There was much to celebrate at the England Hockey Board Annual Awards on Saturday as the best of hockey was recognised at a special lunchtime ceremony. In all, 16 awards were presented at the lunch, held as part of the Investec London Cup in Chiswick, with honours covering everything from coaching and umpiring, to clubs, teams, athletes and administrators.
Congratulating all of those shortlisted for the EHB Annual Awards, EHB Chief Executive Sally Munday said, “I congratulate everyone who has won an award and all those that were nominated. Much of what is achieved in hockey from grassroots upwards only happens because of the energy and time given by thousands of volunteers. The England Hockey Board recognises and values the incredible commitment and expertise that they give to our sport – we truly could not survive without them. Volunteers are the lifeblood of hockey. They operate at every level of the game, in every community, in every club and in every association.
“There were many nominations and votes for our champions. Our Awards Review Panel selected a shortlist of 40 but there are so many inspirational and wonderfully talented people across the sport. Today we warmly thanked and celebrated the contribution of every volunteer in hockey, not just those that have won awards here but the many dedicated individuals across the country that give their expertise, time and commitment for the good of others.”
The England Hockey Board has recently launched a nationwide drive to recruit thousands more volunteers to hockey. Hockey Makers will see volunteers deployed in a variety of exciting roles including involvement in hockey’s ambitious plans for activity up and down the country during the Olympic Games. To find out more visit www.englandhockey.co.uk/hockeymakers.
And the winners are…
Champion Volunteer of the Season
Stephen Tabb, Old Silhillians Hockey Club, Warwickshire Hockey Association, Midlands Regional Hockey Association
Stephen Tabb, Chairman of Warwickshire Hockey Association, was named Champion Volunteer of the Season for his work across almost every area of hockey, from coaching and umpiring, to administration and leadership. At club level, Stephen dedicates his time and energy to Old Silhillians Hockey Club, where he is Chairman, Assistant Treasurer, umpire, club coach, junior coach, welfare officer, kit organiser and fund raiser. A level 2 umpire, his enthusiasm and commitment to growing hockey in the area has seen him deliver umpire coaching to more than 130 candidates and work closely with local schools to help them build their knowledge and understanding of hockey and, in particular, of umpiring.
As Chairman of Warwickshire, Stephen is widely credited with improving the communications and administration of hockey in the region. He is heavily involved in the Single System in the county, running the administration of the Junior Development Centres and Junior Academy Centres, as well as coaching at the Centres. In the past season, he has organised In2Hockey competition for under 10s and under 12s and set up badgers and vixens Sunday leagues to continue the development of young hockey players.
Harvester Club of the Season
Beeston Hockey Club, Nottinghamshire
Nottinghamshire club Beeston picked up the top award for hockey clubs at the end of yet another successful season. The efforts of members and volunteers have seen Beeston rise to a position as one of the country’s top hockey clubs. The first club to receive ClubsFirst accreditation for a third time, Beeston has enjoyed success on the pitch across its men’s, women’s and junior programmes, both indoors and out. Recently, Beeston has developed its own in-house coaching manual and development programme. Its success has come in part due to its ability to encourage current and former players to get involved in all aspects of the club, including a ‘Beeston Breakfast, on Sunday morning for the parents of junior players. The club has worked tirelessly to strengthen its links to schools and universities in the area and continues to grow.
Runners-up: Grimsby Hockey Club (Lincolnshire), Marlow Hockey Club (Buckinghamshire)
Investec Women’s Club Team of the Season
Lincoln 1st XI, Lincolnshire
Lincoln women’s 1st XI enjoyed a hugely successful season in 2011-2012, winning promotion to the East Women’s Premier Division for the first time in the club’s 110 year history. The team’s impressive league form saw it win 21 of 22 fixtures, twice notching up 11 goals in a match. In total, the team covered more than 2200 miles travelling to away matches.
Runners-up: Ben Rhydding 1st XI (Yorkshire), East Grinstead 1st XI (West Sussex), Edenbridge 1st XI (Kent)
Perkins Slade Men’s Club Team of the Season
Richmond 1st XI, London
Richmond’s 1st XI men’s team won a third consecutive promotion at the end of the 2011-2012 season and are gearing up to join the Men’s England Hockey League Conference East. Richmond took the South Premier Division title by two points in April after leading the league for most of the season. The team was led to its success by former Great Britain captain Soma Singh, who picked up the EHB’s Club Coach of the Season Award.
