‘Sky is the limit’ for Law as borough pays annual tribute to sporting stars
PUBLISHED: 13:30 23 February 2018
The sky is the limit for Havering Sports Council’s junior competitor of the year Max Law – according to volunteer of the year Sam Harrison, his coach.
The pair picked up two of the prizes on offer at the annual awards night at Upminster Golf Club, sponsored by McDonald’s Restaurants of Romford.
And Harrison feels 15-year-old Law, a multi-titled javelin thrower, can aim for the stars, saying: “As long as I can keep him fit and healthy the sky is the limit.
“Max, from a very young age, was an enormous talent. From the very first session he ever started when he was nine, I took photos and videos and sent them to other coaches and they said to me ‘how can this child be nine?’. The positions he was finding and the way he was throwing was just natural and a very high quality.
“As long as he’s interested and stays fit and healthy, he can go to Diamond Leagues, go to the Olympics, do whatever he wants in the sport.”
Law was number one in the world for his age in 2016, when he broke a world age best, and set a new Essex record last year, while also winning silver at the English Schools’ Championships and on England duty in Dublin.
Already a three-time England champion, and having pipped badminton starlet Liam Purton to his award, he is aiming for a place at the European Under-18 Championships later this year and said: “I like it because it takes you away from everything. You just go training and everything is gone, all worries, you just throw the javelin and it makes you feel a lot better. I just try and be the best I can when I throw.
“I couldn’t ask for a better coach. He always helps me, even when we’re not at training, if I need help with something he’ll help me. He’s always there, there’s never a training session when he’s not there.
“I’m hoping to make it as a javelin thrower competitively when I’m older, going to Diamond League, big competitions.”
Havering AC also won the club of the year prize ahead of new outfit Havering Triathlon Club, while veteran coach Warren Roe took the Doug Riden lifetime achievement award.
Harrison, who pipped young tennis coach Elise Donn to his own award, added: “I’ve been at the club nearly 25 years and it’s good to see the work we do, from when we used to be based at two tracks to the work we do here and at Campion School as well.
“Club nights, if you come down to the track, it’s always packed, very busy, there’s a double wave of athletes from youngsters and beginners who come early to more senior athletes who come later, you’ll never find it empty.
“On a Sunday morning it’s a free-for-all, anyone can turn up. Friday nights, Wednesdays, Mondays. Just look at the pages in the Romford Recorder!
“Look at what people are doing, internationally, locally, with the schools, it’s fantastic.”
Athletics also came out on top in the primary school team of the year category as St Edward’s had both finalists and Havering AC youngster Stephanie Okoro collected their prize, with the water polo team as runners-up.
But Coopers Coborn’s junior girls’ athletics team were pipped to the senior school team of the year prize by their under-19 gymnasts, who had won a national double. Although the athletes collected the prize on behalf of their classmates!
Havering athlete Kieran O’Hara – a national champion in four different track events – was a gracious runner-up in the disability competitor of the year category to cricketer Bradley Donovan, who led Harold Wood and Essex to titles in 2017.
And the competitor of the year prize went to Geoff Webb, from Romford Rifle & Pistol Club, after collecting a best-ever host of titles on the range in almost 30 years of shooting.
Runner-up Graham Newberry, a national ice skating champion from Collier Row, was absent from the ceremony, having been taken to the Winter Olympics in South Korea by the British Olympic Association as part of their ambition programme.
But all of those in attendance were able to celebrate another fine year for sport in the borough, with speeches from master of ceremonies John Whitby, Mayor of Havering Cllr Linda van den Hende, cabinet member for culture & communities Cllr Melvin Wallace and sports council president Peter Bruce.
Awards were sponsored by: West & Coe Funeral Directors, MDS Printers Ltd, Clly John Mylod, the Beadle family, Brentwood M & E Services Ltd, Cllr Melvin Wallace, DMS Fencing and McDonald’s Restaurants Romford.