Mansfield celebrates sporting excellence

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Another incredible year for Mansfield sport was celebrated at the 2013 Mansfield Sports Recognition Awards on Monday night.

The annual ceremony, organised by Mansfield District Council in association with The Armchair Club and the Chad, paid tribute to the district’s best teams, coaches, volunteers, sportsmen and sportswomen.

Awards were presented in 11 categories at the ceremony at John Fretwell Sporting Complex, Sookholme, Mansfield.

A range of sports were featured, including cycling, rugby, taekwondo, athletics, hockey, powerlifting and swimming.

Powerlifter Phil Beniston was named Sportsperson of the Year after an incredible 12 months in which he won the World Powerlifting Federation World Championships in powerlifting, bench press and deadlift.

He also broke 17 world records in the process. He defended his British bench press crown and won the powerlifting and bench press titles at the European Championships in Vienna. He plans to retire next year after 27 years to concentrate on coaching and refereeing.

Club of the Year was North Notts Hockey Club, which is going from strength to strength and has tripled its membership numbers and had four teams gain promotion this year.

Disabled Sportsperson of the Year went to Oliver Hynd for the second year in a row. It follows another outstanding year culminating in double gold medals at the International Paralympic Committee World Championships in Montreal, Canada, in August 2013.

He became World Champion in the Men’s SM8 Category 200m Individual Medley in a new European record and now in this event holds the Paralympic, World and European titles.

He also stormed to an emphatic gold medal in the Men’s S8 Category 400m Freestyle. He also took an outstanding bronze medal in the Men’s S8 Category 100m backstroke, twice lowering the British record in the heats and final. In just two years, Ollie has taken six medals at Paralympic and World level, three of them gold - an outstanding achievement considering Ollie recently only turned 18-years-old.

Team of the Year went to Mansfield Harriers and Athletics Club’s Senior Men’s Track and Field Team who secured promotion to Division 3 of the British Athletics League in what has arguably been the most challenging year in the club’s history.

Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Graeme Waters, a long-standing member, coach and volunteer of Forest Town Aces cycling club and for his tireless work to fix and refurbish the Forest Town Cycle Track.

The Junior Sportsperson of the Year award went to Megan Armson who won the World Irish Dance Association U12s World Championships, while Junior Disabled Sportsperson of the Year went to Harry Poxon, who won three medals at his first Special Olympics Athletics meet in June.

Junior Sportsleader of the Year was won by Jade Clarke and Junior Team of the Year went to Samworth Year 7 Boys’ Rugby Team, who this year were District and County champions.

Glenn Smith was awarded Coach of the Year after another outstanding year coaching swimmer Ollie Hynd to win two golds and one bronze medal.

Glenn also coached Charlotte Henshaw to a bronze medal, which was Charlotte’s 6th major championship medal since 2009. Glenn was part of the Great Britain coaching staff in Montreal and has been a member of the coaching team since 2010. Glenn also coached Oliver Hempsall to a fantastic gold medal in the Male Youth 4x100m Freestyle team at this year’s ASA National Youth Championships, while also making two individual finals as well.

The Mayor’s Special Achievement Award went to Adrian Tranter for his outstanding contribution to taekwondo in Mansfield and nationally. As well as running a hugely successful taekwondo club in Mansfield for over 14 years, he is a key member of the European Taekwondo Union Executive Council and has also been the head of the Great Britain team at world-level events including the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. He has trained, guided, supported and mentored multiple national champions.

The Executive Mayor of Mansfield Tony Egginton said: “These awards are a fitting way of ending an incredible year of sport for Mansfield. The list of nominations and winners demonstrates the exceptional sporting talent we have.

“Once again Mansfield has been put on the sporting map at a regional, national and international level. We should be extremely proud of our athletes, coaches and volunteers, who are a huge inspiration to us all.”

Roll of honour:

Junior Team of the Year - Samworth Year 7 Boys’ Rugby Team

Junior Sportsperson of the Year - Megan Armson - Irish Dance

Junior Sportsleader of the Year - Jade Clarke

Junior Disabled Sportsperson of the Year - Harry Poxon (multi sports)

Team of the Year – Mansfield Harriers and Athletics Club - Senior Men’s Track and Field Team

Sportsperson of the Year – Phil Beniston (powerlifting)

Disabled Sportsperson of the Year – Oliver Hynd (swimming)

Coach of the Year – Glenn Smith (swimming)

Volunteer of the Year – Graeme Waters (Forest Town Aces)

Club of the Year – North Notts Hockey Club

Executive Mayor’s Special Achievement Award - Adrian Tranter (taekwondo)