Today (12 November) nine winners took home the trophies at the 2016 Triathlon England Awards, recognising the incredible commitment these individuals have made to the sport of triathlon in the last year.
The first award of the evening, Volunteer of the Year, recognised an individual who has shown a huge amount of dedication to her club, Tri Sport Epping. Winner Elisabeth Ross acts as Welfare Officer for the club, as well as being actively involved in the clubs Try-a-Tri event, always having time for a chat after training with new members to the club. Young Volunteer of the Year went to Charlotte Gowers, who at 17 years old coaches on a weekly basis at her local club, Infinity Triathlon Club. On receiving her award Charlotte said “I've been competing in triathlon since I was really tiny so it's lovely to give back to the children in my club. I feel like I have a responsibility to make sure that they have a good time, like I did when I was younger.”
I've been competining in triathlon since I was really tiny so it's lovely to give back to the children in my club
Honouring their work within ensuring athletes follow the sports rules, Official of the Year was awarded to Tony Smalley. Tony is continually looking to improve his knowledge, recently completing his National Technical Official (NTO) Course and Moto Officials Course. On his award Tony said “I really wasn't expecting to win the national award! I started officiating in 2010 and since then have completed all of the Technical Official (TO) courses in order to help out my local club.”
Children’s Coach of the Year at this year’s awards went to Caroline Hattee who along with her husband was instrumental in setting up Ketton Junior Panther Tri Club in the East Midlands, which has grown to 120 members in the past five years.
Participation is what it's all about, it's the reason I coach
Dean Ratcliffe of Medway Tri was awarded Participation Coach of the Year. Alongside four other coaches he helps to deliver over 15 sessions a week for the club, which includes both a junior and adult section. “Participation is what it's all about, it's the reason I coach - to get more people into the sport” Dean commented. Club of the Year was awarded to Medway Tri, who’s membership has grown by over 50% in the past year. Club Secretary Andi De Whit said “I think our club has been so successful because of the structure we've got. We're looking to grow even more in 2017 with more sessions, more coaches and hopefully more athletes”.
We're looking to grow even more in 2017 with more sessions, more coaches and hopefully more athletes
Children’s Event of the Year was won by Trinity Triathlon, an event hosted by local club Crystal Palace Triathletes and Trinity School. The event is used by many local regions for selecting their team for the yearly Inter Regional Championships (IRC’s), with many clubs also using the event to host their Junior Club Championships. Club Event of the Year was awarded to Deva Divas, a women’s only triathlon organised by Chester Triathlon Club. On winning the award a representative commented “This award means a lot for everyone at the club who has put so much time into the event this year. A lot of women are put off by competing with men, and in our event the ladies support and encourage each other in a really friendly environment”. Grafman Middle Distance Triathlon, organised by family run NiceTri took home the Commercial Event of the Year award. “We pride ourselves on putting the athletes first in all of our events. We started the Grafman five years ago with 60 competitors and have grown to an event that welcomed over 1,000 people in 2016” said the organisers.
Triathlon England would like to congratulate all nominees, and thank the hundreds of people across the country who give up their time week in, week out, to help shape and grow our wonderful sport.