Record entries as EHDC Sports Awards showcase the
From martial arts to baton twirling, through squash,
swimming, tennis and trampolining the very best of sport was celebrated
at the East Hampshire Sports Awards last week.
Hundreds of local sports stars, coaches, volunteers and
supporters packed out the Old Thorns Golf and Country Estate, in
Liphook, at East Hampshire District Council’s prestigious annual
ceremony on Thursday 15 February.
Star quality was provided by Olympic Silver medallist
Roger Black, one of the south’s most recognised sporting celebrities,
who hosted the evening and from special guest marathon man Ben Smith.
Ben ran 401 marathons in 401 days and he spoke
inspirationally about the challenges and set-backs he overcame while
completing his 10,506 miles, the equivalent of running from London to
The audience were alternately enthralled and amused by
both Ben and Roger’s memories and anecdotes and both were inundated
with requests for selfies as part of the council’s social media selfie
But the centre of attention were those nominated for the
evening’s 17 awards. A mix of fierce competitors, driven coaches and volunteers
who work so that others can play were all given their moment in the
With more entries this year than ever before, the
nominees were drawn from all corners of the district, from all age
groups and from a diverse array of sports.
Football and rugby, trampolining, golf, sailing,
swimming, squash, tennis, walking netball and even a pub pool team
which won a national trophy in Blackpool were represented.
Alton and Petersfield led the field of winners with five
each, while Four Marks, Whitehill & Bordon, Ropley, Horndean,
Liphook and Bentworth also produced winners.
Cllr Julie Butler, EHDC’s Deputy leader and Portfolio
Holder for Customer Relations said: “It was a truly inspirational
evening and everyone went away uplifted by what they had seen and
“I want to thank Roger and Ben for their spellbinding
contributions with memories and anecdotes. Roger hosted the evening
with warmth and wit and Ben left us all speechless with his
inspirational tale of endurance and self-motivation.
“It was incredibly moving to see so many people from all
over East Hampshire and from so many sporting disciplines each with a
brilliant story to tell. This event grows by the year and we look
forward to the next one with keen anticipation.”
List of nominees and winners
1. Portfolio Holder award
Nominees: Ropley Cricket Club Girls Team; Hollywater
School; Florence Harry, Baton Twirling - Alton
The three nominees for this award could not be separate
and were announced joint winners
Ropley Cricket Club Girls Team
Ropley Cricket Club run junior sections from U7s to U15s. A few girls
played for various sections but the club never previously had enough to
field a team.
After a huge push for girls on a cold February night only two girls
Undeterred by the turn out the girls appealed to their friends and
spread the word and the team grew to 12. With little or no cricket
experience, their commitment to the sport, friendship and having fun have
been the key ingredients.
Although the team is yet to win a match their successes have been
measured in winning the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ award.
As a school for children with special needs, Hollywater has a focus on
being inclusive and recognises the importance for their pupils to be
In 2017 the school participated in a variety of sports including
athletics, panathlon, table cricket, ball skills and kwik cricket. They
won the table cricket competition and placed in varying medal
positions, including coming overall first as a school.
All the children ‘give it a go’ with a positive attitude even when the
competition is challenging.
Florence Harry – Baton Twirling,
Shining Light Twirlstars
Florence is currently the British Baton Twirling Federation National
Twirler of the year for 2017, as well as regional Open Competition
Twirler in her age group at eight years old.
Florence only started twirling in 2015 as part of her club, Shining
Light Twirlstars in Alton.
She loves her sport and is always ready to help younger members of the
2. School Team of the Year
Nominees: Bohunt School U13 Girls Football, Liphook;
Horndean C of E Junior Athletics Team; Herne Girl’s Football Team,
Winner: Herne Junior School Girl’s
Football Team, Petersfield
This team has had a phenomenal 2017. They began the year in May by
winning the Hampshire cup against Oakley in Basingstoke to be crowned
the best U11 girls school team in Hampshire.
In June the team won the Hampshire Games trophy where they played
against the best 25 teams in Hampshire.
In October they played the U11s regional qualifiers, which they won,
and they will be going to Bristol this April where they will represent
Hampshire against all the counties of south and west of England to try
to reach the national finals in July.
The team have inspired over 50 girls to join the school’s after-school
club, which is currently larger than the boys’ club!
3. Junior Team of the Year
Nominees: Alton Hockey Club U12 boys; Alton RFU U13
Both nominees were announced as joint winners
Winner: Alton Hockey Club U12 boys
This team has not only won the North Hampshire U12 Division but has
also completed the season unbeaten, dropping only two points in the
The U12 age group is the first competitive opportunity for juniors and
the boys have really stepped up approaching each game with
determination and enthusiasm.
