BURBAGE & Easton Royal Cricket Club’s Paul Lavis said his Wiltshire and Swindon Sports Awards triumph was down to his club’s thriving youth section.
Head coach Lavis was named as Coach of the Year for participation and was presented his award by Pewsey’s World Cup champion skeleton star Shelley Rudman at Swindon’s Steam museum last week.
Lavis, who is a UKCC Level 2 coach, said: “To win it is amazing and it’s good for the club.
“I only got an email to say that I’d been nominated two weeks before and I knew nothing about it. The chairman of Burbage (Marek Grabowski) nominated me.
“Our first team have been promoted two years running and they only just missed out this year, so it’s a great club to be at. We’ve got good coaching teams and it’s nice for everyone there.
“Five years ago we only had maybe ten or 15 kids playing at the club in one U13s side and I had three sons who would be going into the age group sides so I took it over.
“In less than five years, we’ve got over 100 kids in different age groups and we’ve got so many now playing at our club.
“Everyone’s been joining in and we ran a ladies’ side last year. We’re also trying to get a disability side together.”
Burbage chairman Grabowski said: “Paul was so surprised to win that when he had his official photo taken with Phil de Glanville (former England rugby captain), Shelley and Jerry (Kunkler, Pewsey councillor), he didn't realise that he was holding his award the wrong way round.
“It’s a great achievement for Paul and the club. We were certainly the smallest community represented by a long stretch.”
The High Performance Coach of the Year gong went to Devizes Budo Club’s Jason Parsons, who is also the West of England team coach and an England ExCel coach with the British Judo Association.
Devizes Cricket Club’s veterans John Bedbrook and Malcolm Miles and Potterne Cricket Club stalwart Ian Wheeler were all honoured for their outstanding contribution to sport.
OTHER AWARD WINNERS
Sports Personality of the Year: Jade Faulkner (Team GB Rhythmic Gymnastics); Sports Personality of the Year for an athlete with a disability: Aaron Moores (Trowbridge ASC); Official of the Year – Richard Moorhouse (Swindon Dolphins); Participation Coach of the Year (commendation) – Kim Bedry (Raychem Netball Club); Roger Byrne Unsung Hero of the Year award (joint-winner) – Ken Stimson (North Wiltshire Orienteering) Sean Price (Southwick Parkrun organiser); Young Volunteer of the Year – Megan Tidy (Wiltshire FA); Most Innovative Club of the Year – Sarum Sisters; Most Innovative Club of the Year (commendation) – City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club; Inclusion Coach of the Year: Sue Tucker (Trowbridge ASC); Young Coach of the Year: Amy Cowley (West Wilts Diving Club) Inclusion Club of the Year: Trowbridge ASC; Outstanding Contribution to Sport: Pat Harris (Pinehurst Netball Club) , Geoffrey Russell (Salisbury Fencing Club).
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