And the winners are...

The England Hockey Annual Awards 2011 have been handed out, celebrating all that is great about the people that make hockey what it is.

The 2011 Annual Awards winners are:

Performance Player of the Season (Male): James Fair, Cannock HC
Performance Player of the Season (Female): Beth Storry, Reading HC
Young Performance Player of the Season (Male): Harry Martin, Old Loughtonians HC
Young Performance Player of the Season (Female): Georgie Twigg, Clifton HC
Performance Coach of the Season: Charlie Bannister, England U16 Boys
Performance Umpire of the Season: Frances Block
Young Performance Umpire of the Season: Nick Bennett
Harvester Club of the Season: Alderley Edge HC
Club Team of the Season (Male): West Hampstead Men's 1st XI
Club Team of the Season (Female): Sutton Coldfield Women's 1st XI
Club Member of the Season: Matthew Dean, London Wayfarers HC
Club Coach of the Season (Male), sponsored by Perkins Slade: Alan Gormley, Bromsgrove HC
Club Coach of the Season (Female), sponsored by Perkins Slade: Helen Jelley, Leicester Ladies HC
Club Umpire of the Season: Ken Buckley, Bromsgrove HC
League, County or Association Volunteer of the Season: Tony Moffatt, North Hockey Association
Champion Volunteer: Sheila Plant, Southern Counties Hockey Association
Lifetime Achievement Award: John Gawley, Havant HC

The Annual Awards 2011

The best of hockey in England was showcased and celebrated superbly on Saturday afternoon as 17 award winners and countless others were recognised for their contributions to hockey over the past season.

The England Hockey Annual Awards 2011 took place in VIP surroundings on the final day of The London Cup at the University of Westminster Sports Ground in Chiswick.

Among the award winners, Cheshire club Alderley Edge won the Harvester Club of the Season Award, while Bromsgrove’s Alan Gormley and Leicester’s Helen Jelley scooped the Club Coach of the Year Awards, which were sponsored by Perkins Slade.

John Gawley with his Lifetime Achievement Award 2011 from the England Hockey Annual AwardsTwo very special awards were presented to Sheila Plant, the 2011 Champion Volunteer, and to John Gawley (pictured), who picked up the Lifetime Achievement Award.  Between them, it is conservatively estimated that they have dedicated more than 68,000 hours of their time to hockey voluntarily over the past 60 years.

With the guests seated, the awards began with the Performance Awards, for the athletes, coaches and officials at the very height of the sport.
Goalkeepers swept the board in the Performance Player of the Year Awards as England and Great Britain pair James Fair and Beth Storry walked away with the men’s and women’s awards respectively.  Both had outstanding seasons between the posts for their country last season and were named in the International Hockey Federation’s men’s and women’s World All Stars Team of the Year.

In the Young Performance Player of the Year category, 18 year old Harry Martin, who plays his club hockey for Old Loughtonians, was rewarded for an excellent debut international season in which he played for England at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.  Georgie Twigg with her Annual Award 2011Clifton’s Georgie Twigg (pictured) won the women’s award, having been a part of the England team that won three bronze medals last season, at the World Cup, Champions Trophy and Commonwealth Games.

In coaching, Charlie Bannister, the coach of the England under 16 boys, picked up the Performance Coach of the Year Award after guiding England to success at the UK School Games.  Bannister is recognised for his ability to provide a solid and realistic introduction to young athletes who have not been previously exposed to the international game; a fact demonstrated by eight of his team making the transition to the under 18 squad.

There were two winners in the umpires’ Performance category with Frances Block picking up the Performance Umpire of the Season and Nick Bennett awarded the Young Performance Umpire of the Season. In the past season, Block was selected for the ‘2012 Road to London Group’ and umpired the finals of the Women’s Champions Trophy, the Commonwealth Games and of the Women’s Indoor  World Cup.  Having been on the National Young Umpire Promising List since the age of 14, 20 year old Nick Bennett is seen as a fantastic role model for budding young umpires and is a very popular member of his peer group.  He has already umpired 22 junior internationals and is highly respected by players, National Coaches and Performance staff.