The team has given the younger players in the club aspirations to keep
playing and their achievements have put Alton Hockey Club on the hockey
map with their successes.
Winner: Alton RFU U13
The team have had an outstanding season, winning several tournaments,
both in 15-a-side and 7s rugby. The highlight being winning the
Hampshire County Cup for the third consecutive year.
The team played and won all five matches, scored 31 tries and conceded
only four in the process.
The squad and club commit to the core values of the sport, teamwork,
respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship. The team received
many positive comments and praise from match officials and opposition
Junior Sportsman of the Year
Nominees: Luke Anstey, Sailing, Liphook; Ben Osborne,
Volleyball; Harrison Fry, Kendo; Samuel West, Golf
Winner: Luke Anstey – Sailing –
Luke has been selected onto the British Youth Sailing Pathway which
runs from junior level to the Olympic squad. He is also part of the RYA
UK Junior Squad – RS Feva.
Luke has achieved and exceeded in the top ten positions in all six
major RS Tera Events.
Luke won his first national RS Tera End of Season Championship in 2017
and won the Signet National Championship. He is ranked third nationally
and came 15th in the World Championships.
Luke was one of the first to sail RS Teras when he started in his club
five years ago. Now he inspires over 30 young people to follow in his
footsteps. Luke intends to complete his RYA Assistant Instructor accreditation
in 2018 to help with training.
Junior Sportswoman of the Year
Nominees: Lucy Williams, Judo, Ella Hamilton, Swimming;
Toni Shering, Karate, Four Marks Martial Arts Academy; Charlie Dean,
Charlie Dean and Toni Shering were announced joint
Winner: Charlie Dean, Cricket,
Charlie captained the Hampshire U17 Women’s Cricket T20 team in the
2017 season. Charlie was awarded the batting prize and scored more runs
than in her previous season.
Charlie achieved a place in the Southern Viper KIA Super League squad
and in the England Women’s Senior Academy for 2017/18.
Charlie is ranked the number two player for batting, bowling and the
number one for fielding across all age groups in Hampshire in 2017. She
scored 638 runs at 33.6, took 26 wickets at 23.5, took 12 catches and
managed three run-outs.
Charlie played in all the Hampshire Women senior games and was ranked
16th nationally for her batting and 14th nationally for her bowling.
Winner: Toni Shering, Karate, Four
Toni has had an amazing 2017, winning cadet and adult female gold
medals at Karate Kata. Toni is an established team member on the karate
Sport England Squad with her Kumite at such a high level; she is now
competing on the national squad too.
This year in the IKU All Styles World Championships in Ireland Toni won
Toni is graded a black belt and has been selected for England in her
favourite discipline of Kata and Kumite categories too.
Toni regularly coaches voluntarily at her karate club, assisting the
juniors to develop. She has been so successful as a coach that seven of
the club won medals at the world children’s championships.
6. Junior Disability Sportsperson of
Nominees: Elena Vazzana, Trampolining; Elizabeth Foster,
Para Swimming; Lizzie Allen, Swimming,
Winner: Lizzie Allen, of Petersfield,
Alton Swimming Club
At the European Down Syndrome Open Swimming Championship Lizzie
represented Great Britain and achieved five personal bests in 50m
backstroke, 50m and 100m breaststroke, 50m and 100m freestyle.
Lizzie qualified to compete in the European Down Syndrome Swimming
Championships in Paris where Lizzie was the youngest competitor and was
second fastest junior in the 50m breaststroke.
Lizzie was spotted by the Down Syndrome Swimming GB Squad and was
invited to join the team for her high-level performance.
Lizzie took up swimming from an early age and has been competing for
four years. She overcomes her complex range of gross motor difficulties
and competing and swimming for Great Britain is beyond her wildest dreams!
Nominees: Christina Linton, Trampolining; Josh Nicholls,
Winner: Christina Linton,
Trampolining, Whitehill & Bordon
Christina has been with Swallows Trampolining Club since 2014 and
started off very shy and quiet. She started as a talented gymnast and
progressed to becoming a Level 1 coach.
Christina began volunteering as a warm-up coach and quickly progressed
in her coaching skills.
Christina gives up any spare time she has to help the club and recently
organised a 12-hour sponsored bounce, raising £697 for Children in
Christina is reliable, conscientious and a true professional and has a
fantastic career ahead of her.
