Cerebral Palsy Sport Awards 2019

On Sunday 6th October, the 2019 Cerebral Palsy Sport annual Awards were held at The David Ross Sports Village at the University of Nottingham. The evening was very special as it provided the opportunity to also celebrate World CP Day.

Cerebral Palsy Sport recognises that there is a huge amount of fantastic sport and activity available for people with cerebral palsy across the country and as the National Disability Sports Organisation we want to be able to recognise those involved.

The Cerebral Palsy Sport Awards are an opportunity for the public to nominate someone and have their hard work, dedication and achievements recognised.

The following awards were presented at the 2019 Awards. Please also find below information of what the nominees said:

Sports Achiever of the Year – presented by Peter Savage.

The finalists were Lucas Town, Toby Markham, Thomas Talbot.

Winner: Toby Markham

Toby trains for 8 hours a week and has entered 11 competitions in the last 12 months. Toby has a persistence and bright personality, his always demonstrates encouragement of all fellow athletes. He is proud of being a member of Cerebral Palsy Sport and has entered all of Cerebral Palsy Sport Athletics events in 2018/19 and won all of his races. In 2018 he represented Team CP England at the CPISRA World Games competing in 100 and 200m. Toby is currently 3 in the UK rankings for a T38 60m and 4TH for 100m.  

Volunteer of the Year – presented by Graeme Ballard

The finalists were: Julie Bowler, Phil Fleetwood, Richard Mee

Winner: Phil Fleetwood

Phil has travelled across the country to regularly volunteer at RaceRunning Start sessions. He is extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic, treats both participants and families with respect and is incredibly supportive. It is clear that Phil really enjoys delivering these sessions. He always come fully prepared and ready to support anyone during the session. Phil also volunteers his time to support other RaceRunning clubs develop and when supporting start sessions he makes sure everyone has a great introduction to the sport. In the last 4 months he has volunteered 32 hours to RaceRunning as well as continuing to coach many athletes with a disability.

Coach of the Year – presented by Graeme Ballard

The finalists were: Mark Lodge, Julie Bowler, Leah Poole

Winner: Julie Bowler

Julie is an inspiration she has set SWCP United and runs teams from under 12 – to senior teams. She has taken them on tours to Dublin and Spain to help their development. Julie’s energy is tireless and her commitment to the boys is second to non. Her ability to organise logistics for multiple teams and motivate the boys to strive to be the best they can be is unbelievable. Julie is Coach Manager for SWCP United (CP only) and pan disability side JBFC. She is an FA disability talent scout and a qualified coach. Julie is amazing and tireless in her pursuit of the best for her teams.

Official of the Year – presented by Leon Taylor

The finalists were: Pat Sheldon, Ann Basford, Terry Jeyes

 Winner: Pat Sheldon

Pat is an incredible athletics official who is so dedicated to supporting cp athletes. Pat has supported CP Sport’s athletics events for many years as well as devoting time to support local country, regional and national events as well as the Cerebral Palsy World Games. She is such a positive role model for other officials and is respected highly amongst her peers. Pat is always there with an encouraging word, kind guidance to new athletes and also clear advice if athletes need it. She is often found in call rooms or at the start line and many a nervous athletes has been calmed by Pat’s reassuring words. Pat is kind, funny and warm in nature and is always keen to help and support others. She epitomises what is good about disability athletics and volunteering and she is a credit to her sport. Pat will happily support young officials to learn and she will also willingly advise officials who may have been officiating for a long time but may not know too much about disability athletics. Supporting CP Sport Series events. Volunteering at England Athletics National CAU Disability Championships and many more county and regional events to mention!

Sports Club of the Year – presented by Kay Simnett

The finalists were: Newtown Sports Club; CP North West, COMAST – Matt Walker MBE Academy.

Winner: COMAST – Matt Walker MBE Academy

The City of Manchester Aquatics and Swim Team – Matt Walker’s Academy is a specialist disability swimming club in Manchester with highly trained coaches all of whom constantly push for the swimmers to achieve their maximum potential. The club have worked incredibly hard over the last 12 months and have successfully been accredited with SwimMark. Coaches and families regular rally together to ensure that they can get swimmers to different events and competitions across the country. This year medals and personal bests were achieved in the Sheffield and Liverpool Development Galas by all 17 swimmers from the club who attended the galas! There is a real community feel about this club, it is not just Matt Walker who helps to get swimmers to events, it the other coaches and parents of the swimmers too. They spread the word and will even fill in the forms for the parents that are unsure. They are amazingly inclusive and they have such a large range of disabilities at their club. Matt Walker also helps at every development gala CP Sport runs and is so passionate about the swimmers he brings with him that represent the club.

