#TEAMBrookes Sports Awards 2020 Winners

Monday, 06 July 2020

2020 Sports Awards

Celebrating our #TEAMBrookes Sports Awards 2020 winners

 

The 24th of April 2020 had been set as the date for the 2020 #TEAMBrookes Sports Awards, with plans in place to host another fantastic awards dinner. The marquee was ready to go up, the caterers had their menu in place, and the team at Brookes Sport were already sorting through the table decorations, destined to either end up on the dancefloor at the after-party, or spread throughout student bedrooms across Oxford (the decorations, not the Brookes Sport team…).

 

The global Coronavirus pandemic put a stop to that however and the 36th Annual Sports Awards was not to be. At least not in its traditional form.

 

Whilst the sporting season was halted prematurely, it wouldn’t be fair to completely ignore the fantastic achievements of our clubs, teams and student athletes across the past year, and we wanted to make sure those stand out performers were given their deserved recognition.

 

This past year brought some hugely impressive results for our Sports Clubs. League Winners were crowned across numerous sports and our best ever Conference Cup haul was achieved with an incredible nine wins from 11 finalists. Coupled with equally strong results from after last year's Sports Awards Dinner; including becoming overall BUCS Cricket Champions; and Brookes Boat Club members being selected for the Olympics (now sadly put on hold), it has once again been an incredibly difficult task in determining this year's award recipients. 

Massive congratulations to all of our winners; and a big thank you to everyone who has once again given their time in support of sport at Oxford Brookes.

Keith Kelly - Director of Sport

 

Over the past couple of months we have been highlighting our award nominees and winners across our website and social media channels and are very pleased to be able to highlight all of our award winners for 2020 here.

Kim Slessor

Kimberley Slessor

Strength & Conditioning Award

Kim balanced a PhD alongside playing and having a very active role in 3 sports; Football, Water Polo, and Ice Hockey. She took the lead on delivering S&C to her own Water Polo team and was extremely committed during S&C sessions often turning up after late-night training for her other sports. She also led the Waterpolo team to one of their most successful seasons and was a leader within the women's football team.

Will Robertson

William Robertson

Strength & Conditioning Award

Will has come on leaps and bounds since first stepping into a gym. The overall dedication to his own physical preparation has always been impressive, however this year he went the extra mile and drove a team-wide initiative to begin doing extra fitness sessions which contributed to massive fitness gains. Will also balanced his academic commitments whilst playing abroad this year in Dubai.

Tye Rath

Tye Rath

Fresher of the Year

Tye instantly clicked with the Squash Club due to his consistent positive attitude and strong leadership skills. He very quickly affirmed himself as a competitive member of the Men’s 1st team by always putting 100% into training and being on top of matches and league points.

The Men’s 1st team had a strong season finishing 2nd in Tier 2 of the Midlands Conference and making it through to the Semi-Finals of the Conference Cup. His ability to keep calm and supportive in high-pressure situations and hard work mentality meant he was an obvious choice for the new President of the Squash Club next year.

Erin McGready

Erin McGready

Marc Thompson Memorial Award

On and off the court, Erin is a force to be reckoned with. A standout athlete in her two sports - Netball and Ultimate Frisbee. This season she celebrated qualifying for indoor nationals as part of the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team, finished 2nd in a new competitive Netball league and won the Conference Cup.

As President of the Netball club she has repeatedly gone above and beyond to support her teammates in any way she can, from helping to coordinate coaching and playing, to ensuring all players from all teams are motivated to achieve, and spending hours contacting umpires for games. Erin was also selected to be one of #TEAMBrookes 2020 Varsity Captains.

Sophie and Mash

Sophie Welton & Mahshid Farjadpour

Coach of the Year

Sophie and Mahshid work tirelessly to make sure the Cheerleading teams are prepared and supported for success and both continuously make incredible sacrifices to support the development and wellbeing of each of the athletes. Their work ethic and dedication is an inspiration to all Brookes’ Cheerleaders and as a team, they are incredibly thankful for everything they continue to do for them.

Cheerleading celebrated a very successful competition season, despite it being cut short. At their final competition of the year the Level One team, Eternity, won their division and were titled Grand Champions as well as winning the Judges Choreography Award, which is a testament to both the hard work of the athletes and the perseverance and passion of the coaches.

