By James Dowden, Deputy Sports Editor
The sporting achievements of teams and coaches at the University of Bristol during the course of the 2019/20 season have been recognised with a series of virtual awards ceremonies.
The Sports Awards were held on 17th June and commemorated clubs and individuals across a variety of sports.
The annual event was hosted by Bristol University's Student's Union and this year was held online.
The awards featured a wide range of categories across both participation and performance sport. The ceremony rounded off an excellent overall year in Bristol sport in which over 16,000 students have taken part across over 70 different sports clubs and societies.
The full list of winners for 2020 are as follows:
Charitable Scheme of the Year Winner: Ladies Hockey
Lifetime Contribution Award Winner: Laura Emily Fitzharris
Most Improved Club Winner: American Football
Non-performance Team of the Year Winner: Lifesaving A team
Participation Drive of the Year Winner: Women's Rugby
Performance Team of the Year Winner: Women's Football 1s
Sportsperson of the Year Winner: Will Black
Student Coach of the Year Winner: Sophie Brain
Student Staff Member of the Year Winner: Beth Lewis
Sports Personality of the Year Winner: Freddie Atkins
#WeAreBristol Club of the Year Winner: Women's Rugby
In a separate ceremony hosted on 21st June the 41st annual Reds Awards ceremony was also held virtually to reward the sporting achievements of the year. Hosted jointly by Director of Sport, Exercise & Health Matt Birch and Performance Sport Manager Matt Paine, the ceremony awarded the prestigious University of Bristol Directors Award and the University of Bristol Red Award.
The University of Bristol Directors Award was established in 2017 and is presented for exceptional contribution to the development of a student sports club beyond that normally associated with a committee member.
Speaking ahead of the winners announcement, Birch commended the student leadership displayed by the winners, “over the past year and particularly over the past months we have seen student leaders emerge to help navigate their clubs through choppy waters and prepare for better days ahead. All of tonight’s Director Award recipients have played a pivotal role in supporting their club and developing their sport.”
The winners were as follows:
Frankie Woolf (Women’s Rugby)
Issy Hardy (Tennis)
Nathan Winner (Men’s Football)
Phillipa Slattery (Korfball)
Hywell Rose (Men’s Rugby)
Amy Brook (Sport & Student Development Officer)
The special guest for the evening was English Rugby 7s captain and former alumni Tom Mitchell who presented the Red Awards. The University of Bristol ‘Red’ is awarded for exceptional sporting performances at a level of achievement and commitment beyond that normally associated with University 1st team play. It been going since 1979 and since then over 300 students have been recipients of this award – amongst the highest sports honour that a student can achieve.
Mitchell recalled his own experiencing of winning the award during his time at Bristol, saying: 'It's an amazing achievement. I certainly remember getting mine, it was a while back now, and it was an amazing evening looking back on the successes and also the hard work that went into it.'
The winners for 2020 were:
Tom Minall (Men’s Hockey)
Joanna Kondratowicz (Tennis)
To round off the evening the Coach of the Year was awarded to Bill Meehan (Women’s Football) for having guided the team into 2ndplace in the Southern Premiership, following back to back promotions over the past two seasons.
Speaking after winning the award Meehan praised the club’s achievements.
'I am honoured and truly grateful to be named Coach of the Year,' he said, 'but I believe that this award goes beyond my input and acknowledges the importance of Women's Football within the University sports offering.
'More importantly, it recognises the phenomenal efforts of everyone connected with the Women’s Football Club, which has helped to establish the University of Bristol as the natural home for student athletes, with Russell group ambitions, who want to play football at the highest level.'
Featured: Penguin Photography / University of Bristol Ladies Hockey Club
Do you know someone who has done a lot for their club?