Page last updated at 28 April 2016 at 13:33
A highly enjoyable evening was enjoyed by everyone who attended the Eastleigh Sports Awards yesterday evening (Tuesday 9 February 2016).
Thanks to generous sponsorship from the Ageas Bowl, this year’s event took place in the magnificent ballroom of their new four-star hotel, Hilton at the Ageas Bowl. The evening was a great opportunity to celebrate some of Eastleigh Borough’s greatest coaches, athletes, volunteers, teams and clubs - and to recognise their sporting achievements and the huge contribution they make.
The awards evening was organised by Eastleigh’s Sport and Physical Activity Alliance (SPAA). Lou Gittens, Chair of the Eastleigh SPAA, and ex-Saint Francis Benali, the Alliance’s Official Ambassador officially opened the event, which was compered by former Hampshire cricketer and BBC Radio Solent presenter, Kevan James. Guests were also treated to inspirational interviews with our Olympic and Paralympic local legends Kelly Simm, Peter Hull and Daisy Robinson.
Participation Coach of the Year
Congratulations to Hayley Payne, Matthew Marshall and Sunil Bali who were shortlisted for this award. Hayley Payne took the trophy due to her work with Eastleigh running club in 2015. Thanks to for Eastleigh Games 2012 Legacy Group for sponsoring this award.
Performance Coach of the Year
Congratulations to Stuart O'Connor (Boxing), Graham Mabey (Angling) and Darren Flint (Cricket) who were shortlisted for this award. This was an incredibly strong category, with all coaches having enjoyed International success. The winner was Stuart O’Connor for his ground-breaking work with Poseidon Boxing Club. Thanks to Sport Hampshire and IoW for sponsoring this award.
Senior Sportsperson of the Year
Congratulations to Emily Hewitt (Canoeing) and Kelly Simm (Gymnastics) who were shortlisted for this award. Both athletes had an amazing 2015 - and are ones to watch in the future - but the winner was Kelly Simm for her part in the Great Britain Women’s Artistic Team Bronze at the World Championships in Glasgow. Thanks to Eastleigh College for sponsoring this award.
Senior Disability Sportsperson of the Year
Congratulations to David Smith (Boccia) for winning this award. David ended 2015 ranked second in the world and Great Britain’s number one. The International Paralympic Committee have named him one of only eight athletes to watch out for at Rio. Thanks to Exxon Mobil for sponsoring this award.
Junior Disability Sportsperson of the Year
Liam Hall won the junior title for the second year running due to his continued improvement and the progress he has made in Goalball during 2015. He recently represented Great Britain in a youth tournament in Denmark and another in Birmingham. Thanks to Exxon Mobil for sponsoring this award.
Sports Team of the Year
Congratulations to Eastleigh & Winchester District Football Team, Toynbee U13 Girls Rugby Team and Fair Oak Cricket Club 1st XI for being shortlisted for team of the year. Fair Oak Cricket Club 1st XI won this award after completing a perfect 20 victories in 20 games for the 2015 season in County Division One and T20 Competition. Thanks to Hilton at the Ageas for sponsoring this award.
Junior Sportsman of the Year
Congratulations to Bradley Barrett (Karting), Ethan Smith (Snow Boarding, Cross & Freestyle) and James Weatherill (Indoor Rowing) for being shortlisted for the competitive Junior Sportsman category. Ethan Smith won this award due to his recent snowboarding success. Ethan is the youngest full member of Team GB for Snowboard Cross and the only Team GB dual discipline athlete. Thanks to Trophyman for sponsoring this award.
Junior Sportswoman of the Year
Congratulations to both Grace Griffiths and Holly Powell for being shortlisted in the junior sportswoman category. Grace was crowned winner of this category due to success in multiple athletics and football: she won all three of her events, achieving Championship Best Performance in the 200m at the Hampshire County Championships, and won Gold in the 200m National Finals. She is also ranked 6th in the UK Pentathlon. Thanks to the Daily Echo for sponsoring this award.
Junior Volunteer of the Year
Miles Pearce (Judo), Jonno Guy (Football) and Jordan Fugh (Judo) were shortlisted in this category for a range of volunteering achievements over 2015. Jordan Fugh won the title for the commitment and personal dedication he has given to Fleming Park Judo Club during 2015. Thanks to Eastleigh Youth & Community Trust for sponsoring this award.
Senior Volunteer of the Year
This was an incredibly tough category with four brilliant individuals achieving recognition. Dan Rush (Boxing), Chris Fawcett (Canoeing/Kayaking), Stephen Philpott (Canoeing/ Kayaking) and Sandra Coffin (Rugby) were shortlisted for their amazing dedication to sport in Eastleigh Borough. The winner was Dan Rush for the hundreds of hours he gives to Poseidon Amateur Boxing Club. His performance as an athlete and his contribution to the club is even more impressive given that Dan has cerebral palsy. He is an incredible role model to all the club’s members, and his enthusiasm and drive are infectious. Thanks to Age Concern for sponsoring this award.
Outstanding Personal Achievement
Congratulations to Karen Andrews (Athletics) and Russell Hersey (Judo) for being shortlisted for this award. Russell was the winner of this award having recently undergone major heart surgery. He recovered quickly and was soon back on the mat coaching and practicing Judo. In April 2015, Russell successfully achieved his black belt. Thanks to Places for People, who manage Fleming Park Leisure Centre, for sponsoring this award.
Club of the Year
In this highly competitive category Fair Oak Cricket Club, Hedge End Running Club and Southampton Mustangs Baseball Club were shortlisted. Fair Oak Cricket Club were crowned champions after winning multiple titles, but also for putting on many grass-roots sessions including growing their juniors, women’s and disability development. Thanks to The Ageas Bowl for sponsoring this award.
Service to Sport
The final category of the evening is the prestigious Service to Sport category given to those who have committed a minimum of ten years to their chosen sport. All three winners continue to be great inspirations to all those that they continue to mentor.
Gwen Silvester founded Swan Netball Club in 1982. She wanted to start a club for mums with young families and formed a Netball Club based at Crestwood School. More than 30 years on she is still a very active volunteer and a well-loved member of the Swan netball family, which boasts 17 teams and over 300 people. Gwen has always been an active volunteer for the club holding various roles.
Keith Richardson established Dynamo School of Gymnastics in 1986 achieving a twinning arrangement with Michael Veronin at the world famous Dynamo Moscow. Coaching at national level and running regional clinics and squads, he produced both male and female Olympians - a unique achievement in a sport demanding separate coaching methods and timescales. Working with the Borough Council Keith has been responsible for providing fantastic facilities that enable local talent to compete at the highest level.
Gordon Kemish started Judo in 1975 and is head coach at Fleming Park Judo, presiding over a team of dedicated coaches, many of them his former students. Gordon has been coaching judo for over 30 years and, despite being at an age when many people are looking forward to putting their feet up, he continues to do so. Under his guidance the club has grown in strength year-on-year and is now one of the biggest in the county with players of all ages and abilities. Thanks to Eastleigh Borough Council for sponsoring this award.