Pride in '˜amazing year' for super City of Portsmouth

Athletes from City of Portsmouth came together at the weekend to pick up a raft of awards.

Thursday, 17th November 2016, 9:00 am
City of Portsmouth coach Bronwin Carter with members of her successful throwing squad. Picture: Paul Smith

The occasion saw families celebrate the success and accomplishments of many youngsters throughout the 2016 season.

A total of 142 athletes walked away with medals, from best league performances and young development appearances to many more.

Paul Farres, City of Portsmouth club secretary, said: ‘This presentation is about team awards, generated from the leagues we compete in – including everyone from under-11s all the way through to seniors.

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‘Thank you for all the team managers, the delights of team athletics.’

Among the winners was Serena Vincent, 14, who took the award for best league performance for under-15 girls in the shot – breaking the record with 12.95m earlier this year.

She said: ‘I am really proud, this year has been amazing.

‘It is nice to bring everyone together and it is always a nice friendly atmosphere.’

Andrew Vincent, father to Serena and coach, said: ‘This is testament to the depth and quality of the athletes. It’s superb.’

Gaia Osborne, 16, also picked up awards – including record-breaker for best league performance in the under-17s shot at 14.31m.

She said: ‘Everyone supports each other. It is nice to be given recognition for what we have done.’

City chairman Phil Budd was present and was pleased with all the awards.

He said: ‘I am very proud. It all comes down to the hard work of the club and the coaches, they generate enthusiasm for everyone.’

Budd also revealed the club’s new sponsorship with Southern Co-operative.

He added: ‘We have had amazing success in getting a sponsor. The Southern Co-operative is hoping to raise £50,000 through fundraising.

‘This is great news for us. Some of the money will help fund equipment.’

Neil Deans, south area manager for England Athletics, presented City of Portsmouth with the club-of-the-year award for 2016.

Deans said: ‘Families reflect the quality of the nomination and the club, from juniors to masters.

‘You can really see the growth and development of the club.’

Budd added: ‘It is nice to receive the club-of-the-year award. We have great coaches and athletes.’

Farres added: ‘Phil is the life blood of this club, a huge motivator.’

Over the years the club has grown in numbers.

The ceremony took place at the Mountbatten Centre. However, the athletes train throughout the city.

A minute’s silence was held in memory of Aldershot, Farnham & Distrcit runners Lucy Pygott and Stacey Burrows, who tragically died recently.