Wiltshire Athletic Association supported by Wiltshire Council hosted the2015 Wiltshire Athletics Awards at Devizes Sports & Social Club. The event which was sponsored by Wiltshire and Swindon Sport (WASP) recognised the leading athletes in the county and those that make athletics happen in Wiltshire. One hundred and eleven nominations were received and it was down to the Awards Judging Panel of Wiltshire Athletic Association Chairman, Darren Wrintmore; Deborah Bray of Lavington Trust and Dominique Oughton of WASP to draw up the short list of three nominees in each of the eleven categories. The awards were presented by Wiltshire Athletic Association President, Derek Drewitt who was assisted by members of the Awards Judging Panel.
The first award presented was to Lucy-Jane Matthews of Southampton AC for the Young Female athlete of the year, Lucy-Jane from Salisbury who is ranked UK #2 for Pentathlon, High Jump & Long Jump and ranked #1 for 60m Hurdles, setting a UK indoor record. The other short listed nominees were Zoe Mattocks of Team Bath and Chloe Crippen of Highworth Running Club.
The Young Male athlete of the year was awarded to Rory Howorth of Team Bath who is ranked UK #1 in his age group for 1500m and is the South West Inter-counties champion for 1500m & 75mH. Wiltshire county & Schools champion for High Jump & 75m Hurdles. The other short listed nominees were Tom Gale of Team Bath and Kieran Short of Marlborough & District Junior AC.
The Senior Female athlete of the year was awarded to Poly Maton of Moonrakers AC who is triple World Champion at the IWAS World Junior Games, double Gold Medallist at the Brazilian Paralympic School Games.Denise Grech of Calne Running Club and Alex Mundell from City of Salisbury A&RC were the other short listed nominees in the category.
The Senior Male athlete of the year was awarded to Wiltshire & South of England 400m champion and GB athlete Jacon Ness from City of Salisbury A&RC. Simon Nott of Calne Running Club and William Kennedy of Team Bath were the other short listed nominees in the category.
The Veteran Female athlete of the year was awarded to Fiona Price of Avon Valley Runners for the second year as the Wiltshire 10K champion, BMAF Half Marathon champion, ARC National 10-mile champion and also setting a BMAF record for one hour. The other short listed nominees were Linda New from City of Salisbury A&RC and Jo Thomson from Team Bath AC.
The Veteran Male athlete of the year was awarded to Gary Dunstone of Chippenham Harriers who is the Wiltshire Half Marathon champion & overall top scorer in 2014 Wiltshire Road Race League. The other short listed nominees were Anthony Hickson from Avon Valley Runners and Darren Clissold from City of Salisbury A&RC.
The Coach of the year award went to specialist sprints coach Lee Ness from City of Salisbury A&RC Damion Godwin of DEvizes Running Club and Adrian Clover of Team Bath AC being the other
The Official of the year award went to specialist Field Referee Alan Brown of Swindon Harriers, with Jacqui Sykes from Marlborough & District Junior AC and Di Viles from Team Bath being the other short listed nominees in the category.
Unsung hero of the year was awarded to John Matthews from Royal Wootton Bassett Hounds. Karen Mundell and Suw Hazzard both from City of Salisbury A&RC were the other short listed nominees.
The Club initiative of the year award was presented to recognise an initiative setup by a club to improve athletics in the area. This award went to Lavington Trust for their WASP funded Athlefit programme. Avon Valley Runners Beginners programme and City of Salisbury Young Athlete Initiative were also short listed for recognition.
The Race of the year was presented to the organising committee from Highworth Running Club for the Wickstead Wander which this year takes place on Sunday 22nd November when it will be Race #3 for the Wiltshire Off-Road Race League. The other short listed races were the Over the Hills race organised by Avon Valley Runners and the Devizes Half Marathon organised by Events Logic.
The final award presented was of a more light hearted nature and was for the "Athletics Brain of Wiltshire" where attendees at the Awards evening were invited to recognise the logos belonging to Wiltshire affiliated clubs, with Cal Maw of Devizes Running Club gaining the top score of the evening.
The event showed that athletics is starting to thrive in Wiltshire and that we are producing a good number of athletes that are able to hold their own on a regional, national and for some an international level. Behind these athletes is a good community of coaches, officials and volunteers enabling the sport to progress in the county. The category winners will be put forward by Wiltshire Athletic Association to the England Athletics awards that take place later in the year and also to the Wiltshire Sports Awards that take place in October.
Click here for awards details.