which is play for Team GB and she is an inspiration to young players alongside her other team members.
Josh Cox - Athletics
Josh’s year as part of the U20 age group has been sprinkled with spectacular results as he won all of his races at both 100m and 200m. At the U20 National Championships he stunned the crowd clocking a time of 10.38 to become the National 100m Champion thus booking his place for the European U20 Championships where he finished 6th. He recently took silver at the English School Championship and his time remained recorded as the fastest in the UK for his age group. His commitment and discipline in training make him an ideal role model for others.
Silvia Earl – Fencing
In March 2013, Silvia qualified to represent GB at the Veterans World Championships in Bulgaria in October. She went on t0 win the Bronze Medal for the Sabre in her age category (60-69). She was the first woman to win the Bedford Fencing Club Master of Arms Competition. By competing in competitions for all age groups Silvia has demonstrated that age and experience can go up against youth and energy. Alongside her rigorous training regime Silvia gives her time to the club in her role as secretary and is a well respected athlete within the international fencing community.
Alex Edwards – Canoe Freestyle
From being European Dragon Boat champion multi medallist in 2012 Alex became a member of the GB Freestyle British Canoe Team as part of a selection process in 2013. Alex competed at the International Canoe Federation (ICF) World Championships 2013 in North Carolina USA and finished in 12th place in a very strong field. Alex is committed to his training and although works fulltime he cycles 24 miles a week, trains on the water every day sometimes twice a day and is a role model to all.
Gill Fullen – Triathlon / Duathlon
Gill has had a fantastic year in 2013, titles that she has won include; Triathlon England National Duathlon Champion, World Championship Gold Medals in long distance triathlon, short distance duathlon and sprint distance duathlon. She was a qualifier in the world championship Ironman 70.3 competition and has been nominated for the Lady Age Group Triathlete of the Year by the British Triathlon Federation. Gill is a committee member of Bedford Harriers AC and an active member of the Beds Road Cycling Club, she is truly an inspirational person.
Neilson Hall – Athletics
Neilson is an endurance runner whose speciality is Cross Country and Road Running, he has achieved some outstanding results in 2013. Alongside being selected to represent GB he ran the 4th fastest leg in the National Road Relays, he was 2nd in the South of England Cross Country Championships and a respectable 3rd at the National Championships. He is an inspiration to his team mates and an excellent role model by virtue of the dedication of his training and bringing success to the club.
Josie Huckle – Netball
Josie has a huge involvement in the sport and she is currently ranked 3rd in the World in England Netball. She has been selected for England Netball INTC Development Programme and has played for the England Senior FENA Team. She carries out 18 to 22 hours of training per week, has been involved with the Get Back Into Netball programme and coaches county level and master classes for children.
Billy McAllister – Golf
Billy has had an amazing year in 2013, he has won over eight titles, one of which was the British Blind Masters. Billy is currently training for the World Championships which are being held in Australia next May 2014. Although its been a busy year for Billy he has still dedicated time to start the process of creating a new charity ‘Disability Mentoring Advisory Services (DMAS). The charity’s main aim will be to mentor children with disabilities to believe they can achieve their life goals through the use of rehabilitative sport.
Aaron Morris – Rugby
Aaron has been playing for the Bedford Academy for the past three seasons and this year was selected for the England Schools and Clubs U18 Rugby Squad. Within this squad he played against Ireland setting up three tries which were scored. Aaron was also the youngest person to play for Bedford Blues 1st XV in the professional era. All of his work has paid off and he has been given a dual contract with Saracens RFC and with Bedford for this season.
Rebecca Murray – Athletics
In 2013 Rebecca’s main achievements came from the field of Cross Country, amongst her many successes she was the first Bedfordshire Cross Country Champion for 20 years at the English Schools Cross County Championships. Appropriately she follows in the footsteps of her idol Paula Radcliffe who won the same senior title back in 1992. Rebecca is a dedicated athlete training for six or seven days a week in all weathers which has reflected in her performance by improving her 1500m time by 10 seconds this season.
