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Havering honours sporting heroes

PUBLISHED: 08:23 10 February 2015 | UPDATED: 08:23 10 February 2015

All the winners pose for a photograph at the Havering Sports Council Awards at Upminster Golf Club (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

All the winners pose for a photograph at the Havering Sports Council Awards at Upminster Golf Club (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Sports Council awards highlight achievements

The borough’s sporting stars of 2014 were honoured at Havering Sports Council’s prestigious annual awards evening at Upminster Golf Club last night.

And as Cllr Melvin Wallace, cabinet member for Culture & Communities, pointed out, this year’s finalists were just a small proportion of the sporting talent in Havering.

He said: “To those who were chosen, that’s brilliant. There are so many really good kids to pick from. A couple of hundred could have been here.”

After a welcome from Upminster club captain Chris Pinder, Mayor of Havering Cllr Linda Trew spoke about the values of teamwork, social inclusion and staying healthy.

“Stick at it and become our inspiration,” she told the sportsmen and women in the audience, before master of ceremonies John Whitby talked of the physical, mental and developmental benefits of being involved in sport and paid tribute to the work of volunteers.

The presentation ceremony then got underway with Havering athlete Max Law named Junior Male Competitor of the Year ahead of clubmate Jairzinho Morris and tennis ace Oliver Beadle, having earned a UK number one ranking for his age group in javelin and discus.

The Junior Female award went to all-rounder Hannah Humphreys, a West Ham and Essex footballer who also plays cricket for Harold Wood and Essex and is set to head off on a tour of the United Arab Emirates with the county’s under-19s this weekend.

Humphreys pipped athlete Zoe Thompson and young footballer Ruby Mace to the prize, before the main Competitor of the Year award was presented to Great Britain Paralympian Amy Marren.

The Hornchurch and Romford Town swimmer had won two gold and three silver medals at last year’s European Championships and also set a world record and two European records in the pool, getting the vote of the panel ahead of high-achieving Havering athletes Michelle Hughes and Thomas Pitkin.

The Volunteer of the Year honours went to Romford & Gidea Park coach Rob Petrie, ahead of Havering Athletic Club’s John Duncan and Sam Harrison, before the focus turned to school sport.

Coopers Coborn’s athletics team held off their own biathlon squad and the Marshalls Park Year 11 netball team to take the Senior School prize, while Ardleigh Green’s indoor athletics team pipped the Hylands boccia/para swim team and Rise Park football team to the Primary award.

Then Havering Athletics Club added to their haul with the Club of the Year honours, ahead of Harold Hill Bowls Club and Havering Tri.

That left the Doug Riden Lifetime Achievement award to round off proceedings and cricketing stalwart Roy Smith received the prize, following 26 years at Ardleigh Green and a successful debut campaign with Hornchurch last year, ahead of fellow finalists Larry Ralph and Debbie Webb.

Cllr Wallace then took to the mic to thank the golf club for their 15 years of support, as well as award sponsors, before recounting the memorable line from golfing legend Gary Player.

“The more I practice, the luckier I get,” said Player famously.

And judging by some of the citations heard last night, practice is certainly paying off for Havering’s sportsmen and women.

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