Senior Disability Sportsperson of the Year
Nominees: Hugo Hammond, Disability Cricket, Alex
Hammond, Disability Cricket
Winner: Hugo Hammond – Disability
Hugo has achieved another great year and has worked hard on his
training in 2017 to retain his place as the England first choice
Hugo achieved his highest England score with the bat over the summer
and has taken on more of a senior role in the team.
At club level Hugo scored his first Southern Premier League 100 and was
named in the BGSPCL Division 3 team of the year for batting and wicket
Hugo was also helped the Hampshire Disability Cricket Team to win the
English Cricket Board BACD National Championship against Essex.
Winner: Alex Hammond – Disability
Alex was lucky to spend some of last winter playing grade cricket in
Australia which had a huge impact on his cricket.
Statistically he has had his best season and feels he has improved his
decision making under pressure.
Alex has captained the England PD team on several occasions
Alex also was part of the team that helped Hampshire Disability Cricket
Team to win the English Cricket Board BACD National Championship
Alex and Hugo are both preparing for the Disability World Cup being
held in England in 2019.
Senior Team of the Year
Nominees: Petersfield RFU 1st XV; The Royal Oak Shots,
Winner: Petersfield RFU 1st XV
The 2015/16 season saw Petersfield RFC narrowly avoid relegation.
The team have worked hard with a new coach and a new approach and in
2017 they won the Hampshire 1 League title and won the Hampshire Bowl
For Petersfield Rugby Club this was the best senior season the club has
had in terms of silverware.
The squad was virtually the same group of players that faced
relegation, so their achievements are a symbol of their hard work and
Coach of the Year
Nominees: James Alder, Rugby; Helen Gardner, Mum and Me
Netball; Lawrence Jones, Hockey
Winner: James Alder, Rugby,
James took over a squad of players that just avoided relegation from
Hampshire League and turned around the team to go on to win the
Hampshire League 1 title and the Hampshire Bowl.
James also took the time to take coaching sessions for the academy
(U14-U16s) and the colts. He has also committed to attending Sunday
morning youth training.
James continues to develop himself professionally and is undertaking a
Sport Science Degree at Winchester University.
James is a Level 3 Qualified Referee and a member of the Hampshire
Referee’s society. He was awarded the most improved referee trophy for
the 2017 season.
Club of the Year
Nominees: Petersfield Rugby Club, Alton Hockey Club,
Four Marks Martial Arts Academy, Bordon Warriors
Petersfield Rugby Club and Four Mark Martial Arts
Academy were announced as joint winners
Winners: Petersfield Rugby Club
In 2017 the club has had success on the pitch with the 1st XI winning
the Hampshire 1 League title and the Hampshire Bowl Cup. The junior
teams also excelled with the U13 and U14s winning and coming runner up
at the Hampshire Plate and the U15s and the U16s both winning their
The club has also been busy improving the clubhouse by installing new
drainage, replacing floors in the clubroom, a new gym and installing a
new balcony extension with spectator seating.
The club also organise a number of events for the local community which
are delivered and supported by volunteers.
These include all six of the Hampshire Mini Rugby Festivals with over
2,000 people attending, school floodlit rugby, Petersfield Rugby Pub
7s, a music festival, services Fijian 7s, SE University 7s and
Hampshire Colleges 7s.
The club also raises money for local charities and in total raised over
£13,500 in 2017.
Winner: Four Marks Martial Arts
The Four Marks Martial Arts Academy is just completing its second year
and has worked closely with the local groups to grow and become the hub
of the community with a family focus.
In just two years the club has moved from internal competitions to
regional, national and international competitions.
Over the past year the club members have won 28 world medals including
World Champion performances, more than 30 national medals, two national
champions and countless silverware.
The club supports numerous local charities as well as their own charity
Nominees: Kathy Mason and Ollie Butler, Walking Netball;
Tony Smith, Petersfield Table Tennis Club; Peter Walley, Alton
Winner: Kathy Mason and Ollie Butler
for Walking Netball
Kathy and Ollie struggled to find a team activity so decided to come up
with a ‘walking netball’ group in Horndean. Kathy had never played
netball before but Ollie had, so between them they secured a venue,
promoted the group by delivering flyers and posters and using social
In week one they welcomed 14 ladies and from there the club has
steadily grown to the current membership of nearly 40, ranging from
ladies in their 40s to 80s! All thanks to the hard work and
determination of Kathy and Ollie.
Kathy completed her England Netball Walking Netball Host training and
entered the ladies into a friendly walking netball festival in summer
The social benefits of the sessions are invaluable, providing
friendship and helping people stay active.