Amy Nash – Dressage
Amy has been selected to ride for Bedford County Team, British Young Riders Development Scheme’s Elite Squad. She has previously competed for England at Youth Level and also competes for the Eastern Region. Amy lost her horse last year which was a major setback: She is extremely dedicated to the sport of Dressage, has a bright future and aims to be selected for Team GB Young Rider Selection in 2014. Her eight years of training set her in good steed in reaching all of her aims and aspirations to achieve more each year.
Josh Noblett – Underwater Hockey
In August of this year Josh played for the U23 GB Underwater Hockey Team at the World Championships held in Eger, Hungary. This competition is every two-three years and is the highest level of competition for the sport. After two incredibly tough weeks the team were placed 5th after going out in the quarter finals. Josh helps to coach younger players, he took a junior squad to a junior national tournament in Sheffield and they came a close 2nd narrowly losing out in the final in sudden death play off. Josh is a great role model to the juniors and other club members.
Charlotte Porteous – Dodgeball
Charlotte is a coach and player for both Bedford and England Dodgeball teams. Being an England international Charlotte has undoubtedly contributed to the clubs success this season helping the Men’s and Women’s teams to many victories including winning the UK National Championships. Charlotte was recently selected for the England Women’s Dodgeball Team representing them at both the Home Nations winning gold and the European Championships in August winning their third consecutive gold.
Lisa Rattu – Rounders and netball
Following trials October 2012, Lisa was asked to represent England in the Rounders Team at age 44. She played in Wales in international fixtures and in other showcases and festivals across the UK. Lisa is no stranger to competing in sport at world level and has previously represented England in Netball. Alongside coaching juniors Lisa became coach and captain of the Bedford Rounders team ‘Team Extreme.’ Under her guidance the team have won the Bedford League every season and remain unbeaten.
Becky Reed – Netball and rounders
Becky plays netball for Bedford team Wyvern Grangers who currently play in the regional league. She has played rounder’s for England since the age of 15 and captained the U19’s in 2013. Becky attends the East Regional Performance Academy which is for the top 20 U19 netball players in the East Region. Becky has a real passion for the game, she trains for 18 hours per week and puts her level 1 coaching qualification to good use at her club and local schools across all years.
Outstanding Achiever Award
Holly Aitchison – Golf
Holly is a 26 year old professional golfer who started her 2013 season ranked 32nd on the ISPS Handa Order of Merit. Holly’s achievements this year include 22nd place at the Sanya Ladies Open in China, 17th place at the Lacoste Ladies Open in France and 22nd at the World Ladies Championship, Mission Hills in China. Holly first started playing golf at the age of 11 and turned pro nearly five years ago.
Jaron Johnson – Dancing
Jaron made the semi finals in ‘Got to Dance’ and also choreographed a group called ‘Flowidity’ which was also in the series. Jaron is part of Studio 86 Dance Group in London and also runs 2Step in Bedford, where he teaches and choreographs. Recently Jaron is one of the main dancers in the ‘Little Mix, Move’ music video and is currently on tour with them.
Jon Miles – Cycling
Jon organised the ‘3 days of Bedford’ Women’s International Cycle Race in May where every woman rider who won a gold medal in London 2012 participated. Jon won British Cycling Federation Volunteer of the Year in 2006 and British Cycling Federation Gold Badge of Honour. Jon is instrumental in getting the Women’s UCI Tour to Bedford in 2014.
James Pritchard – Rugby
The captain of Bedford Blues, James has succeeded in passing Gareth Rees’ total of 491 to become the leading point scorer in Canadian Rugby. His 23-point haul against Tonga and nine points against Ireland in recent internationals has seen James leap-frog Rees with 494 points. Now he hopes to make the 2015 World Cup in his adopted home of England.
George Thorne – Football
George is an ex Biddenham School student, now playing football at the highest level. He made his début for West Bromwich Albion in 2009-10 and at 16 years and 328 days, this made him the youngest player to represent Albion in a senior competitive match. Unfortunately in February George announced that he would be out of action for six to eight months due to a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament.