University of Chichester celebrates stunning sporting successes

Ben Chick and Ken Hagan are presented with the joint sportsman of the year trophy
Ben Chick and Ken Hagan are presented with the joint sportsman of the year trophy

Fontwell Park racecourse was the setting for the University of Chichester Students’ Union sports awards evening.

A total of 284 students and guests gathered for a celebration of student sport, with a number of presentations and awards organised by the Sports Federation Executive Committee. This year’s speaker was university vice-chancellor Professor Clive Behagg.

Compered by SU President CeeCee Douglas and netball’s Laura Nerssessian, the presentations started with the Steven Bernard men’s football fresher of the year award. Steven Bernard was a PE QTS student who tragically died in 2005 in a car accident.

Winner Pau Casassa received his award from Tony Bernard, Steven’s father. Tony, on behalf of the Steve Bernard Foundation, received a cheque from club president Peter Hibbert for £850 - proceeds from a memorial match.

More than 30 students received club colours - awarded to leavers in recognition of service to their clubs.

Four teams were recognised for BUCS (British University College Sport) league success in 2013 - the netball fourth team, women’s football seconds and men’s hockey seconds receiving plaques and winners’ medals.

The men’s football fifth team were recognised for their BUCS Vase Cup victory as well as their BUCS league success.

The most improved team award went to the netball thirds after a successful league season that saw them finish runners-up in their BUCS league.

Most improved player was women’s hockey player Laura Purkiss, who took up the sport this year and excelled, proving a real asset to the club as the season progressed.

A new award introduced for this year was the non-BUCS team of the year accolade. The inaugural winners were the men’s football Sunday team managed by Robin Wilcox. This season saw the team win the CWSSFL division-two title.

This year’s international colours winners were Ben Chick, Kenneth Hagan and Dan Smith, who starred in the men’s football first team and were selected for the prestigious English Universities squad who faced the best of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish squads.

The sports personality of the year winner was netball’s Hannah MacLachlan, beating seven candidates in a vote by by guests on the night.

Full colours were awarded to students who had consistently excelled in performance and/or heavily contributed to the running of their club or the federation. In all 53 students were recognised.

The final colour presentations of the night were for the excellence award. These were given to three individuals - Dan Taylor (Sports Federation/racquets) Laura Nerssessian (netball) and Peter Hibbert (football) for their outstanding contribution to student sport.

Fresher of the year was Gillian Thomas, who starred for the women’s rugby and badminton teams this season - often on the same day.

Unsung hero was men’s football’s Matt Winter for his multimedia work for his club.

Contribution to sport was awarded to Dan Taylor, who excelled as Sports Federation president as well as carrying out a range of jobs within the racquet sports club.

Sportswoman of the year was Jariya Sime from the women’s rugby club. She impressed as first-team captain and was a key player.

Sportsman of the year was a joint award to men’s football’s Ben Chick and Kenneth Hagan. Both have been key to the first team’s success.

The final two awards saw the men’s football first team pick up team of the year for the second time in succession. They have enjoyed an incredible debut season in the BUCS Premier South, in which they finished runners-up.

The men’s football club crowned a good night picking up their fifth award and the most sought-after: club of the year. They were recognised for their community work and organisation of the Steve Bernard Memorial match as well as their on-pitch success.