Head of Collyer’s Sport Academy, John Burroughs, said: “It is important that we reward students for outstanding ability as well as application across the year. Today’s prize winners regularly attended training, in addition to demonstrating superb team work and skills in their chosen sport.
“It was an honour for us to welcome Becky Essex back to Collyer’s, where she studied in the early 2000s. She went on to win an astonishing 57 caps for England, numerous Grand Slams and the Rugby World Cup in 2014. We are so grateful to her for taking such an interest in Collyer’s sport.”
During 2016/17 Collyer’s teams won numerous honours across a range of sports. These included: Surrey Sixth Form U19 League Championship title for the women’s football, a Sussex U19 League Championship title for netball, while the men’s football 1st won the Colleges south east division.
The Most Improved Player (MIP) for women’s hockey prize went to Florence Mason, while Jemima Spurr was delighted to pick up Player of the Year (POY) award. In men’s hockey, Dan Casey (POY) and Oli Burke (MIP) came away with the honours, while Basketball’s POY was awarded to Nick Hutchinson, with the MIP prize won by Jeffrey Wong.
Women’s football POY was picked up by Felicity Love, with Juliette Berry winning the MIP prize. Adam Winkworth (first team), Marcus Ordever (‘Blues’) and Alex Barker (‘Golds’) walked away with the POY men’s football prizes; MIP men’s football awards went to Jamie Gibson (first team), Ben Gibbs (‘Blues’) and Kyle Sim (‘Golds’).
In netball, the MIP prizes were awarded to Sasha Ford (first team) and Joanna Burley (second team); POY prizes were presented to Holly Bown and Mae Holmes (who shared the first team prize) and Hannah Youds (second team).
The women’s rugby POY award went to Kathryn Lee, while Katie Sexton picked up the MIP award. The men’s rugby MIP award went to Jack Thompson and Sam Jewell received the POY prize.
The prizes were announced by the team of specialist coaches at Collyer’s, including Dominic Evans (basketball), Brannon O’Neil and Laura Carruthers (football) and Michelle Peckham (netball).
Becky Essex was delighted to present the medals and silverware at the awards. She said: “It was a pleasure to honour the sporting successes and to celebrate the students’ achievement and commitment. Collyer’s has changed so much since I was a student; I’m so impressed with the sheer number of teams and sports available.
“Well done to all of the students and their brilliant teachers. I think events like these are really important, as it shows the college really values their students.”
The climax of the awards ceremony saw John Burroughs announce the winners for the Team of the Year Award, which went to the outstanding Netball first team, the first time a team has won the prize two years in a row!
John Burroughs said: “Massive thanks to our great coaching team and our superb athletes. These students are incredible young men and women and we are hugely proud of them.”
Men’s rugby captain Owain Mcloughlin: “It is safe to say that we were all star-struck when Becky arrived. Our students and Vice Principal Steve Martell couldn’t get a photo with her fast enough!”
Steve Martell said: “Becky Essex retired a Rugby World Cup Winner and remains a fantastic role model and inspiration for our students. John Burroughs and the coaches and I are of the firm belief that we are at the beginning of a golden generation of athletes, here at Collyer’s, and it was an honour to welcome Becky back to help motivate them to achieve even greater things in the future.”
Collyer’s Head of Faculty for Business, Sport and Social Sciences James Gordon said: “These are exciting times for sport at Collyer’s as the first year of our new sports academies, in Basketball, Netball and Rugby, have proved extremely popular. We are certainly attracting elite players from across the region and we owe enormous thanks to John Burroughs for widening participation so wonderfully at Collyer’s.”