Runners-up: Wakefield 1st XI (Yorkshire), Whitley Bay & Tynemouth 1st XI (North Tyneside), Wycombe U18 Boys (Buckinghamshire)
Club Member of the Season
Kelvin Briggs, Alderley Edge Hockey Club, Cheshire
Kelvin Briggs’ dedication and enthusiasm has been fundamental to the recent growth and success of Alderley Edge Hockey Club. Kelvin was pivotal in helping the club in becoming the 2010-2011 Harvester Club of the Season and since then he has continued to dedicate his time and energy. He has performed many roles at the club, including those of Honorary Secretary, coach, umpire, website and social media administrator, and kit and merchandise coordinator. Kelvin oversaw the club’s ambitious new pitch project, which came to fruition with its official opening in September 2012. His work in the community where he coaches school children has seen junior membership at Alderley Edge grow steadily and has helped the hockey club develop long lasting partnerships with local schools and the council.
Runners-up: Kate Costin (Bedford Hockey Club, Bedfordshire), Stephen Tabb (Old Silhillians, Warwickshire)
Club Coach of the Season
Soma Singh, Richmond Hockey Club, London
Soma Singh was awarded Club Coach of the Season after leading Richmond men’s 1st XI into the Men’s England Hockey League Conference East, the team’s third consecutive promotion. Singh, who captained his country and played 145 times for England and GB, represented Great Britain at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. His dedication to developing players under his tutelage, both on and off the pitch, has been credited as a major contributing factor to his success as a coach at Richmond, as well as his previous clubs.
Runners-up: Bryan Frazer (Leamington Hockey Club, Warwickshire), Chris Glover (Beeston Hockey Club, Nottinghamshire), Steve Wood (Slazenger Hockey Club, Yorkshire)
Club Umpire of the Season
Pete Mackintosh, King’s & Alleyn’s Hockey Club, London
Pete Mackintosh was named Club Umpire of the Season in recognition of his outstanding contribution to King’s & Alleyn’s Hockey Club, Kent Hockey Umpires Association and to the other clubs for whom he regularly umpires. In the past season, Pete has umpired more than 100 matches. His umpiring for partner universities has enabled King’s & Alleyn’s Hockey Club to develop its links with those institutions while through his organisation of Level 1 umpiring courses at the club, he has been inspirational in leading the way in developing a new group of umpires.
Runners-up: Georgina Jackson (Guildford Hockey Club, Surrey), Stephen Tabb (Old Silhillians Hockey Club, Warwickshire)
County, Regional or League Volunteer of the Season
Sally Tippen, Cambridgeshire Hockey Association
Cambridgeshire’s Sally Tippen was awarded the top prize for County, Regional or League Volunteer of the Season for her work across a huge variety of hockey activities over the past year. In addition to her duties as President of the County Hockey Association, Sally dedicates her time to organising school and junior club competitions and has voluntarily taken on responsibility for the finances and kit for the Junior Development Centres and Junior Academy Centres in Cambridgeshire. Recently, she has begun working to progress Masters hockey in the region. She has also been instrumental in Cambridge City Hockey Club’s ClubsFirst accreditation application and in coaching a successful Back to Hockey programme.
Investec Women’s Performance Player of the Season
Helen Richardson, GB, England and Reading
Helen Richardson picked up the Investec Women’s Performance Player of the Season at the end of a year in which her two goals against Spain helped England win bronze at the EuroHockey Nations Championships. Her performances for Great Britain helped the team go one better in February, winning silver at the Champions Trophy in Rosario. The 30 year old from West Bridgford, Nottingham, earned global recognition after being named by the International Hockey Federation in its World All Stars Team for 2011. In the absence of Kate Walsh, Richardson captains GB at the Investec London Cup this week.
Runners-up: Kate Walsh (GB, England & Reading), Laura Unsworth (GB, England & Loughborough Students)
Investec Women’s Young Performance Player of the Season
Georgie Twigg, GB, England and Clifton
The youngest member of the Great Britain hockey team set to compete at this summer’s Olympic Games, 21 year Bristol University law student Georgie Twigg has enjoyed a memorable year with England and Great Britain. A bronze medal winner at the 2011 EuroHockey Nations Championships in Monchengladbach, Twigg also played a key role in Great Britain’s silver medal success at the 2012 Champions Trophy in Rosario. Recently, the Lincolnshire born midfielder carried the Olympic flame through Bristol after being nominated for the honour by the University.
The Times Men’s Performance Player of the Season
James Tindall, GB, England and Surbiton
Forward James Tindall’s golden goal led England to the bronze medal at the 2011 EuroHockey Nations Championships in Monchengladbach last August. He was also a part of the GB side that competed at the 2011 Champions Trophy in Auckland. In May, the 29 year old Surbiton star appeared for Great Britain at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia before his tournament was cut short by an ankle injury. Tindall’s outstanding goal scoring record has seen him find the goal 77 times in 187 international appearances. In a departure from the ‘day job’, Tindall was one of seven GB stars to recently strip off for women’s magazine Cosmopolitan in an effort to raise awareness of men’s cancers.