Boxing

Boxing

Small Club of the Year

In Boxing’s first year as a recognised #TEAMBrookes’ Club, they have been thoroughly impressive in how they have handled all aspects of running a successful club. They have a growing membership and have a very committed committee who continuously try to go above and beyond to support their members.

Competitively, Boxing entered six athletes into the BUCS National Championships, where Maise Bracher secured a silver medal and other students were able to reach their semi-finals. Stan Disbury, the current President of the Boxing Club, was selected as Varsity captain which is a real testament to the relationship which Boxing has been able to bridge with Brookes Sport and the successful year that the Club has had.

Rugby League

Rugby League Men's 1st

Team of the Year

The Rugby League Men’s 1st Team had a historic, almost unblemished record this year, where they recorded only one defeat. They finished the season top of the Southern Tier 1 League and qualified for the BUCS Big Wednesday, after beating Oxford University in the semi-final of the Trophy. This momentous victory was the second time the team beat their local rival this season as they also had a historic Derby Day victory over them.

The team was a dominant force this year, showing both strength and depth with their players stepping up to the challenge at every point. The team operates a strong family ethos, focusing on inclusion and developing players. Within the Rugby League club, the 1st and 2nd teams train together, which allows for a strong club structure, maintaining the best interests of the members.

Zum Ahkter

Zaman (Zum) Ahkter

Sportsman of the Year

Zum is one of the strongest hockey players that #TEAMBrookes has ever had and has consistently been one of the strongest players on the pitch for all of his 3 years at Oxford Brookes playing the Men’s 1st team. However, not only is he an incredibly strong hockey player, but he is a very talented cricketer as he also represents the Oxford MCCU.

He successfully balances his sporting and academic commitments and is a dedicated and determined competitor. Zum is certainly a rare talent and his abilities will definitely be missed by both the MCCU and Hockey Club next year.

Lorna Hall

Lorna Hall

Sportswoman of the Year

Lorna is not only a very talented athlete, but is also a huge advocate for women in a sport which is typically male dominated. Her Presidency of the Shooting Club saw her working tirelessly to improve the student experience through widening access and inclusivity. She has held a pivotal role in changing the culture within #TEAMBrookes sports clubs and advocated strongly for the position of women within shooting.

Competitively, Lorna won the BUCS Individual Championships which cemented her place as one of the finest shots, not only in BUCS but in the UK. She also led the Women’s 1st Team to be crowned as BUCS Champions. Lorna has made a huge impact on the Shooting Club during her time at Oxford Brookes.

Rugby Union

Rugby Union

Club of the Year

The Rugby Union Club has had a lot to celebrate on the pitch across all of their teams. The Men’s 1st XV and 3rd XV won the Midlands Conference Cup and Plate respectively. Additionally, both teams were due to complete League and Cup Doubles had Covid-19 not hit as both teams were unbeaten in their leagues up until the lockdown. The Men’s 2nd XV made it to the Semi-Finals of the Conference Cup and finished mid-table in Tier 2A of the Midlands Conference. The Men’s 4th XV (non BUCS) were also successful in completing an unbeaten year playing in the Oxford University RFU League.

This year saw the beginning of merging the Men’s and Women’s Clubs to unify Rugby Union as one club at Oxford Brookes. This is a relationship that will continue to improve rugby provision over the coming years. Competing in Tier 1 of the Midlands Conference, the Women’s 1st XV faced tough competition all year with many of players only picking up rugby this season.

The successful growth of the club over the past year has meant that the Men’s side are looking to introduce an additional 5th XV next season to meet the demand of Brookes students. They are also looking to explore the potential for starting an intramural playing offer to ensure that there is playing opportunity for all levels. The club are also passionate about developing coaches. Over the past year - as well as the team of professional coaches - the club mentored, developed and supported four student coaches, which is something they intend to continue over the coming years.

Off the pitch, the club have been busy raising money for various charities. During the academic year they collaborated with the netball club to put on a netball Match which raised close to £1,000 for the charity Mind and participated in Movember which raised around £2,500. They have also been busy during lockdown on their social media platform sharing workouts and challenges. As well as raising money for key workers by running the distance equivalent of Lands End to John O’Groats and back again, and working with netball again to raise money for the charity Refuge.