Swimming Success at Lincolnshire Sports Awards 2016
This year marked the twelfth year that Lincolnshire Sport has hosted the Lincolnshire Sports Awards. This year the awards, sponsored by Riseholme College, a part of Bishop Burton College, were the biggest event yet with more than 380 guests in attendance. Several dedicated swimmers were recognised for their commitment to the sport, read on to find out more…
Team GB’s Jack Named Sportsman of the Year
Open water swimmer, Jack Burnell, saw off top competition from England and Great Britain golfer Ashton Turner and triathlete Simon George, who is part of the Lincolnshire Elite Athlete Programme (LEAP) 2016, to be named Sports Man of the Year 2016.
Jack has had an incredible year after being the first British swimmer to gain a place in Team GB for the Rio Olympics, having achieved 5th place in the World Championships last year.
The 23-year-old has been swimming since the age of three, and took up open water swimming about six years ago – mainly for a change and a challenge. Jack trains in the 50m pool at Loughborough University because chances to train in open water are limited in the UK. This means, wherever possible Jack takes up the opportunity to go to training camps in sunny locations!
Jack was disappointed with the end result of the 10K swim at the Olympic Games, but undeterred he is back in training despite being on crutches for the Sports Awards. He aims to return to full training soon, and is thrilled to have been nominated for the Sportsman of the Year, and even more honoured to win the title.
A Closely Fought Contest
Judges had a very difficult decision to make when it came to Young Sportswoman of the Year Award. To decide between three outstanding young sportswomen was tough, but Naya Patel, who has had a very busy year was crowned the winner.
This year Naya has juggled club and Team GB training, GCSEs, representing England, qualifying as a Level 1 coach, and volunteering with her club, and at Regional training events. Her training regime takes her from her home base of Grantham Waterpolo Club, to Hucknall and across the East Midlands. Daily land training is also a top priority for her. Competitions take her further afield, as she competes in local leagues, as well as a representative basis across the country. Her Level 1 coaching qualification, the cost of which was supported by Lincolnshire Sport’s LEAP programme, has helped her in her approach to playing the sport of water polo as it has provided a deeper insight into the principles and aims of the coaching team when supporting her development as an athlete.
Naya’s next target is to be selected to compete in Russia in the European competition in Sept 2018, which she will have to combine with studying for her A Levels in summer 2018.
Mel Swims to Victory
Mel Marshall is proud that her home county of Lincolnshire has honoured her with this award. Mel has dedicated her life to swimming, as a young girl from the Boston area, she swam with clubs in the county, before breaking on to the international stage and becoming the most decorated female athlete at the Commonwealth Games and a double Olympian.
Now, having retired from competitive swimming she has turned her focus to coaching and has become an internationally recognised figure for the successes she is having. Most famously Adam Peaty, who she identified as having potential to be a great breaststroke swimmer, has broken world records, and achieved an Olympic gold medal.
Mel supports Lincolnshire clubs and swimmers though swim camps, and stroke days, and has been consultant head coach for Pentaqua where swimmers of all levels are welcomed. She has a great ability to communicate with swimmers, and motivate them to do their best, and Team GB have recognised this and invited her to be part of the British Swimming Coaching Team to build on the success achieved so far. All her swimmers and fellow coaches acknowledge that she will make a great contribution to the future performance of Team GB in the pool.
Ian’s Not Hanging Up his Swimming Cap Yet
The Lifetime Acheivement Award is always a closely fought contest, with the nominees dedicating their lives to different sports. This year was no different, but Ian Turner saw off competition from Frank Cammack and Ken Beaumont to be awarded the accolade.
Despite a long and varied career in swimming at all levels and across the world, Ian is honoured that his home county of Lincolnshire has recognised him with this award. Ian started his career as a PE teacher at Yarborough School (now Castle Academy), and through his involvement with City of Lincoln Pentaqua Swimming Club, and his ability to talent spot, he progressed to become British Swimming’s Head Coach. Ian has taken swimmers to seven Olympic Games, and seen 22 of his swimmers achieve Olympic success.
His aim, now he has returned to his roots at Pentaqua, is to see another of his swimmers make an Olympic podium – something that is rapidly becoming within his reach!
Hannah Berwick was one of three shortlisted for the Young Sports Volunteer of the Year award. Hannah works hard as a young volunteer within Grantham Swimming Club. She has shown great dedication to the younger swimmers in the club, giving up her time to coach, encourage and mentor our younger swimmers for a number of years, supporting them in their development as they progress through the club. She is a great role model to other club members and is always able to offer encouragement to those around her and is a true team player. Hannah was also recently voted as Club Captain for the 2016/17 season.