Partner of the Year – presented by Kay Simnett

The Partner of the Year award recognises organisations that work in partnership with Cerebral Palsy Sport to ultimately support people with cerebral palsy and associated impairments to access sport and activity.

The finalists were: British Gymnastics; The FA; Quest 88.

Winner: British Gymnastics

British Gymnastics have worked with CP Sport over the last 12 months to provide CP Specific training to a number of gymnastics coaches. As a result the first physical impairment specific gymnastics clubs was developed in Nottingham, with provision now in Southampton and Manchester. An online E-learning module has also be created to further support coaches to develop their knowledge and include participants with CP.

Swimmer of the Year – presented by Janusz Jankowski

The swimmer of the year award is awarded to a swimmer who has not only competed at almost all development galas, put who has continually developed and improved at each event. They provide great support to other swimmers and have a real positive attitude when on poolside.

The finalists were: Joshua Taylor and Matthew Davies

Winner: Joshua Taylor

Josh has entered four CP Sport events this year so far and always puts 100% effort in to every one of them. He has had 9 PBs already in 2019, 3 of which were achieved at CP Sport’s National Championships. The dedication Josh has shown to swimming is amazing and he has a real passion for improving. Josh is going from strength to strength and we hope that continues.

Fundraiser of the Year – presented by Janusz Jankowski

The finalists were: Jodie Vickery, Jesse Hazlewood and Aidan Cosgrave

Winner: Aidan Cosgrave

Aidan joined our 2019 Team CP Sport for the London Marathon and as he prepared for the challenge shared a lot of his training as a runner with cerebral palsy in blogs, updates and posts. He completed the challenge of the London Marathon and raised over £3500 for our charity.

Fundraising Team of the Year – presented by Paul Marriner

The finalists were: RAF Armament Engineering Flight and Sam Pella – Pella Craft

Winner: RAF Armament Engineering Flight

Grant and his colleagues from the Armament Flight were and still are stationed in the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic with the role of armament clearance. The selected Cerebral Palsy Sport as their charity of the year. They took on major challenges including the Falklands 3 Peaks Challenge and the “Paras 10” race around Stanley. They are still raising funds for us until the flight is disbanded in March 2020.

Young Fundraiser of the Year – presented by Paul Marriner

The finalists were: Jasper Dudson, Caine Sanders and Gabrielle Reid

Winner: Caine Sanders

Caine took on the massive challenge of running the Grand Prix Challenge around Bedford Autodrome as he wanted to inspire other people with cerebral palsy and show what can be achieved.

The Andrew Stubbs Trophy – presented by Mrs Stubbs & Ms Stubbs

The finalists were: Jasmine Bamber, Connor Stuart

The Andrew Stubbs trophy is awarded to a swimmer who has shown real commitment to developing themselves. Someone who not only tries hard when in the pool but also leads by example when on poolside and around other swimmers. They have shown real commitment to the CP Sport Swim Series by traveling many miles to attend events.

Winner: Jasmine Bamber

Jasmine has shown a lot of courage throughout her time with CP Sport and has overcome many personal battles. Jasmine enters all of CP Sports swimming galas and has shown a huge commitment to CP Sport. It always shows that Jasmine loves swimming and her enthusiasm shines through. She always helps others when they need it and has a heart of gold.

Chair’s Recognition Awards 2019 – presented by Peter Savage

Recipients: Mo Onyett, Andy Barry, Jodie Vickery, Ellie Simpson, Rafi Solaiman and Thomas Talbot

Mo Onyett – Mo took on the Manchester Half Marathon in May 2019 on a RaceRunner after taking up the sport in January 2018. She became the first English female RaceRunner to complete an English Half Marathon on a RaceRunner and we are delighted to recognise this special achievement tonight.

Andy Barry – Andy was inspired to run the 2019 London Marathon as his sister has cerebral palsy and Andy completed the challenge raising over £3,700 for our charity. We are delighted to award Andy a Special Recognition award tonight.

Jodie Vickery – Jodie completed the 2019 London Marathon raising over £4,000 for CP Sport. Since then we have been told how her story has inspired other runners with cerebral palsy to take up the challenge of not only marathons but Great North Run. Jodie is hoping to support our 2020 Team CP Sport and we are very proud to recognise her incredible achievements with a Special Recognition Award tonight.

