Harriers Scoop Seven Top Sports Awards

Colchester Harrier members clinched the top spot in three age group categories as well as two commendations and a winner in a special award at the 2017 Colchester Sports Awards held at Western Homes Stadium on Monday 20 November.  Now in its 15th Year, the standard has risen year on year and this year’s awards had the largest range of nominations across twenty sports ranging from Equestrian to Ice Skating, Fencing to Trampolining.

Graig Anya-Joseph was named U14 Male Sports Personality of the Year having claimed silver medals as a first year U15 in 100m at both the English Schools Championships and at the England Age group Championships, and winning all bar one of his races for Colchester Harriers at EYAL meets.  He ended the year ranked number one in the UK for 100m with a time of 10.94s.

Olivia Simon was commended in the female U14 category for her improvement and success in the fields of Pole Vault and Hammer.  This year she became Essex & Eastern Indoor Silver medallist , Essex Outdoor Champion, took silver at Eastern Counties all in Pole Vault and also is the Eastern Counties Champ in Shot putt.  In Pole Vault she holds a UK ranking of third and an All Time ranking of Eleventh.  At her first Hammer competition she took a top ten UK ranking and has since improved her distance to 31.07m.

Against a very strong field of U18 male sportsmen, Charlie Dobson came away as this year’s Sports Personality having gained not just his first Essex County vest but also his first GB junior vest competing in the 200m at the Manchester International as well as claiming second in the 150m at the Great City North Games U19, broadcast on BBC TV.  He finished his year ranked 9th in the UK.

Training partner, Rebecca Jeggo became the third age group winner, taking the U18 female Sports Personality.  Her season included competing as a guest at the prestigious Loughborough International, The English Schools Championships and the England Age Group Championships.  She also competed for Essex County at two inter counties matches.  Long Distance runner Hannah Watson was commended in this category for her top ten finishes School County Cross Country events.

Not surprisingly Harriers coach Steve Garnham was commended in the Coach of the Year award for delivering a professional programme of training, giving up between 3 – 6 sessions a week, unpaid, to work with his athletes – despite holding down a full-time job as well as looking after his wife Linda through a tough year and a half of knee operations – and a plethora of grandparent duties! He commits fully to all his athletes, treating every single one of them as individuals, he differentiates his training to meet their needs and can often be found running from one area of the track to another, to ensure he is observing and offering feedback to his athletes in training. Not only that but he ensures he is looking after less experienced coaches and monitors their development and the development of their athletes as well as his own.  It was fitting that his athletes Charlie and Rebecca received the award on his behalf.

Harriers final winner of the evening was Darcey Monaghan who along with six other sportsmen and women jointly won the U18 Bill Tucker Award.  The judges were so impressed that all this year’s nominees had achieved the essential criteria for the award that they decided they would award it to all of them.  This year Darcey competed for the first time at the Typhoo National Junior Athletics Championships. Typhoo were delighted to support the event, organised by the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS). Following eight regional qualifiers, the National Championships took place at Warwick Athletics Stadium in Coventry and featured more than 200 junior disabled athletes from across the UK.  Darcey enjoyed a hugely successful weekend coming home with a trio of gold medals.  She claimed great PB’s in her 100m (22.2s) and 200m (48.66s) and despite not reaching her best in the discus, still managed to bring home a gold in that too. And as if that was not enough, she joined fellow team mates in the 4 x 100m relay to bring home second place and a silver medal to add to her collection.