In the first year of Harvester’s sponsorship of Grow Your Own, it was fitting that the Club of the Season Award that carries the salad and grill restaurant chain’s name went to a club that has really begun to grow its own.  The club has worked extremely hard to raise the funds required to build a new hockey pitch and in an impressive season on the pitch, its Women’s 1st XI won the England Hockey Women’s Vase and become Champions of Cheshire Division 1.  The Women’s 2nd XI also took the top spot in Division 4 and both the third and fourth teams were promoted along with the Men’s 2nd XI. The club’s girls’ Under 12 and boys’ U10 sides were also champions of Cheshire mini hockey.

In the men’s and women’s Team of the Season, West Hampstead men’s 1st XI and Sutton Coldfield women’s 1st XI were recognised for their outstanding form.  West Hampstea completed a unique league and cup double in the 2010/2011 season. They won the MBBO Regional League, unbeaten while amassing 133 goals. In their first year of entering a national competition, they also won the England Hockey Men’s Trophy. Sutton Coldfield maintained their position in the Premier Division of the Indoor EHL and won promotion back to the outdoor Women’s EHL Premier Division by winning the North Conference. They were the highest scoring women’s team in the whole of the England Hockey League.

Club Member of the Season went to Matthew Dean, who has driven the development of the London Wayfarers Hockey Club, helping to take it from eight teams to 14.  The club had seven men’s and seven ladies teams entered into leagues last year and a lot of their recent success is down to the work that Matthew has put in.

Two coaches were recognised for their outstanding contributions to their respective clubs and to hockey.  Both of the awards were sponsored by Perkins Slade.  From Bromsgrove Hockey Club, Alan Gormley won the Club Coach of the Year (Male) Award.  Gormley has provided hundreds of hours of coaching to local schools, helping to double the number of junior members at the club to over 130.  As the coach of the club’s ladies section, he has overseen promotions for the 1st and 2nd XI teams in recent reason and has been responsible for running a very successful ‘Get Back Into’ scheme.The Club Coach of the Year (Female) Award went to Helen Jelley, the coach of the Leicester Ladies under 16 girls team.  Jelley was recognised for her work with the team, which she took to the Under 16 Girls Club Finals, where she was the youngest coach and only female coach.  Her dedication to the club sees her travel from Cardiff to Leicester each week.

Ken Buckley made it a double success for Bromsgrove as he won the Club Umpire of the Season Award.  Last season he mentored and developed 12 new umpires for the club, providing them with ongoing support once they qualified.

Tony Moffatt from the North Hockey Association won the County Volunteer of the Season Award and received his award from England Hockey Chief Executive Sally Munday. Moffatt has been a volunteer in the North of England for a considerable time and has held the role of North Secretary role 20 years. He will be standing down this year. He is also Yorkshire HA Secretary. 

Sheila Plant with her Champion Volunteer Award 2011 at the Annual awards 2011At the end of the ceremony two very special award winners were announced.  Sheila Plant (pictured) was named Champions Volunteer while John Gawley was given a Lifetime Achievement Award.  Sheila is President of the Southern Counties Hockey Association and has been volunteering in the sport for over 60 years.  Sheila has also been a top level coach, an umpire and selector and assessor for Southern Counties Hockey Association and a conservative estimate puts her commitment to volunteering in hockey at more than 34,000 hours over the past 60 years.

At 80 years old John has also provided an incredible service to hockey for over 60 years, with a similar amount of volunteering time.  He is a Level 3 umpire and a member of a large number of associations and committees including, Hon. Secretary of the Constitution and Regulations Committee of the EHB. President of the Islanders Festival Hockey XI for nearly 20 years, Vice President of the Combined Services Hockey and Umpires Association, Royal Navy Hockey Association, Southern Counties Hockey Umpires Association, Hampshire Hockey Association and Hampshire Hockey Umpires Association.

Congratulations to all of the award winners from everyone at the EHB.