Awards honour sporting achievements

Image: Andy Davis

Image: Andy Davis

The pick of the University of York’s sporting talent were honoured at the York Sport Dinner on Sunday, with the annual York Sport Awards handed out.

The ‘Most Improved Team of the Year’ award went to women’s hockey, just rewards for a season in which both teams got promoted from their respective
divisions.

The firsts won eight of their 10 fixtures, while the second team went the whole season without being defeated. The hockey teams then went to Roses and secured a series of good results despite being in lower divisions than that of their opponents.

The coveted ‘Sportsman of the Year’ and ‘Sportswoman of the Year’ went to Tom Brandreth and Louise Highton respectively.

Brandreth was impressive playing for both the University football firsts and the University cricket firsts.

He was voted as the player of the year by his footballing peers despite their relegation, while in the cricket he scored crucial runs in helping York to a top of the table finish and victory in the BUCS Northern Conference Cup, including a century in the win against York St. John.

Highton took the women’s award largely thanks to her efforts for the York fencing team, one of the University’s strongest sides. Currently ranked in the top 30 in the UK, she has captained York to a solid fourth place finish in the BUCS season ensuring survival. York pushed Birmingham for third place for the majority of the season, even defeating them when the sides met in January.

Highton has also been a key member of the swimming and water polo squads which have performed admirably this year.

‘Roses Team of the Year’ went to the American Football players of the York Centurions after their sensational 15-14 victory over the Lancaster Bombers, the first time the Centurions had won at the annual tournament.

For a lot of the York players it was their final year at the University and a Roses victory was the perfect way to end their University careers.

Women’s rugby were awarded the ‘Club of the Year’ while their coach Joshua Moatt was given the honour of receiving the award for ‘Services to Sport’.

Moatt has helped coach the women’s rugby team to promotion this season winning four of their five matches. The future certainly looks very exciting for the team who will go into next season with every confidence that they can replicate the success of this year.

The Boat Club Senior men’s squad received the accolade of being ‘Team of the Year’ after a very successful season.

Captain Sam Agass was the cornerstone for the club as they went on to perform superbly throughout the season.

Finally, in the new ‘President’s Award’, in which both a club and individual are chosen to be honoured by the York Sport President, badminton won the team award, after yet another successful campaign.

Chris Unsworth won the individual award after his remarkable season as men’s swimming captain, alongside his work as York Sport Development Officer.

Unsworth spearheaded the Be A Champion campaign, which was, amongst other things, responsible for the creation of the Roses Torch.

Sam Asfahani, outgoing York Sport President, stated “It’s my favourite night of the year because it allows me to share my favourite memories with the clubs that have made York Sport what it is.”

Charlotte Winter, who will take over from Asfahani very shortly, said that the awards were “a great way to show our appreciation to the clubs and individuals that made sport at York so great.”

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