Esteemed coach Peter Stanley was awarded with the prestigious Ron Pickering Memorial Award for Services to Athletics as part of today’s British Athletics Writers Awards in London.
Set for retirement next year after almost 40 years of helping British jumpers to the top of the sport, Stanley’s service to athletics have seen him serve as coach to Jonathan Edwards throughout a career that saw him break the world record and win both Olympic and world titles, while at present Stanley continues to serve in the position of UK Athletics’ Head of Field & Combined Events.
On the individual accolade front for athletes, Katarina Johnson-Thompson (coach: Bertrand Valcin, club: Liverpool Harriers) scooped the Cliff Temple Award for Female Athlete of the Year following her magnificent performance in Doha to clinch world gold and claim the British heptathlon record.
Fellow world champion Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie, Blackheath & Bromley) was second in the voting following two British record runs to win world 200m gold and 100m silver before then contributing to the British 4x100m team winning world silver.
Laura Muir (Andy Young, Dundee Hawkhill) was third in the voting following a year that saw the Scot retain her 1500m and 3000m European indoor titles before then returning from injury to run a blistering time of 3:55.76 for a fine fifth place over the 1500m in Doha.
The John Rodda Award for Male Athlete of the Year went to Adam Gemili (Rana Reider, Blackheath & Bromley) following a superb season that saw the Londoner win British 200m gold in a championship record time before then going on to finish fourth and just outside the medals in the same event at the World Championships. Days later, Gemili played a starring role as the British 4x100m quartet won world silver.
Scottish marathon star Callum Hawkins (Robert Hawkins, Kilbarchan) was second in the voting following his inspired run for fourth place in the marathon in Doha, while hammer thrower Nick Miller (Tore Gustafsson, Border) and Sir Mo Farah (Gary Lough, Newham & Essex Beagles) shared third.
A week on from the conclusion of the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai, grand-slam champion Sophie Hahn (Leon Baptiste, Charnwood) was once again crowned Female Para Athlete of the Year following consecutive world records over the 100m and 200m to retain her T38 sprint world titles. The Paralympic, World, Commonwealth and European champion now looks forward to Tokyo 2020 with ambitions of retaining both Paralympic titles having won double gold in Rio in 2016.
In the men’s equivalent, Thomas Young (Jon McDonnell, Charnwood) joined Hahn in winning the award for the second consecutive year following the best performance of his career to win world silver in Dubai. Heading to the championships with aspirations of making the podium, Young broke the European record in his heat before lowering it once again with a time of 11.00secs to win his first global medal.
The Jim Coote Memorial Award for Junior Male went to Max Burgin (Brian Burgin, Halifax) following the then 17-year-old setting a British junior record of 1:45.36 over 800m earlier this year in Bedford, while the Lilian Board Memoral Award for Junior Female was won by Amy Hunt (Jon McDonnell, Charnwood) in the year that saw Hunt break the world junior 200m record with 22.42 before going to win the European junior title in the same event.
An award newly re-named after the trailblazing sports correspondent who sadly passed away earlier this year, the Vikki Orvice Inspiration Award was presented to James Ellington (Newham & Essex Beagles) as the sprinter continues to battle back from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in 2017, with his return to competition seeing him race at the Muller Anniversary Games back in July.
Awards presented by the British Milers Club (BMC) saw Male and Female Athlete of the Year Awards go to Jake Wightman (Geoff Wightman) and Laura Muir respectively, while Max Burgin and Isabelle Boffey (Luke Gunn, Enfield & Haringey) won those same awards in the junior athlete categories.
The BMC Coach of the Year was awarded to Andrew Henderson following his successful tutelage of a host of both senior and junior athletes in 2019, with the BMC Lifetime Service to Coaching award presented to Phil O’Dell, and the Frank Horwill Award for Outstanding Services to the British Milers Club awarded to Phil Hayes.