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Athletic Union Awards 2020
The annual AU awards were hosted on Facebook Live last weekend by James Plowright, coach and club development officer, and Rosie Bancroft, sport sabbatical officer.
We were keen to celebrate the successes of the year in sport despite not being able to host the AU Ball. The virtual awards ceremony covered 12 awards, from sportsman and woman of the year to the social media award and coach of the year, and had over 2200 total views.
During the awards we were also able to recognise those students who volunteered the most hours in sport through single, double and triple stripe colours. Performance colours were awarded to those athletes who had performed at the highest level in their sport this year. As well as colours we also announced the new elections for the University’s presitigous XXI club, where 21 students each year are elected for service and up to 21 for performance.
Some highlights of the main awards include Amy Carter (Netball) winning the Sportswoman of the year after a very successful year playing for both UoM and Superleague team Manchester Thunder and also achieveing her first senior England cap against New Zealand. Team of the Year went to Women’s Squash 1s who placed 4th in the country in their team championships. Our Sportsman of the year was Fergus Warr, a first year history student who plays professional rugby for Sale Sharks, who has had a great year on the pitch whilst also coaching the UoM rugby team. Table tennis won two awards – for most improved and the social media award and Basketball took club of the year for a second year in a row!
For the first year the AU also had a Sustainability competition open to all AU clubs, which was presented at the AU awards. This was started was sport sabbatical officer Rosie Bancroft in partnership with the Sustainability Department to encourage AU club members to think about how their actions as individuals and clubs affect the environment. The competition awarded £300 prize towards sustainability projects or club development to the club which showed the most creativity, impact and engagement in sustainability initiatives this year. The Canoe club became the first winners of this award after they ran workshops with the charity ‘Save Our Rivers’, also fundraising throughout the year for them. They also created a ‘leave no trace’ policy for their trips, held film nights and petitions for environmental causes and even made sure all of their kayaks were properly recycled. Every application demonstrated great work by the student’s towards being more sustainable, some highlights include Men’s Hockey organising meat free events and reducing single use plastic at socials, Sailing organising litter picks in lockdown and the use of social media by many clubs to engage members in ways to be more sustainable.
Many great achievements were recognised across all of the awards see a summary of each winner below, with a summary of what the award recognises in purple:
- The Sustainability Award: Awarded to the club who has shown the most creativity, impact and engagement in sustainability initiatives this year. The first ever winners of the Sustainability Award are Canoe. This year canoe have run workshops and raised £200 for the charity Save Our Rivers, they have held film nights and petitions for environmental causes and have made sure all of their kayaks are properly recycled, also only buying kayaks made of recycled materials.
- Social Responsibility Award: Awarded to the club who has invested tremendous amounts of resource into fundraising and charitable events, as well as aligning with the university’s wider social responsibility aims. The winners were Men’s Hockey, who raised £2914 for Greenhouse Sport and Movember by hosting multiple charity events throughout the year.
- The Social Media Award: Awarded to the club who has demonstrated the greatest social media presence throughout the 19/20 season engaging with UoM Sport regularly. Table tennis won the social media award with their custom graphics, engaging posts and massive increase in engagements.
- Fresher of the Year: Awarded to the student who has made the most impact in terms of individual or team performance in their first year of study at The University of Manchester. Fresher of the year award went to Izzy Spinely from swimming – Izzy has had an amazing year including finishing 7th in the 100m Fly at BUCS Nationals.
- Student Coach of the Year: Awarded to the student coach who has had a positive impact on the results, training sessions, motivation or membership of the team(s) for which he or she is responsible. Andrea Pardo won student coach of the year! Andrea coaches our M3s basketball team for the last 3-4 years, in that time has seen the team promoted twice with amazing attendance and performance – winning the league this year.
- Coach of the Year: Awarded to the coach who has had a positive impact on the results, training sessions, motivation or membership of the team(s) for which he or she is responsible. For the first time we have joint winners for an award, Michael Case and Jack Norbury won joint Coach of the year as they have both been outstanding this year and the panel could not choose one over the other. Michael has coached our W1s basketball to win the league in their first year after being promoted to 1A and the team have made the QF of the trophy. Jack Norbury in his first year of coaching M1s football has gone above and beyond changing the culture and vision for the club.
- Club Committee Member of the Year: Awarded to a Club Official who has excelled in leading many aspects of club admin of an Athletic Union Club throughout the 2019/20 season. The winner of the most competitive award, committee member of the year, went to Milly Kinghorn – Netball club captain. Milly has stood out for being organised, engaged and an amazing club captain this year – she started a new reward scheme for members, created a weekly newsletter, worked with the AU on many campaigns and initiatives and worked towards increasing club inclusivity and integration.
- Team of the Year: Team of the Year awarded to a team which has excelled in all areas of operation, including competition, management, engagement, administration and contribution to the Athletic Union. Our Team of the Year are Women’s Squash 1s after they competed in the premiership this year – the highest tier of competition at university, and placing them top 4 in the country.
- Most Improved Club of the Year: Most Improved Club of the Year is awarded to a club which has shown extraordinary improvement over the course of twelve months in performance, organisation, financial management and increased membership. Our winner of the most improved club of the year was Table Tennis. Their performance across all teams was a big improvement from last year as well as improving numbers of members, charity work, engagement with the AU and many other areas.
- Sportswoman of the Year: Awarded to the most outstanding individual female athlete from any club over the course of the season. Amy Carter is UoM Sportswoman of the Year! Amy has had a very successful year playing for UoM as well as superleague team Thunder, she also got her senior England cap vs New Zealand.
- Sportsman of the Year: Awarded to the most outstanding individual male athlete from any club over the course of the season. Fergus Warr is our Sportsman of the Year. Fergus plays professionally for rugby union team Sale Sharks and as well as being an amazing athlete also is a first year history student and coaches our men’s rugby club at training and matches.
- Club of the Year: Club of the Year awarded to a Club which has excelled in all areas of operation, including performance, participation and workforce development. They have excelled at club management and contributed to significant development of their sport at Manchester. Basketball have won club of the year for the 2nd year in a row! After massive success across their teams in performance this year they are very deserving of this award as well as many improvements and successes across all areas of their club. They started playing in a new local league, organised lots of volunteering opportunities for members and put many through referee courses and have met their club objectives for the year, a testament to club committee making lasting changes to basketball at Manchester!