Owing to the high standard of these annual awards, the Adjudication Sub-Committee decided that only one of the nominations received met the criteria for recognition.
He lead his Club's response to an accident in April which led to a National Review of throwing cage safety, involving him in many meetings and discussions with UK Athletics and local Authority representatives which saw the drafting of new risk assessments and safety requirements.
He a committed coach of both hurdles and sprints events and has a successful squad under his wing - three of whom became National medalists. He's a hard-working Manager of his Club's Senior Ladies Team who won Division 3 of the UK Women's League. Tony makes arrangements for National League fixtures and co-ordinates Officials to support the Club's many fixtures.
This award is named in honour of former Havering Sports Council President Doug Riden, who passed-on in 2002, and who himself gave a lifetime of honorary service to local Havering sport.
This goes to NEIL WALKER, who has enjoyed a brilliant career as a tennis player and then turned his attention to coaching, at which he is both esteemed and respected.
As a player he was selected for the Great Britain Junior Team and became our British Under 18 singles champion - beating a certain Tim Henman on route to the final! He was invited to train at the world famous Nick Bolliterie Tennis Academy in Florida, which has produced 12 Grand Slam winners - including Billie Jean King and John McEnroe. Unfortunately things didn't go Neil's way when a string of injuries ended his playing career, whereupon he decided to take up coaching.
Coaching commenced at Southampton's Europa Tennis Centre before he made his name in Havering by coaching at Gidea Park Tennis Club for 4 years and then at Upminster's Cranston Park Tennis Club for the next 22 years - and still counting! He's coached many National and County players and in excess of 70 Championship winning teams have benefited from his input. He's active in both junior and senior divisions and operates at National, Regional and County levels. He coached Coopers Coburn teams which won National Schools titles 3 times-in-5 years. He also coaches former Havering Sports Council award winner Oliver Beadle. Neil was named "Essex Performance Coach-of-the-Year" in 2006 and in 2015 gained the "Jack Petchey Outstanding Leader" award. After a long injury spell he tried playing again; going straight into a high-level tournament, in the International Tennis Federation over 45s category. Here he gained the British No.1 spot and a world ranking of 32. Neil still coaches at Cranston Park and at 7 different schools (primary and senior) while continuing to work with performance players of all ages. How does he fit it all in?
HORNCHURCH CRICKET CLUB - winners
2018 saw an amazing season, which proved their best during its long 235 years' history - as they won "The Treble". This being the Essex Shepherd Neame Premier League, the Essex League Cup and the Essex 20-20 Competition. This outstaning treble has never been done before in Essex, nor in any of it's adjoining counties! The icing on the cake was that 7 of their regular best first-teamers were homegrown talent who'd come through their youth "Cricket-for-All" programme. Their main league is fiercly competitive and only a level below professional cricket. Their league title was secured in such a convincing manner, it was won with a game-in-hand.
This Club can be judged on more than it's first team as their 2nd and 3rd teams both managed close second places in their leagues. Hornchurch have a strong commitment to Youth Development and fields teams of Under-9, 11, 13, 15 and 16 - all of which enjoyed successful seasons in their various league and cup competitions. Experienced and dedicated coaches give up much time to supervise a numerically strong youth playing squad, which is the envy of many rival Clubs.
Off the field, grants and fund-raising enabled them to extend their Harrow Lodge Changing Rooms and refurbish their Club House. The Romford Recorder newspaper often publishes supplements for sporting occasions, and they featured Hornchurch Cricket Club's season with a 12-page pull-out supplement.
The Club were overwhelmed by the events of 2018. Hornchurch enjoy great team support with players and leaders who are totally committed to achieving success in a family friendly family environment where cricket is played and enjoyed by all.
HAVERING TRIATHLON CLUB - runners up
This Club had achieved so much in so few years with 2018 being another high-profile period in its short history. During the year the Club attracted an averge of 1 newcomer each week, as it grew to 140 members, of whom 45 are ladies. Training is available on most days and at a number of sites, to wit Coopers Coburn School, St.Edward's Senior School, Hornchurch Sports Cente, Hornchurch Stadium, Abbs Cross Gym and the David Lloyd Gym. Having a passport is helpful as the Club competes globally, with 2019 venues including France, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Austria, Italy, South Africa and Norway. Their Ironman Italy trip saw 21 participate while 26 travelled to Lanzarote for a week's training.
2 members represented Great Britain at the World and European Championships, recording a 10th and a 1st place respectively. The Club won 1st team places at both the Marbella and Ironman Italy events. Havering Tri-Club finished in the top 10 UK rankings and also achieved high-ranked positions in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. They certainly get around! As well as Triathlon and Multi-sport events members also enter marathons, sportives, half-marathons, 10k runs, swims, parkruns and the Spitfire Scramble. Anything involving swimming, cycling and running attracts their attention. They have a successful mentioring programme, which sees newcomers allocated to experienced competitors who can "show them the ropes" right from debut appearances to a full Ironman challenge. They stage an annual Aquathon at Coopers Coburn School and use an adjoining Country Park for running. They are prominent participants in the Essex Super Series - which is a well supported League-based competition.
