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Sports Council honour 2013 sporting stars

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Havering Sports Council honoured some of the borough’s biggest sporting stars during their annual presentation evening at Upminster Golf Club last night.

And the biggest winners were Havering Mayesbrook Athletics Club, who came out on top in five of the eight categories.

After opening speeches from golf club captain Howard Tidd, deputy mayor Cllr Linda Trew and master of ceremonies John Whitby, the ceremony began with Max Law following in the footsteps of big brother Alex in winning the Junior Male Sports Competitor of the Year.

Law pipped national boxing champion Sonny Ali – last year’s winner – and swimmer Joshua Arnone to his prize, before clubmate Michelle Hughes took the Junior Female Sports Competitor of the Year award ahead of fellow Havering Mayesbrook member Freya Gutteridge and British archery champion Rhiannon Easton.

GB international Lauren Deadman held off the challenge of another Havering Mayesbrook cross-country and track star in Lydia Hallam and world karate champion Sam Hulbert for the Sports Competitor of the Year honours to complete a quick treble for the athletics outfit.

After long-serving football referee George Marsh claimed the Sports Volunteer of the Year prize, ahead of boxing’s Dean Smith and apprentice tennis professional Jordan Sargeant, there was recognition for Coopers Coborn’s senior tennis squad, who claimed the Secondary School Sports Team of the Year award following their third-place finish at the National Finals in Bolton.

Coopers held off Marshalls Park’s year 11 netball team and the Frances Bardsley football department for their prize, while Newtons Multi-Sports squad beat Ardleigh Green’s indoor athletics squad and St Joseph’s Quicksticks hockey team in the Primary School category.

Havering Mayesbrook picked up their fourth win of the night when pipping Hornchurch & Elm Park Boxing Club and the Havering Acrobatics Gymnastics Club for Sports Club of the Year, before long-serving coach Patrick Gahagan got the nod ahead of Hornchurch & Elm Park boxing trainer Tony Martin and Hylands tennis coach Georgio Bugnatelli for the Doug Riden Lifetime Achievement award to complete the haul.

Sports Council President Peter Bruce then made a special presentation to GB Paralympian and four-time world swimming champion Amy Marren, following her stunning progress in the pool.

The Hall Mead pupil, 15, becomes only the second recipient of the President’s Award in the event’s 40-year history, with world boxing champion Colin Lynes having been acknowledged previously.

Cabinet Member for Culture & Communities Cllr Andrew Curtin then addressed the audience, thanking Upminster Golf Club for providing the setting for an “extremely enjoyable evening” and saying how impressed he was by the breadth of disciplines represented, the elite performance of winners and the quality of youth sport in the borough.

Bruce then rounded off proceedings with a light-hearted closing speech, reflecting on his own boxing, football and tennis careers.

“I boxed against Dave Charnley, who went on to fight for the world lightweight title,” said Bruce.

“I really had him worried in the first round too. He thought he’d killed me!” he added, before inviting guests to the post-ceremony buffet.

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