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The Best of the Best - Winners Celebrate at the BUCS Awards 2014 14/07/2014

After a year of thrills and spills, incredible performances and selfless acts in the name of sport, Universities from all over Great Britain came together to pay tribute to the students and volunteers who have truly made a difference this year.

As host for the evening, BUCS President John Inverdale, began proceedings with an anecdote of his own eventful graduation, he swiftly called Bob Potter to the stage to announce the winner of the Chris Potter Award, a £1000 grant in honour of his son, which this year was won by recent graduate, Alex Clayton (University of Southamptonselfie) who walked away with £750 to continue his development having established a cycling programme as a student. Runner-up, Alex McKenzie-Smith (University of Surrey) was also awarded £250 for setting up a league winning Lacrosse team from scratch.

The third and final financial award of the night came as the Supergrad Player of the Tournament, Kay Wilson (Cardiff Metropolitan University) received a cheque for a whopping £2014, which she said would help her as she continues her unpaid activity with the England Women’s Rugby team in the build up to the Women’s Rugby World Cup in August.

Following on from the first ever BUCS Deloitte Leadership Academy, one participant who went on to achieve great success despite having to rebuild a club with bad debt and an unfortunate reputation was Andrew Sears (Reading), who deservingly won the BUCS Deloitte Leadership Award for his work as President of the Reading University Men’s Football Club. The leadership skills he learnt from Martyn Hewitt at the BDLA helped Andrew greatly as he highlighted the importance of delegation as the key to his success.

The Unsung Hero Award went to a man who is no longer involved directly with University sport, someone who juggles his time as a professional solicitor in order to not only coach but also drive the Edinburgh Ice Hockey team to away fixtures sometimes as late as 1am before being back in the courtroom the following morning. The winner, Richard Gray, will now relinquish his duties however a well-deserved winner for his years of service to University sport.

One of the most coveted awards throughout the sector, the Most Improved University Award, went to high flyers Northumbria University who amassed an impressive 712.25 point increase this year, jumping seven places in to the top ten for the first time since 2004-05.

There was a sense of déjà vu (for the 34th time) as Loughborough University took home the Overall Points Trophy ahead of Durham University in 2nd and University of Birmingham in 3rd , the last awards before our hosts, Swansea University, supplied guests with a sumptuous welsh themed dinner.

After dinner, guests were treated to an immensely funny and insightful speech from the best Rugby Union referee in the world, Nigel Owens, who after leaving guests in fits of laughter drew the raffle whereby new BUCS charity partner, Marie Curie, raised a hugely significant £1673 thanks to the generosity of guests and partners.

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Moving on to 2nd half of the awards ceremony, cheeky chappy, Lee Warren (University of Bedfordshire) accepted his award for Endsleigh Insurance Student Volunteer of the Year for his efforts in establishing a recreational football and futsal programme at his University before taking the opportunity to take a selfie with Nigel Owens whilst on stage.

Commonwealth sprinter, Adam Gemili (University of East London), took the time to accept his award for BUCS Sportsman of the Year via a pre recorded video. However, no one would begrudge him as he prepares to compete in Glasgow in the coming weeks, highlighting once again the level of talent competing in BUCS competition this year. Another immense talent who collected the BUCS Sportswoman of the Year award was world record holder for S10 200m Butterfly, Eleni Papadopoulos (University of Manchester), who astounded guests by stating that she swims up to 60 kilometres a week and hopes to be selected for the Paralympics in Rio 2016.

The Kukri ‘For the Team’ Award went to the World University Games champions, Women’s GBR Football, who despite achieving their success 11 months ago, were rightly recognised for the gold medal they earned in Kazan following some tremendous performances.

In a very different focus, University of Leeds Women’s Hockey Club won BUCS Club of the Year in association with Takethatphoto for the fine work they did in increasing participation within the university and the local community during 2013-14.

And finally, a very special man was recognised for his years of service to BUCS (including BUSA) in his voluntary roles including chairman, board member, various committees and constant support to the sector within his professional role as Director of Sport, most recently at the University of Exeter; as Phil Attwell was honoured with the Outstanding Contribution to Higher Education Sport Award before he moves on to a new role of Director of Campus Services at Exeter with the best wishes of all at BUCS and the entirety of the membership.

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The full breakdown of the BUCS Awards 2013-14 can be found below:

 

Chris Potter Award: Alex Clayton (University of Southampton) (1st place)

Alex Mckenzie-Smith (University of Surrey) (2nd place)

Supergrad Player of the Tournament: Kay Wilson (Cardiff Metropolitan University)

BUCS Deloitte Leadership Award: Andrew Sears (Reading University)

Unsung Hero: Richard Gray (University of Edinburgh)

Most Improved University: Northumbria University

BUCS Overall 1st place: Loughborough

BUCS Overall 2nd place: Durham University

BUCS Overall 3rd place: University of Birmingham

Endsleigh Insurance Student Volunteer of the Year: Lee Warren (Bedfordshire)

Sportsman of the Year: Adam Gemili (University of East London)

Sportswoman of the Year: Eleni Papadopoulos (University of Manchester)

Kukri ‘For the Team’ Award: Women’s GBR Football

Club of the Year in association with Takethatphoto: University of Leeds Women’s Hockey Club

Outstanding Contribution To Higher Education Sport: Phil Attwell (University of Exeter)

 

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