This Club is diverse, inclusive and truly wecoming which is why members enjoy being part of such a scene. They have a thriving social scene which includes staging a well-attended Awards Night at the Two Gables.
JAMES OGLETHORPE GIRLS CRICKET TEAM - winners
This school is one of Havering's smaller ones, with only 2 classes per year group. In 2018 it was decided to introduce pupils to a new sport - cricket, which commenced with a once-a-week after-school session. It truly caught on and soon this School were playing in the Havering Kwik Cricket Tournament against larger schools. They won all their Group games with impressive batting and bowling - and particularly fielding, so living up to that old cricket adage that "Catches Win Matches". Such victories saw them qualify for matches against Regional winners from across Essex. At this higher standard they won their opening 3 matches so making the final four - who then competed in a "round-robin" format. In this they defeated 2 prominent private schools, to wit St.Mary's and Bancroft, narrowly losing only once - to New Hall who were coached by former England Captain Nasser Husain. Organisers of the tournament praised them for their incredible achievement in coming so close when all playing as newcomers, and for their team spirit. Parents and staff are most supportive, and this success has inspired others in younger age groups - so be prepared to hear more from James Oglethorpe School!
ST.PETER'S CATHOLIC SCHOOL GIRLS FOOTBALL TEAM - runners up
This team entered 3 competitions during the season - winning all 3! They also earned a bronze medal when representing Havering in the London Youth Games. Being a single entry form school meant only 15 girls were available for selection. Most players were new to the game and some had to borrow football boots and shin pads in order to get started. If such handicaps weren't enough - this school doesn't have a football pitch, having to share one with another local school and conduct its training sessions in public parks. These obstacles were dealt with as the team supported each other, so heads never dropped.
Serious competition commenced in February when winning the Chelsea FC Foundation sponsored Havering School Games Girls Football Tournament, winning 3 group matches and drawing 1. They successfully negotiated the quarter and semi-finals before beating St.Josephs in the final when scoring the only goal. Their record saw 23 goals scored in 7 games with the ball only twice ending-up in their own net. This saw them invited to appear for Havering Borough in the London Youth Games where they reached the semi-final, being edged out 2-1 by the eventual winners. July saw them win the Linda Galloway Cup where they beat Clockhouse School's 'A' team in the final - again by the only goal. In this tournament they scored 15 times without reply!
Their season ended when they won their rounds to reach the Havering's Primary Schools Final where they beat St.Mary's by a 2-1 scoreline. It was a cliff-hanger as spectators had to wait until the final minutes for a winning goal. The girls, who displayed team spirit and determinatiion, had all started from scratch.
COOPERS COMPANY AND COBURN INTERMEDIATE GIRLS ATHLETIC TEAM - winners
This team became National Champions, beating over 600 schools, having improved on their runners-up position of a year earlier. A 13-strong squad trained hard during the summer and successfully progressed through local and regional rounds before making the grand final at Gateshead International Stadium. It was such a convincing final victory that it was achieved with a record 520 points and a winning 56 points margin was - for good measure, also an event record. Being the most successful team in the competition's history made it a formality for them to earn selection to represent England at the World School Athletics Championship in Croatia.
COOPERS COMPANY AND COBURN JUNIOR GIRLS ATHLETICS TEAM - runners up
This team also became National Champions in their age category beating over 600 schools. They emulated their previous year's victory, this time with 492 points for a new National record, achieved by a huge 62 points winning margin - again a National record. Having won for 2 consecutive years and holding both age group records, they've become the most successful junior team in this competition's history.
KEIRAN O'HARA - winner
19 year old Keiran, who belongs to Havering Athletic Club, excells at 400, 800 and 1500 metres events as well as Cross-Country running. He has autism and learning difficulties and attends Havering College's Unit for Special Needs. 2018 got off to a great start as he was part of his Club's 4-man winning team in the Essex Under-20 Cross-Country Championship. He stepped up to senior level to be part of his Club's Essex Cross-County League winning squad. In both the Southern Athletics League and the Youth Development League Keiran was a regular name on the team sheet for his 3 favourite track distances and, over 800 metres, represented his Club in the Essex County Championships.
At the Eastern Region Disability Championships he won gold medals at both 400 and 800m metres. In one day at the Mencap National Championship Keiran landed 4 medals : a long jump bronze, silvers over 400 and 800 metres finishing with gold at 1,500 metres. All were impressed by his talent, versatality and stamina! He's a local parkrun regular who is always at or near the front. He represented Mencap when addressing an All-Party Parliamentary meeting in Westminster about difficulties faced by athletes with learning disabilities.
