Sports awards saluted by LTA President
PUBLISHED: 16:19 18 February 2014 | UPDATED: 17:25 18 February 2014
This year’s Welwyn Hatfield Borough Sports Awards was hailed as “one of the best evenings I have been to,” by one of the most senior people in British Tennis.
Special guest for the ceremony at Campus West, WGC, on Thursday was LTA president Cathie Sabin, who presented a Special Achievement Award to Queenswood School’s U18 Tennis Team.
Speaking to the WHT after the event, Sabin, who is the first ever female president of the LTA, said: “It makes you feel humble because there are so many good people.
“There are the good coaches, the athletes who are working against all adversity, some have disabilities, there are the enthusiastic people who have been doing it for years and years, you have got the passionate kids, the passionate adults, team sports, there is actually everything.
“It’s all about looking after the future, and it’s all out there, and it made me feel really good.
“It was lovely, one of the best evenings I have been to.”
Local sporting and coaching prowess was rewarded across an extended number of categories this year, with winners selected by a judging panel from nominations received from the public (winners can be seen on the opposite page).
Each award is sponsored, allowing the event to continue year on year.
A special award was additionally presented to Queenswood School for Outstanding Achievement in School Sport. The accolade was handed to the Girls’ U18 Tennis Team who won a silver medal at the World School Finals held in Sydney, Australia back in April 2013.
"I am extremely proud and a little touched"
After presenting Queenswood with their award, Sabin said: “Their achievements are exceptional, having fought all the way through to the national finals.
“It is the third year running they have won the award and the eighth time overall, which is more than any other school has done.
“Their constant high performance is very, very good. But what pleases us most at the LTA is the way that the school allows them to be elite athletes and managies their academic studies as well.
“All credit to the teachers and headteachers.”
A popular winner on the night was Beaumont Diving Academy’s Ben Roberts, who co-founded the organisation with Derek Beaumont back in 1968.
After collecting his Service to Sport award, Roberts told the WHT: “I am extremely proud, and a little touched.
“But of course there are so many people who are equally deserving, and some much more so.”
Panshanger FC scooped Club of the Year, with chairman Mike Banissy adding: “It’s fantastic, it’s very pleasing.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the event, I dedicate this award to all the committee members, managers, coaches, players and parents who have worked endlessly to achieve great things.”
Welwyn Hatfield Volleyball Club’s women’s side was named Team of the Year after winning the Herts Volleyball League and Knockout Cup in 2013, captain Lynne Howitt added: “It was a brilliant surprise.
“We’ve worked really hard this last year and didn’t expect it at all, there was 10 contenders, but we did it!”
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