Celebrating our Sporting Superstars: Sports Awards Round-up
Students, staff and coaches across UB Sport enjoyed an evening of celebrations and recognition at the Sports Awards 2023! Introduced by Andy Alford, Director of Sport, the event was hosted by Helen Coy, Participation Development Manager, and Amy Preston, Club Development Manager.
With 13 different award categories including some new additions- it was brilliant to see so many sportspersons, clubs, and coaches being recognised for their sporting contributions across the year.
Read on for a breakdown of our winners!
Sport Colours are non-performance-based and awarded to individuals based on a member’s contribution beyond their established role, going over and above for their club or for sport across the University.
Presented by Carolyn Cutbill, Deputy Director of Sport.
Well done to Dani Ashwell and William Moss (Hockey), Georgia Pexton, Harriet Sanderson and Chloe Smith (Netball and Social Netball), Fin Proffitt (Athletics), Xinhe Xiong (Men’s Football) Lewis Keates, Will Bugg and Sophie Rollings (Rugby Union), Thomas Blake (Squash), and Zohaib Naqvee (Handball).
We then moved on announce our individual and team awards….
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
This Award recognises individuals who have committed themselves to a cause, activity, or event for the greater good of their club, University, or wider community.
Presented by Jon Elsmore, Director of Student Affairs.
Harriet Westlake won in this category, due to her dedication to the Politics Netball club, creating an inclusive and welcoming competitive community, organising the Campus League team, organising weekly matches against other universities, increasing participation from one team to two, and involving over 100 students in netball over the past two years.
This award acknowledges and celebrates the diversity and inclusion of sport within our clubs.
Presented by Adam Witt, BUCS Administrator.
The winner of this award was announced as the Sailing club, due to their work to reduce the cost barrier for members by paying for kit and allowing members to borrow, introducing accessible boat to cater for disabilities, and the captain of the club has worked with a local charity supporting young gang members, using sport as a tool for positive reinforcement.
CAMPUS LEAGUE TEAM OF THE YEAR
The Campus League Team of the Year award aims to recognise and celebrate the teams that best embody the Campus League ethos of participation, good sportsmanship and enjoyment of the game.
Presented by Beccy Hodson, Participation Development Officer.
Kinvig Hockey were crowned the winners, who have grown the team with new people across different year groups. They have help multiple socials, and are currently third in the league!
REGIONAL TEAM OF THE YEAR
The Regional Team of the Year award aims to celebrate the achievements of some of our stand out University teams that compete on a regional level within BUCS.
Presented by Matt Bridge, Deputy Head of the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences.
Congratulations to Hockey Women’s 4s, who were selected due to their three wins acros BUCS Tier 2 League, BUCS Conference Cup Finals and EH National League.
CLUB OF THE YEAR
This award is based on the overall success of a club across a number of areas. This can include – but is not limited to – committee and/or performance achievements, developments and innovation within the club, member engagement and connection with the wider sporting community both in- and external to the university.
Presented by Chris Anthony, Head of Sport Development.
The Athletics club were awarded the well deserved title for their various accomplishments across the year.
With over 25% of its 247 members medalling at competitions, over 365 BUCS points earned, multiple events attended and over 7500 hours completed for the Commonwealth Games 2022, it’s been an incredible year for the club!
Across the evening we also celebrated the achievements of our graduating scholars, and the impact they’ve had upon teams, clubs, and the University as a whole during their time with us.
Millie Giglio- having played a pivotal leadership role within the Women’s Hockey Performance Squad, both on the BUCS Premier League and National League stages throughout her 4 years at Birmingham, as well as the GB Elite Development Programme, 2021-22 UBSports’ Person of the Year Millie successfully captained the England U21 squad to a history-making bronze medal at the 2022 Junior World Cup.
Kira Rothwell – a firm fan favourite on the Vitality Netball Superleague scene that has continued to progress along the England Netball performance pathway. Consistently retaining her place on the prestigious England Roses Futures programme and gaining multiple selections to represent England during her time at the University, Kira’s been integral to the Netball 1s’ monumental rise up the BUCS rankings since enrolling at Birmingham 4 years ago.
Megan Richter – despite only joining the University in September for a one-year Masters in Cardiovascular Sciences, Megan has made the absolute most of her time at Birmingham, engaging fully with the support provided by the Performance Centre and Scholarship programme to prepare for and achieve a fantastic fourth place at the senior Para Triathlon World Championships.
