For the first time in three years we were able to hold our annual Blackburn Harriers Celebration Evening at a packed out Mill Hill Working Men’s Club on Friday November 18th. The evening gave us all an opportunity to come together and share in the individual and collective achievements of the Club and to pay tribute to all those who help make Blackburn Harriers what it is today – a club still competing and pushing forward 139 years after it was first formed in 1883.
The Club’s President George Woodburn and newly elected Chair Caerwen Butler led the celebrations around the Awards, served food to everyone, conducted a raffle which had some amazing prizes including Hampers from Fortnum & Mason, Marks & Spencer; £500 of free tree work from an approved arborist; £100 of vouchers from Fastrax donated by a Club member; Round of golf with a bottle of wine; 2 free entries into Blackburn 10k; 6 months free membership at Burnley Gym along with a free Cryotherapy session and Environmental session donated by Burnley College;
Physio/ treadmill running analysis; Free physio session with Ann Marie; a £250 designer handbag, quality wine delivered in its own box; Free family portrait session with 6 free photos; a case of wine; trainers and much more besides. Then when that was over, there was an auction for a fully certified Usain Bolt signed shirt, donated by one of the athletes father, which realised £430.00 for the Club. All of this was followed by a disco with a packed floor full of people just having a great time. Overall a fabulous evening.
The evening got off to a great start as we made a special presentation to Tony Wood our former President for his service to the Club over 50 years. In presenting the Award to Tony, George Davies the outgoing Chairman described Tony’s lifelong commitment to the Club as an athlete, official, coach, team manager, committee member, Club Chairman, Club president and still a sitting member of the Club’s Executive Committee. On top of all that he was the Chairman of Lancashire athletics for 15 consecutive years, handing over to Blackpool’s Stan Taylor this year and is the current Chairman of Northern Athletics and instrumental in securing the survival of that organisation and the continuation of Championships still being held in Road, Cross Country, Track & Field and Fell – not a bad CV. Following that was a surprise award to George Davies as the outgoing Chairman from Caerwen Butler who takes over the role and further surprise from George Woodburn who introduced the award – coming up with some photos from past races – oh to be that ‘young’ again; and to top it all off, Caerwen presented a lovely boquet of flowers to Mick Hitchon for his wife Wendy Hitchon thanking her for all of her time and hardwork as the secretary of the Club which Michelle Nuttall will now take over and a further presentation of flowers to Anne Davies – for ‘putting up’ with the former Chairman – her husband.
These Awards are based on performances covering the cross country, indoors, track & field, road and fell seasons from October 2021 through to September 2022.
Junior U13/U15G (Agatha Taylor) — U13/U15B (Sam Aspey) — Inter U17/U20W (Isabel Holt) — U17/U20M (David Holman) — Senior W (Helen Leigh) — Senior M (Callum Davidson) — Vet W (Joanne Nelson) – Vet M (Matt Nuttall)
U15/U17 W (Millee Schofield) — U15/U17 M (Daniel Nuttall) — Senior U20/Sen (Poppy Preece) — Sen U20/Sen (Dominic Walton)
U11G Winner (Imogen Boardman) — U11G Runner-Up (Isabella Pawson) — U11B Winner (Alex McKinlay) — U11B Runner-Up (Ansh Nama)
Track Endurance Summer 2022
U13/U15G (Agatha Taylor) — U13/U15B (Jack Baranowski) — Inter U17/U20W (Abigail Stratton) — Inter U17/U20M (Dexta Thompson) — SenW (Ellen Sagar-Hesketh) — SenM (Dominic Walton)
Sprints Summer 2022
U13/U15G (Caris Peter-Thomas) — U13/U15B (Daniel Nuttall) — Inter U17/U20W (Kara Dacosta) — Inter U17/U20M (Charles Unsworth) — SenW (Beatrice Toman) — SenM (Lewis Slack)
Jumps Summer 2022
Junior U13/U15G (Imogen Robinson) — Junior U13/U15B (Daniel Nuttall) — Inter U17/U20W (Kara Dacosta) — Inter U17/U20M (Daniel Smith) — SenW (Millie Coy) — SenM (Kail Sturgess)
Throws Summer 2022
Junior U13/U15G (Leila Pilkington) — Junior U13/U15B (Jacob Fisher) — Inter U17/U20W (Emma Harrison) — Inter U17/U20M (Matthew Heywood) — SenW (Charlotte Williams) — SenM (Anthony Kent)
Hurdles Summer 2022
Junior U13.U15G ( Alisha Lehner) — Junior U13/U15B (George Camara) — SenW (Poppy Preece) – SenM (Ben Boocock)
Vets Covering all Field Disciplines Summer 2022
Women Vet Winner (Sarah Henton) – Male Vet Winner (Tony Balko)
Multi-Eventer of the Year
Winner Kara Dacosta
Team of the Year
This was another diffcult category in determining the Winner. The year saw promotion to the Premier Division for both teams in the UKYDL – Lower Age (U13.U15’s) and Upper Age (U17/U20’s); Grand Final Northern League Winners with our Senior T&F Teams; Bronze medalists for two years in a row by our Senior Men’s 6-Stage Road Relay Team; Lancashire Sportshall Winners for the first time; Blackburn Harriers U13 Boys – Lancashire Cross Country Champions; Blackburn Harriers U15 Girls – Lancashire Cross Country Champions; Blackburn Harriers U17 W – Lancashire Cross Country Champions; Blackburn Harriers SenM – Lancashire Cross Country Champions; Blackburn Harriers U13B – Mid Lancs League Cross Country Champions; Blackburn Harriers U13B – Red Rose Cross Country League Champions; Blackburn Harriers U17W – Mid Lancs League Cross Country Champions; Blackburn Harriers U17M – Mid Lancs Lergue Cross Country Champions; Blackburn Harriers SenM – Red Rose Cross Country League Champions; Blackburn Harriers U17W – Northern 5k Road Relay Champions. In the end it was decided to have joint winners – The Clubs Senior T&F Squad who won the West Premier Division and the Grand Final in the same period along with our Soprtshall Squad who won their first ever Lancashire Sportshall Championship.
Most Improved Athlete
Junior U13/U15/U17G (Alisha Lehner) — Junior U13/U15B/U17 (Oliver Gill & Harrison Allcock) — SenW U20/Sen/Vet (Eleesha Charnley) – SenM U20/Sen/Vet (Matthew Heywood & David Holman)
This is an Award given to someone who strives contin ualy to be involved with the club training, competing and helping out whenever he can and always with a smile on his face – Jack Paget-Fowler was the winner.
Best Young athlete performance of the Year
Junior U13/U15/U17 Female (Millee Schofield) — Junior U13/U15/U17 Male (Daniel Nuttall)
Best Senior athlete performance of the Year
Senior U20/Sen/Vet Female (Abigail Stratton) – Sen U20/Sen/vet Male (Matthew Ramsden)
*ACE Award for overall outstanding contribution by an athlete
This is an Award given to a member who makes an all round and huge contribution to the running of the Club. The Winner is a Level 1 Official for T&F, an Assistant Coach, competes in the UKYDL Upper Age Group team which won promotion to the Premier Division, competes in the Northern Senior T&F team which won the Division title and Grand Final, Coaches everyweek at Sportshall as well as training twice a week with the throws squad, helps run the annual Sportshall Quadrathon all at the same time as preparing for her A-Level exams. A truly worthy and outstanding Winner – Grace Bontoft.