During the season he managed to improve personal best times over his 3 favourite track distances. In UK Under 20 T20 rankings he's No.1 at 800 and 1,500 metres and 2nd over 400 metres. British Athletics have selected him as a member of their Paralympics Development Academy for those with potential Paralympian promise. How does he do all this? - by enthusiasm which sees him train 6 days a week in all weathers!
REBECCA O'ROURKE - runner up
Frances Bardsley Academy pupil Rebecca has learning difficulties. She is well known as one who competes for Havering Athletics Club and Havering Borough in the London Youth Games. British Athletics have selected Rebecca to join their Paraympic Development Academy, as one with potential Paralympian potential. This enables her to attend training camps with top coaches.
In the Under 20 T20 UK rankings over 1,500, 800 and 200 metres she is listed 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively. Rebecca's trophy cabinet bulged during 2018. Both the Mencap National Games and the Typhoo National Disability Championships saw double golds over 200 and 1,500 metres. As a junior she contested the Senior England Disability 1,500 metres Championship - and earned a silver medal! In the England Under 15 & 17 National Championships Rebecca contested the Ambulant 200 and 1,500 metres, gaining silver and gold medals respectively.
Versitality was shown at the London Games when she represented Havering at Athletics, Swimming, Indoor Rowing and Cross-County. Gold came in a 200 metres run, and also in the swimming pool as part of a relay squad as well as in the individual 50 metres' backstroke.
Rebecca represents her Club in the Youth Development League and in the Eastern Young Athletes League, in the later being part of a winning Havering AC team at the Top 6 Final Meeting. She's part of Mencap's Campaign aiming to get more people with learning difficulties involved in sport; and is one who works hard to combine school work with athletics and - for good measure - Rebecca also received a Jack Petchy award for her contribution to sport.
SHANDELL TAYLOR - winner
Fred Alsop, now in his 80s, is Havering Athletic Club's greatest ever athlete - having been selected for 3 Olympics in the 1960s. So when an athlete comes along who can beat one of Fred's Club records, which has stood since 1964, he truly deserved the kudos this feat attracted. Shandell's 2018 improvement was eye-catching as he progressed from a good standard Club athlete to being our UK No.1 ranked long jumper. June saw him win the South of England Championship which was quicly followed by a silver medal in the England Athletic Championship with a new Under-20 Club record leap of 7.78 metres - which also beat that senior record held by Fred Allsop and secured his place at the top of England's age-group rankings. In the senior table, it was the 6th longest ever witnessed. When not long-jumping, Shandell proved himself to be a real team player as he gained League points for his Club in the high jump, triple jump, sprints and relays.
Selectors recongised his potential by including him as one of 30 in their National 2018 Talented Athletes Sponsorship Scheme, which aims to support youth-age group athletes as they make their way into senior competition. British Athletics have identified him as one capable of making their World Class Podium Potential Programme in future years.
JORDAN SARGEANT - runner up
Talented Jordan has been a member of Havering Tennis Club since he was aged 3 and has continued to make great progress over the years. Nowadays he is his Club's Assiatant Coach and Captain. Combining coaching and playing isn't easy, as he often has to quickly get from coaching duties to be match-ready for competition within minutes. But he does it, and with success. Few sports participants can claim to complete an entire season undefeated, but Joran can proudly claim that distinction, as he went unbeaten for an entire season in the Men's Division and The Mixed Doubles Division in the local Leagues. At higher level his record at County standard is worthy of commendation.
MAX LAW - winner
Max is no stranger to award ceremonies as over the years he's continued to display great improvement in his chosen event - the javelin. 2018 saw him surpass previous achievements and, in the season's first event, added 6 metres to Havering Athletic Club's Under 17 record. A series of top performances in May caught the selectors' eye, who picked him for the European Under 18 Championships in Hungary. Progress saw him in Great Britain colours by July where he rose to the occasion by thowing a huge personal best of 75.30 metres which was the second-longest throw ever by a British Under 17 athlete, so bringing distinction ot his Country, Club, School and Borough. On this International standard occasion he held a medal position until the last round of throws, when he was edged into 4th position.
Max ended his season as our undisputed UK No.1 in his age group having added gold medals to his collection in the Essex, Southern, English Schools, England Athletics and UK School Games Championships. England Schools selected him to compete in the Home Countries' Schools International and, yes you've guessed, yet another gold medal.
LIAM PURTON - runner up
This talented Coopers Coburn School student currently enjoys high English badminton rankings, being No.6 for the Boys' Singles and Boys Doubles and a higher No.4 spot in the Mixed Doubles category.
Liam is much-travelled, having represented England on the European circuit in Belgium, Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Holland, always giving an excellent account of himself. He's Essex champion in his age group and, as one who relishes a challenge, also stepped up to the Under-18 age group to earn a runner's-up medal. He helped his School to earn bronze team medals in the National Schools Championships. Nearer home he entered quality tournaments in Hertfordshire, Hampshire, Milton Keynes and Suffolk and was rewarded with medals on every occasion, mostly gold in colour!
His dedication impresses all who see him in action, and continued success is confidently predicted by all.