Thomas Keen – coming in as European U18 800m Champion, Tom has continued to develop as an esteemed track athlete, claiming individual BUCS medals, international vests and even a British U20 record during his throughout his 5 years at Birmingham. This summer will see him break into the senior age category, after rounding out last season ranked 2nd in the 1500m in the U23 age group.
Sunni Jardine – the linchpin of the University’s Rugby Performance Squad, Sunni is the only player outside of the BUCS Superleague to be selected to represent England Students more than once. Ahead of graduating this summer, Sunni has signed a 2-year contract with a professional French team in Bordeaux.
Kiera Marshall – with a career high world ranking of 105, Kiera has not only successfully claimed 2 individual BUCS medals during her time at Birmingham – most notably the gold this year – but also recently led the Women’s Squash 1s to a commanding victory at this year’s BUCS Big Wednesday.
Stuart MacGregor – and last but certainly not least, with a career high world ranking of 129 and a hard-earned BUCS individual silver medal under his belt, Men’s Squash 1s’ long-standing captain Stuart MacGregor played an essential part in leading the team to its first Championship Team title since 2016.
Thank you to each of you for all that you’ve done for the University, Sport, the EDCAP scholarship programme and your Clubs during your time with us and we wish you all the very best for your future endeavours.
Half blues are awarded to those who have achieved either a BUCS individual medal or a BUCS Team Championship gold medal during the 2022-23 academic year.
Presented by Gary Bilham, Head of Philanthropy.
We saw 50 students across awarded their half blues across Athletics, Squash, Archery, Karate, Weightlifting, Swimming, Ultimate Frisbee and Rugby Union Women’s.
Full Blues are awarded to those individuals that have competed internationally at a senior championships and this year were awarded to: Andrew Stamp (Trampolining), Lily Walker (Hockey), Oliver Morgan (Swimming) and Megan Richter (Para-Triathlon) following their impressive progression and standard of performance on the senior stage.
STUDENT COACH OF THE YEAR
This award aims to recognise current students who are regarded as having made the most outstanding contribution to club sport through their role as a coach, working closely with their club committee to direct the development of the club and support members’ personal and performance development.
Presented by Florie Craddock, Sports Officer
Congratulations to Georgia Pexton, who has managed the Women’s 6s and coached the Women 5s leading to a BUCS League win, along with placing as runners up in the BUCS Conference Cup Final.
COACH OF THE YEAR
The Coach of the Year award is for an individual who is regarded as having made the most outstanding contribution to club sport through their role as a coach.
Presented by Mark Burns, UB Sport’s Performance Centre Lead.
Mairi Kerin’s dedication to the Karate Club earnt her the top title, helping the club achieve an overall total of 10 BUCS individual medals and the club’s highest ever BUCS finish.
The Outstanding Contribution award celebrates outstanding contribution made by an individual towards the continued improvement of UoB Sport & Fitness and the instances in which they have gone beyond expectations.
Presented by Simon Bray, Director of Campus Services.
This year Cheerleading won the award, as a consistent contributor to wider UBSport events, performing at all super series and open days and being proactive in putting their names forward to take part in new events.
NATIONAL TEAM OF THE YEAR
The National Team of the Year award aims to recognise and highlight the stand out successes of a select number of our University teams that compete on a national level within BUCS.
Presented by Luke Gunn, Head of Performance.
Well done to Squash Women’s 1s, who, for the first time in over ten years, claimed their first individual and Championship team title, as well as an individual bronze medal.
Image provided by WorldSportsPics.
SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR
To finish the award ceremony, the Sportsperson of the year award was presented. This is the highest individual accolade awarded by the University of Birmingham, in recognition and celebration of the very highest sporting level.
Presented by Cathy Gilbert, Head of External Relations, the nominees were: Lily Walker (Hockey), Andrew Stamp (Trampolining), Oli Morgan (Swimming), Lachlan Moorhead (Judo) and Will Barnicoat (Athletics).
A huge congratulations to well-deserved winner Lily Walker, who unfortunately couldn’t attend- coach ___ went on stage to accept the plaque on her behalf, with a short thank you speech.
Lily Walker was selected for a number of incredible reasons, most notably securing gold in the Commonwealth Games last year on campus!
Thank you to everybody who attended this event and made it so special! The Sports Awards always serve as an excellent reminder of just how much incredible sport and achievements take place across the year- and raise the bar for next year!
Event photo credits: Mark Assinder