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UK Athletics

British Athletics Writers Awards

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Phillips Idowu BAWA 08



27 October 2008





Athletics had much to celebrate following a memorable 2008 at Saturday’s annual awards dinner this weekend.


The glamorous ceremony that took place at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London, celebrated the best performances of the summer in a star-studded ceremony.


The winners on the evening were:


Junior female athlete of the year


World Junior 1500m champion and Olympic semi finalist Steph Twell received the top award. In receiving her prize she said of her Olympic appearance:

“It was incredible – I wanted to use this year to establish myself as a senior athlete and ruffle a few feathers at World Level”


Junior male athlete of the year


David Forrester – the top British Male at this years’ World Cross Country championships and ninth placer in the 1500m final at the World Junior championships was a deserving winner, but revealed his 2008 is far from over competitively:

“I’m targeting the European Cross Country Championships in December,” he said – “and next year I’ll be looking to make it in the senior ranks.”


Ron Pickering Memorial Award for Services to Athletics


Popular Endurance Coach and Loughborough legend George Gandy received this accolade for his dedication to a sport he has worked in for more than 40 years.

The coach, who led Lisa Dobriskey to Olympic fourth place in Beijing, was joined on stage by Seb Coe who recalled the impact Gandy made on his training:

“When I arrived at Loughborough in the seventies, the conditioning work George Gave me was revolutionary at the time.”

Gandy said of his most famous athlete: “Seb brought talent, commitment and sheer bloody-minded persistence to his training – let’s hope we can repeat the recipe with others over the next four years.”

The Aviva Award for the Best Performance in a British Vest


Olympic and Paralympic Gold medallists Christine Ohuruogu and David Weir were joint winners of the award recognising their achievements in Beijing this summer.


Female Athlete of the Year


There could only be one winner of this award, and Olympic Gold medallist Christine Ohuruogu, speaking via a recording thanked the British Writers for their work in supporting her so much over the past year adding: “the writers are a window on the world for us athletes so thanks for all you do.”


Male Athlete of the Year


Olympic Silver medallist Phillips Idowu looks finally to have cheered somewhat at his Olympic achievement, dryly referring to it as “almost the ideal competition”


Despite winning silver Idowu was noted for his disappointment at missing out on gold by just a few centimetres, but it appeared he was now motivated to keep going in the sport.


“If last year people had said I’d get a silver medal I’d have snatched it with both hands,” he admitted. “But people’s reaction to my performances has inspired me to keep going for four years.”


NU Community Sports Fund Award


Finally, the Norwich Union Community Sports Fund announced its Gold Award winner for 2008 – receiving £50,000 towards a worthy cause.


The winner, following on from last year’s winner “Active Archie” was the Special Olympics City of York group – who aim to use the funds to support athletes with learning disabilities in their participation in national and international competition. The money will also be used to purchase equipment, hire facilities and pay coaches.


For more information visit the Join Our Team website.