Athletic Union Awards 2018
Successful year for Sport Liverpool commemorated at Anfield awards night
The annual Athletic Union awards dinner took place on Friday, May 4, in the Main Stand at Anfield Stadium, the home of Liverpool FC, in what was a celebration of exceptional sporting achievement by University of Liverpool students this year.
The University’s name returned to the Christie Championship’s trophy for the first time in 27 years in April, as victories in 17 different sports, including American football, netball and tennis, saw Liverpool win by 19 points against Leeds and Manchester.
The University had also retained its Varsity title the previous week thanks to victories in football, rugby union, rowing and several others, while clubs including badminton, netball and squash were BUCS league winners.
Full colours, for those who have at least two years of regular service in a first team for the University, were presented at Anfield by AU president Tom Milner and vice-president Tom Kamal.
University Blues, for athletes who have played at English Universities level at the same time as representing their university club, were presented by Tom Milner, while Director of Sport Andy Craig presented Royal Blues, which are for athletes who have played at a national level.
The Beryl Furlong Female Club Captain of the Year Award was awarded to Beth Warke, the president of lacrosse, by Pat Starkey from ‘Friends of the University of Liverpool’. This award was named after one of the honorary life presidents of the AU, who was a leading woman for sport in Liverpool for more than 30 years, and sadly died in 2016.
Brandon Clifford of American football was given the Gary Walker Male Club Captain of the Year Award, which is named after the former Liverpool graduate who was the second person to be made honorary AU president in 1992. The award was presented by Gary’s wife Sheila Walker.
The Arnold Dyson Athlete of the Year Award was presented to Hadyn Lawson of water polo and volleyball by Pat Dyson, Arnold’s wife. The award was inaugurated in memory of Arnold Dyson who passed away in 2010. A former policeman in the University area in the 1940s and 50s, Arnold won the Mr Universe title in 1953.
The Coach of the Year Award was presented by honorary AU president Professor Ronan McGrath to joint-winners Andy Craig of volleyball and Phil Capper of hockey.
Tom Milner returned to the stage to present the AU Member of the Year Award to Sam Ball of table tennis and the AU Executive Most Improved Club Award to Handball, whose intake of members almost doubled on last year helping their men to fifth place and their women to sixth place, before the president of the Guild of Students, Sean Turner, presented the Lacrosse Men’s First Team, who won the BUCS northern conference cup, with the G. I. Gallie Most Improved Team Award.
The Vice Chancellor Cup for Highest Performing BUCS Club accolade was awarded to Volleyball,who went unbeaten all season long, by Professor Ronan McGrath.
Danielle Shields, the BUCS northern regional development officer, presented the Daddy Mac Top Team Award to Volleyball Men’s First Team, who won BUCS northern division 1A. This award is named after Dr Evan MacMillan who became honorary president of the AU in 1977 and who was a keen supporter of the AU.
The final award of the evening was presented by Andy Craig. Clay Pigeon Shooting were the recipients of the James E. Brown Top Club Trophy for 2017/18, after a year that saw them become national champions in both the men's and women's competitions, an incredible achievement.
Outgoing AU president Tom Milner, who will be replaced by Megan Andrews, said: “It’s been a real honour to lead the Athletic Union this year, culminating in a wonderful AU ball.
“Being presented with the Christie Championships by Andy Grant will live long in the memory, and capped off a successful year all round.
“Best of luck to Megan Andrews, who takes over my role. I'm sure she’ll have every success and the AU will go from strength to strength.”
Megan added: “I’m very excited to be joining the Sport Liverpool team as AU president next year. I’ve had a brilliant year of sport at university, and I can’t wait to continue this year’s success on to next year.”
Matt Addison // @MattAddison97