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UEL honours sporting stars

PUBLISHED: 13:45 22 May 2015

UEL's International Excellence award winners with Mark Hunter (pic: Ewen Laycock/UEL)

UEL's International Excellence award winners with Mark Hunter (pic: Ewen Laycock/UEL)

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Annual awards night pays tribute to students

UEL's men's 4x100m relay squad pick up their award (pic: Ewen Laycock/UEL)UEL's men's 4x100m relay squad pick up their award (pic: Ewen Laycock/UEL)

The University of East London honoured its sporting stars of 2014/15 at the sixth annual UEL Sports Awards at Emirates Stadium last night.

The glittering event noted the achievements of students in the British Universities and Colleges Sports (BUCS) Championships and beyond and also recognised the behind-the-scenes work of their team-mates and peers.

After welcoming speeches from Director of Sport David Cosford, who highlighted the progress made across the board, and vice-chancellor John Joughin the first awards were presented to Student of the Year winners Khian Graham-Minott (Sports Therapy), Richard Robbins (Sport & Exercise Sciences) and Rebecca James (Sports Journalism).

Olympic gold medalist Mark Hunter MBE then received a Lifetime Achievement award from deputy vice-chancellor Dusty Amroliwala in recognition of a 23-year rowing career, that began at the nearby Poplar Blackwall & District club, and included participation in the London Youth Games en route to World Championship success and Olympic glory in Beijing in 2008.

UEL's cheerleading team at the annual awards night (pic: Ewen Laycock/UEL)UEL's cheerleading team at the annual awards night (pic: Ewen Laycock/UEL)

Service to Sport awards were then handed out to students who had done more than just compete, including Lucy Fordham (trampoline), Jacob Hood (athletics), Mary Carr (cheerleading), Angelo Altobelli (American Football), Stephanie Ware (boxing), William Golding (rowing), Chris Leek (hockey) and Sophie Newnes (self defence).

Kit sponsor Lycamobile received the Partner of the Year prize, before Aimee Willmott (swimming), Chris Mbwakongo (boxing), Mohammed Gharib (boxing), Mark Garcia-Kidd (volleyball), Graham Bell (volleyball) and Bianca Williams (athletics) received International Excellence awards.

And after the Health, Sport & Bioscience department claimed the My UELSports award and Cosford had made his Premier Award to the women’s volleyball squad in recognition of their promotion, there was a new award presented for Coach of the Year.

Athletics coach Andre Fernandez became the first recipient of the new Zawdie Bascom award, presented in memory of a dear UEL friend who had passed away last year, before track star Williams took the Mike Brace CBE award for Individual Achievement of the Year following her medals at the Commonwealth Games and IAAF World Relays.

UEL's netball squad celebrate with their award (pic: Ewen Laycock/UEL)UEL's netball squad celebrate with their award (pic: Ewen Laycock/UEL)

Closing the ceremony were awards for Most Improved Club (cheerleading), Team Achievement (men’s 4x100m relay) and Club of the Year (netball), before Fordham offered thanks on behalf of UEL students.

“Sport made the difference to my UEL experience, but you have to work for it,” she said.

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