A SPECIAL celebration of sport in Wellington took place on Saturday, November 20th.
More than 125 people attended the first Wellington Sports Awards, organised by the town’s Federation of Sports Clubs and held at the Cleve Hotel and Country Club.
Guest of honour at the black-tie dinner was top racehorse trainer Martin Pipe, who is based on the Blackdown Hills above Wellington and who received an International Award.
Also present were the federation’s two other patrons, Adrian Flook MP and Cllr Andrew Govier, while its president, the Duke of Wellington, sent his apologies.
MC for the evening was Sky Sports presenter Pete Barraclough and there was entertainment from Belinda Evans, who is best known for singing the National Anthem before each of England’s triumphant Rugby World Cup matches.
Welcoming the guests, federation chairman Ken Bird said the event marked the culmination of 18 months’ work since the organisation was formed.
“Since then we have set ourselves a clear agenda with three main issues – joint fund-raising, youth development and raising the profile of our town’s sports clubs within the local community.
“On the fund-raising front, we have held two extremely successful Summer Spectaculars at Wellington Rugby Club, raising many hundreds of pounds for the clubs and local organisations.
“We have also worked hard on youth development including developing links with our local schools.
“And, to fulfil the third challenge to our federation, tonight we stage a very public demonstration of Wellington’s sporting strength.”
In his speech, Martin Pipe paid tribute to the work of the federation and said he was proud to call Wellington his home town.
The federation presented 12 awards to recognise international, national and local achievement by sportsmen and women from Wellington and/or the town’s clubs.
Among the recipients were Rachel Fenwick, a former Olympic archer who formed the Bowmen of Wellington, Gareth Hodgson, who still plays rugby despite having the lower part of one of his legs amputated, and Tony Bull, who has just completed 50 years’ service to Wellington Football Club.
The full list of recipients was:
Junior award (presented by Wellington Town Council in memory of Maurice Jennings): Amy Stanton of Wellington Bowling Club.
Youth award (Carly Press): Bradley Field of Bath Rugby Club Academy and Wellington RFC.
Club award (Tone Leisure): Rachel Fenwick of the Bowmen of Wellington.
Coaching award (Wellington Sports): John Dunbar of Wellington Rugby Colts.
National award (Wellington Motors): Ben Trott of Kent County Cricket Club.
National award (the Young family in memory of Alan Young): Richard Lee formerly of Bath Rugby Club, Barbarians and England B.
Outstanding award (Cleve Hotel and Country Club): Tony Bull of Wellington Football Club.
Special award (Deejay Securities): Gareth Hodgson of Wellington Rugby Club.
Lifetime award (Somerset County Gazette): Dennis and Margaret Fullstone of Wellington Cricket Club.
Lifetime award (Barclays): Selwyn Aspin of Wellington Football Club.
Lifetime award (Swallowfield): Keith Colman of Wellington Rugby Club and Wellington Cricket Club.