Ellie Simpson – Ellie has been RaceRunning since 2014. Since then she has gone on to improve her performance and in July this year all her hard work paid off when she broke the 200m World record with a time of 39.62 seconds at the England Senior AAA championships. Last month Ellie was announced as one of only 4 RaceRunners to represent Great Britain heading to Para Athletics World Championships in Dubai in November.

Rafi Solaiman – Rafi is a RR3 RaceRunner whose season has gone from strength to strength. On the 15th July at the CP Sport athletics series he broke the 200m World record, In August at the British Athletics Parallel Series he broke the 100m world record. To end the season in style, on the 21st September Rafi competed at the CP Sport National Athletics Championships where he broke the World Record for 400m with a fantastic time of 1min 15 seconds. Rafi is also one of the 4 RaceRunners heading to Dubai to represent Great Britain at the World Para Athletics Championships.

Thomas Talbot – at only 15 years old Thomas has had an incredible season with his RaceRunning. On the 6th April 2019 on his first race of the season Thomas broke the Under 16s  RR2 100m World Record which he went on to break again on 8th September 2019. In June 2019 Thomas established a new Under 16 RR2 1500m World Record in York – the first athlete in the world at this age in that class to do so.

The Colin Rains Trophy for Endeavour – presented by Nick Rains

 The finalists were: Toby Markham, Leaha Dixon, Matthew Humphreys

The Colin Rains Trophy is presented to an athlete who has continually strived to be their best, have shown endeavour, commitment and dedication throughout the 2019 athletics series. All of our finalists have shown all these qualities plus much more throughout the 2019 season.

Winner: Matthew Humphreys

Matthew is not only a successful RaceRunner, he is a CP Sport Ambassador and all round fantastic athlete. Matthew has shown true commitment and dedication to developing his self as a RaceRunner, a coach and a positive role model for others. Matthew has not only set his sights succeeding on the track, but also on the road at the Manchester Half Marathon next weekend.

The Christine Cruice Overcoming Adversity Award – Presented by Esther Jones and Elaine Lewis

The finalists were: Brendan Clifford, Orla Conneely, Samm Lewis

The Christine Cruice Overcoming Adversity is a new award added for 2019 in memory of Christine Cruice. Christine was the first female chairperson of CP Sport and was instrumental in moving CP Sport forward and setting the foundations for the great success that the charity has seen.

Winner: Orla Conneely

Orla was chosen because of the adversity she has overcome in her journey, to become the fantastic individual that she is, with a fantastic attitude and always has a smile on her face. Orla was part of Team CP England at the 2018 CPIRSA World Games

Patrons Award – presented by Peter Savage

Recipient: Aideen Blackborough – Aideen was a Trustee for Cerebral Palsy Sport and served as Chair of the charity since January 2017. Aideen is devoted to raising the profile of what people with cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities can achieve and we are delighted to welcome her as a Patron of Cerebral Palsy Sport.

Lifetime Achievement Awards – presented by Peter Savage

Recipients: Wendy Coles and Colin Fox

 Wendy Coles

Wendy has been a swimming official with CP Sport since 2013, however she has commitment most of her life to disability swimming. Wendy has been a fantastic support for CP Sport swimming development galas and in particular for the swimming National championships. Here Wendy arranges all of the officials. On the day she looks after all officials ensuring they know what they are doing. Wendy is well known not just within CP Swimming but the swimming community across the country, whenever you mention her name swimmers, parents, volunteers know who she is and a smile appears on their face. Wendy commits a huge amount of time to swimming and has helped to officiate thousands of swimming events over the years. We are privileged to have Wendy as a part of our swimming programme and look forward to continuing to work with this fantastic lady.

Colin Fox

Colin has been instrumental not only to CP Sport’s athletics series, but also to disability athletics for over 30 years. As an official Colin has taken roles as both track and field official and at the CP Sport National Athletics Championships in 2018, Colin took charge of his final event as lead track referee after 30 fantastic years of service. Throughout this time Colin has supported other officials to develop, worked with Athletics clubs across the country to improve their offer for disabled athletes, as well as providing continuous advice and guidance to athletes. Although Colin has stepped down as lead official, he has continued to be a vital friend to CP Sport, providing advice on our 2019 athletics programme as well as attending events and officiating in the field. Colin is a pillar within officiating for disability athletics and we cannot thank him enough for his continued support. It is a privilege to recognise his unstinting contribution to athletics with a Life Time Achievement Award.

Photos from the evening can be found here.