Sunday, 22 December 2013

Honours List


At the end of a year which has seen North Wales clubs and individual athletes produce some superb performances I thought it might at least be a talking-point to produce an awards list for the region.

 It's not to be taken too seriously and I would welcome some feedback with alternative suggestions.

BEST INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE: Andrew Davies' 2-20.35 in the Frankfurt Marathon, the best by a North Walian for many years, but "Highly Commended" was Charlie Hulson's run for the GB senior team in Belgrade.

NORTH WALES CLUB OF THE YEAR: Menai Track and Field for producing so many young athletes and encouraging them to compete far and wide in cross-country and track and field.

TOP YOUNG ATHLETE: A few contenders, including Iolo and Cari Hughes (Menai) and Christian Smith (Wrexham), who finish the year as strongly as they began, but the winner must be Adele Nicoll from Welshpool. Who am I to argue with the judges of the Welsh Junior Sports Personality of the Year?

TOP VETERAN ATHLETE: Lee Jones (Deeside) has been exceptional on track, road and country, while the women's award must go to Chris Birch (Abergele), who belies her 65+ years and a real tough competitor.

MOST CONSISTENT PERFORMER: Who else but Arwel Lewis (Eryri)? Is there a single race in which he has not finished in the top three in his age-group, and that includes several where he "doubled up", racing twice at a weekend?

 UNSUNG HERO: Barry Edwards, Welsh Athletics' clubs development officer for North-West Wales, who, despite being employed only part-time, is behind so many initiatives and schemes and is one of the reasons behind the success of the Menai club.

DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE YEAR: Why do so few of Arwel's Eryri clubmates turnout in the North Wales Cross-Country League and Borders League which, as they have shown, they could comfortably win every year?

BEST NEW EVENT OF THE YEAR: With trail-running becoming increasingly popular, the Betws y Coed Trail Race was highly praised by all who took part.

  And to close - my personal wishes for 2014: a) to see more schools supporting the North Wales Junior Cross-Country League  b) for more clubs to support North Wales championship road races.

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