Senior Sportsman of the Year Award
Nominees: Thomas Whyte-Venables, Target Shooting 10m Air
Pistol; William Birch-Tomlinson, Sailing; Stephen Buckett, Short Mat
Winner: William Birch-Tomlinson,
William has had a fantastic year and was selected as part of the
British Keelboat Academy. He decided to focus on sailing an Etchell and
went on to win the youth trials in March this year. The prize was to
win the use of an Etchell for the 2017 season.
This enabled William to enter international and national events,
including the Europeans, and he came third overall in the U25s at Cowes
William is currently under fitness review for the Youth America’s Cup
He achieved all of this while studying for his A-Levels, in which he
excelled, and has been offered a place on a Mechanical Engineering
Course at Southampton University.
Nominees: Victoria Lovett, Cycling Road Racing; Loren
Winner: Victoria Lovett, Cycling Road
In 2017 Victoria has competed internationally for the first time and
has measured herself against some of the best athletes in the world in
her age group.
Victoria performed above her expectations at the European Cycling
Junior Tour of Assen where she placed 15th and in the Grand Prix Joseph
Leboutte, where she came second.
She achieved both of her goals for 2017 including coming top 10 in the
national road race championships and first race category race license.
Victoria’s next goal is to win at international level.
Nominees: Mark Nevola, Karate; James Long, Triathlon
Winner: Mark Nevola, karate, Four
Marks Martial Arts Academy
In 2017 Mark became World Champion in Kumite at the United World Karate
World Championships in Italy, having been selected to represent
Mark also gained bronze in Kata and bronze in Tam Kumite. Most athletes
just specialise in one discipline.
Within the England Team Mark won more medals than any other squad
On the way to the major championships Mark won double silver at the
International Karate Union as well as many golds nationally and
Nationally Mark was recently nominated and elected to become vice
chairman of Karate Sport England.
Service to Sport
Nominees: John Marlow, Medstead Tennis Club; Shaun
Dominy, Clanfield Football Club; Dr Richard Lewis, Swallows Trampoline
Club; Jon Graham, Petersfield Squash Club
Winner: John Marlow – Medstead Tennis
John retired as the coach at Medstead Tennis Club at the end of 2017
after 28 years at the club.
John’s enthusiasm for coaching both adults and juniors has made him a
successful coach with a great sense of fun.
John also contributed greatly to the club by organising club leagues,
social events and annual club competitions.
Over the years John has run many charity tennis events supporting both
national and local charities and raising much-needed funds for the club.
Medstead Tennis Club will sorely miss John’s expertise and enthusiasm.
Outstanding Personal Achievement
Nominees: John Harvey; Zoe Perkins; Chris Norkett
All three nominees were announced as joint winners
Winner: John Harvey - Whitehill &
John Harvey has become a regular walker with the Alice Holt Walking to
Health group over the last few years.
John has dementia and a physical disability which forces him to walk
with a stick. Attending the walking group is helping John maintain his
health and keep his disability from progressing.
He is always cheerful and turns up in all weather conditions; John
walked three miles recently which is huge achievement.
John is an inspiration to all and walking is his lifeline to the
Winner: Zoe Perkins, Alton
Zoe has had an incredibly difficult year having been diagnosed with
stage four Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Zoe deals with side effects to
treatments and has a daily struggle with the cancer.
Despite this Zoe continues with her roles at Alpha Trampoline Club and
completed her Level 1 Coaching Qualification in April 2017. She has
increased her coaching hours at the club taking her own group of
gymnasts and progressing them to the next level. Zoe also judges and
has officiated at more competitions this year than any other person in
Zoe is currently completing her Level 2 Coaching Qualification however
due to further gruelling chemotherapy she has had to delay her studies.
She is determined to complete her Level 2 and has shown great
dedication to the sport.
Winner: Chris Norkett, Alton
In 2014 Chris was diagnosed with dangerously high blood pressure and
leg ulcers. He was referred to the Alton Cardiac Rehab Centre and
hasn’t looked back losing an incredible 13 stone, giving up smoking and
taking up running.
Chris fell in love with running and in 2017 he ran his first marathon
to raise money for the Cardiac Rehab Centre.
Chris trained relentlessly throughout 2017 and completed numerous
events including the Fleet Half marathon, the Southampton Marathon, the
New Forest Marathon and finished the year with the Winter X Ultra
covering a gruelling 50k route.
Chris is a great ambassador to the sport and a healthy lifestyle,
through his commitment and determination.
photos of the EHDC Sports Awards
Media Contact: Will Parsons, EHDC Communications