It has been another busy year for sport at Midland Mencap from the weekly social kick about to representing the West Midlands in the National Special Olympics. And also who can forget the roller coaster of emotions in Amsterdam?
To celebrate and recognise some of these outstanding achievements of our athletes this year on Friday 22nd September we held Midland Mencap’s 4th Annual Sports Awards.
Sports Awards Winners!!
Newcomer Of The Year – Tom Kirby
Tom has started a new sport, trained and played in a Midland Mencap sports team for the first time this year. Tom’s team (the Midland Mencap Hockey Flyerz) won gold at the European Para Hockey Championships in August. A great achievement for Tom this season!
Young Sportsperson of the Year – Ben Twells
Ben has played football and basketball with us before, but this summer he discovered another sport: tennis! Ben has learned new tennis skills really quickly, and it has been a joy to coach him and watch his very rapid development in this sport.
Most Improved Athlete – Anthony Couling
Anthony has been swimming with us for just over a year now, and in this time he has really developed his swimming skills: never an easy thing to do!
Sporting Achievement – Nagina
During the summer Nagina took part in the Special Olympics National Games in Sheffield. Nagina was the first ever Midland Mencap athlete to gain this prestigious honour! Nagina claimed her medal in the MATP (Motor Activities Training Programme) event: this is for athletes with PMLD but is able to provide a suitable challenge for all athletes. A real sporting achievement!
Team Player of The Year – Reece Brackpool
Reece plays football and hockey with us. In Amsterdam, he was a highly valued member of the Flyerz hockey team, with laughter and smiles following him everywhere! He also played some great hockey, despite the fact that he only started this new sport at the turn of the year. A true team player!
Special Recognition Award – Ross Faville
Ross also plays football and hockey with us, but hockey is his favourite sport now! Ross was captain of the victorious hockey team and played every single minute of the tournament. Despite his legs being a bit tired after all that, Ross stepped up and took the winning penalty in the shoot out during the final against Spain. A true captain, sportsman and a great ambassador for hockey
Team of The Year – Hockey
It could only be one team really! The Hockey team followed up their bronze medal from the European Hockey Championships in London in 2015 by going two better and winning gold. Team work, skill, dedication to training, supporting each other and then managing to win a penalty shoot out and a gold medal. A truly unforgettable experience.
12th Man Award – Families / Carers
This was a new award this year to recognise the valuable and sometimes unspoken contribution that all players’ families and carers made. This included getting their loved ones to training, attending meetings with us, fundraising, encouraging, joining in with training and then becoming the team’s very own ‘Barmy Army’ in Amsterdam (where they were the noisiest supporters section and cheered the team throughout the tournament and on to gold!).
Midland Mencap Sports Personality of the Year – Bryn Owen Jones
Bryn is a multi talented sportsman, playing hockey and football, and joining in with swimming. He even goes to the gym on his days off! Bryn simply puts every ounce of effort into playing when he’s on the pitch. A polite, friendly, cheerful man off the pitch, Bryn ran himself into the ground in Amsterdam for his team and also scored one of the penalties in the shoot out. A pleasure to be around, the cheers in the room when this award was announced showed just what a popular winner Bryn was!
This has definitely been a year of amazing sporting achievements and it will be hard to top. However, with the same amount of support and dedication from Steve and Laura, the athletes, our fantastic volunteers and parents and carers, we’ll give it a good go!
If you are feeling inspired to get involved with sports at Midland Mencap, either as an athlete or a volunteer, please contact The Sports Team on 0121 427 6404.
Find our volunteer roles on ‘Do It’ here.