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UEL honour sporting success stories

09:30 15 May 2014

Nicole Cooke displays her 2008 Olympic gold medal during the Team GB homecoming (pic: PA)

Nicole Cooke displays her 2008 Olympic gold medal during the Team GB homecoming (pic: PA)

PA Archive/Press Association Images

University hosts glittering awards night

Former Olympic champion Nicole Cooke MBE received a lifetime achievement award and honorary doctorate from the University of East London at their annual sports awards last night.

The presentation evening, held at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, celebrated and rewarded the efforts and successes of UEL’s highly talented sports students and clubs after the most thrilling year of sports at the university.

But it also paid tribute to 2008 Olympic cycling champion Cooke for her achievements and for speaking out about the injustices and inequalities in her chosen sport since retirement.

London Olympic 100m semi-finalist and UEL Sports scholar Adam Gemili, who recently won gold at BUCS (British Universities & College Sports) Championships, claimed the Mike Brace CBE award for Individual Achievement of the Year, for which Douglas Bennett, Kimberley Baptiste and Lawrence Okolie were also short-listed.

And staff member and epee fencer Dr Lindsay Bottoms, who represented GB this year, was recognised with an international excellence award, alongside Bennett and Julia Scardone.

UEL celebrated 11 medals at the recent BUCS athletics and rowing championships, as well as six at the indoor championships for athletics, judo and boxing in March.

And the men’s basketball and volleyball teams made university history by becoming the first ever teams to qualify for the BUCS premier league, earning them Director of Sport David Cosford’s new Premier award as a result.

The women’s coxed four rowing squad won Team Achievement of the Year, while the netball squad were named Most Improved Club and the taekwondo squad took Club of the Year, as Shujahat Fiaz was named Coach of the Year.

Richard Buscombe, Josephine Fox, Will Ashby, Mohit Rohra, Daniel McAndrew, Maximilian Oertel, Giulia Mazzia, Sunniva Naess and Bennett all received Service to Sport awards, while Emmet McEvoy was named sports journalism student of the year and Jacqueline Bormann took the sports therapy student of the year prize.

Meanwhile, West Ham Community Sports Trust were named UEL’s partner of the year and Cosford said: “UEL is one of the best universities for sport in London. The students who study here are some of the highest achievers in their sport, we have brilliant, experienced and dedicated staff and fantastic facilities.

“These awards are testament to the hard-work, perseverance and talent of everyone at UEL and they richly deserve the recognition they will get on the night.”

BBC Football League presenter Manish Bhasin was compere for the evening and said: “I’m so impressed at the talent the University of East London has grown and nurtured in a diverse range of sports, particularly over the last 12 months.”

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