Runners-up: Iain Lewers (GB, England & East Grinstead), James Fair (GB, England & Cannock)
The Times Young Performance Player of the Season
Harry Martin, GB, England and Old Loughtonians
At just 19, Old Loughtonians’ midfielder Harry Martin is the youngest member of the Great Britain men’s squad competing for a place at the Olympic Games. Since making his senior international debut in 2010, Martin has gone on to become a regular for Great Britain and England, competing at the 2011 Champions Trophy in Auckland. The former Ipswich School pupil has postponed going to university in order to concentrate on making the GB squad for the forthcoming Olympic Games. His excellent skills and outstanding performances have led to him winning The Times Young Performance Player of the Season for the second consecutive season at the EHB Annual Awards. Recently, Martin was one of seven GB stars to bare all for women’s magazine Cosmopolitan to raise awareness of men’s cancers.
Performance Coach of the Season
Nick Clark, England women’s indoor team & Canterbury Hockey Club
Nick Clark led the England indoor women’s team to promotion into European indoor hockey’s top flight after a successful campaign in Denmark in January. Clark’s team roared to victories over Switzerland, Lithuania and Slovakia on their way to promotion from the EuroHockey Indoor Nations Championships II. Clark also had a successful domestic campaign with Canterbury in the Investec Women’s Hockey League, leading the team to the Investec Women’s Championships after finishing third in the Premier Division, behind Reading and Leicester.
Runner-up: Ian Cordwell, England U18 Boys Centrally Contracted Coach (Bristol)
Performance Umpire of the Season
Hamish Jamson, Leeds
Named as Performance Umpire of the Season, Hamish Jamson has enjoyed a busy year umpiring at the very top level of hockey with appointments at the EuroHockey Nations Championships, the men’s Champions Trophy and the Euro Hockey League. Jamson, a Principal Research Fellow at the University of Leeds, oversaw the Euro Hockey League final between UHC Hamburg and Amsterdam H&BC, the EuroHockey Nations Championships semi final between the Netherlands and Belgium and the final of the Champions Trophy between Australia and Spain. He recently officiated at the Visa International Invitational Olympic Hockey Test Event and has been appointed to the Olympic Games in London this summer.
Runner-up: Frances Block
Young Performance Umpire of the Season
Caroline Fenn rounded off an incredible year with the Young Performance Umpire of the Season Award. Having only recently turned 21, Fenn became the youngest umpire in the Investec Women’s Hockey League this season and went on to officiate in eight matches, including her first in the Investec Women’s Premier Division. Her first season as a senior umpire also saw her appointed to England U16s versus Germany and the EHB Futures Cup as well as the GB Super League and a host of finals and other top club fixtures.
Runner-up: Tim Chipperfield
Lifetime Achievement Award for Services to Hockey. supported by DCS Europe
Martin Gotheridge was awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for Services for Hockey. To date, Martin’s distinguished career in hockey has spanned 53 years and taken him from his first club in Nottinghamshire to the top positions in English and European Hockey.
With a CV described by EHB Executive Chairman Philip Kimberley as “simply glittering”, Martin first started playing at West Bridgford, going on to captain the 1st XI before becoming Secretary and President. In between, he enjoyed a playing stint at University College London while studying law.
Eight years as Secretary of Nottinghamshire County Hockey Association and an incredible 32 years on the Midlands league committee followed before national appointments, including as Chairman of the old Hockey Association’s competitions committee, where he oversaw the introduction of the National League.
When not serving hockey through his work on committees, Martin took up umpiring and officiated at National League level. As a Technical Official and Tournament Director, he was appointed to major international tournaments across the world between 1990 and 2003. He served the European Hockey Federation’s club championship committee in the late 1980s and moved on the European Competitions Committee, which he chaired from 1998. He became a member of the European Federation’s Executive Board in 1993 and joined the International Hockey Federation’s competitions committee in 1999.
Of all his achievements in hockey, undoubtedly his most significant came following the bankruptcy of the old English Hockey Association in 2002. Martin was heavily involved in the drafting of the constitution to set up the new national governing body, work that enabled the EHB to become what it is today. In its new guise, Martin chaired the governing body’s Regional Consultative Committee from 2003-2005 and became President of England Hockey in 2005 before standing down in 2009.
During this time Martin served as Vice President of the European Hockey Federation (EHF) before becoming the first ever British President of the EHF, serving between 2008 and 2011. This summer, Martin will continue to support the international federation on the Jury of Appeal at the Olympic Games in London.