North Shields Poly honours top performers

North Shields Poly held its annual prize and presentation event, organised by club chairman Ian Woodward and Natalie Thorburn, at Percy Park Rugby Club on Saturday.

International race starter Alan Bell was guest speaker and presented prizes to more than 80 athletes of all ages from under 13s to over 70s.

Bell was appointed to the IAAF International Starters Panel in 2003 and was chief starter at the 2012 Olympic Games and the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham.

He also started the fastest race in history – Usain Bolt’s 9.58 in Berlin in 2009.

However, his controversial, though correct, decision to disqualify Bolt in the 2011 World 100 metres final in Daegu, meant he became well-known to those outside the world of athletics.

Notable Poly winners awarded two or more prizes were young athletes Josh Blevins, who also won the Diane Williams Shield for the best performing under 11 athlete, Callum Moore, Thomas Sursham, Isaac Noble and Issy Robinson.

The Helen Oughton Memorial Shield, given to the most promising up and coming lady athlete of the year, was presented to Isobel Robinson.

Still with the young athletes, the Chipchase Trophy for the best performing field athlete was presented to Dylan Keville, and Robert Mole won the Trevor Stoppard Memorial Trophy for a young sprinter/hurdler who ‘has made the most progress during the year’.

The Norman Davis Trophy for the most promising middle distance male of the year was given to 12-year-old Thomas Sursham.

In the senior and veteran athletes category, prizewinning athletes were: Paul West, Claire McManus, Paul Davies, Scott Ellis, Jill Clark, Jackie Penn, Colin Eberhardt, Jason Stirland, Katherine Davis, Alison Smith, William Robson, Guy Bracken, Cheryl-Lee Hall, Greg Penn, Michelle Thompson, Graeme Cook, Stephanie Dann, Patrick Houghton, Paul West, Gina Rutherford, Ross Butcher, Chris Waite, Sean Maley, Helen Hughes, Kate Dyson, Garry Robson, Rachel Inman, Heather Gould, Colin Brown, Gemma Thompson, Paul Robertson, Laura Mole, Lucy Robinson, Beth Hawksworth, Anna Stephens and Faye Groom.

The John Michael Earnshaw Trophy was awarded to Kath Stewart for attaining the highest standard in the last year.

The Steady Eddie Shield, given to the ‘person who has contributed the most in any aspect to the success of the club’, was presented to club secretary John Brettell.