After a week-long public vote, British Athletics is delighted to announce the winners of the seven categories in its annual Athlete of the Year awards.
Jo Pavey (coach: Gavin Pavey) has won the British Athletics Athlete of the Year Award after a highly successful season where she won her first international gold medal. The 41 year old mum of two inspired the nation as she became the oldest ever gold medallist at a European Championships with her stunning victory over 10,000m.
Pavey had already produced a gutsy display at the Commonwealth Games as she powered her way to the bronze medal in the 5000m against a trio of Kenyans, but what she did in Zurich on that Tuesday evening will live long in the memories of athletics fans throughout Britain and the rest of the world.
Matthew Hudson-Smith (Tony Hadley) has been crowned British Athletics Young Athlete of the Year after a very close public vote.The young Birchfield Harrier burst onto the scene at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix earlier this summer as he ran under 45 seconds for the first time and finished third in a high quality field.
Unaffected by his swift rise into public consciousness, the 19 year-old enjoyed a medal winning summer. He anchored the England team to 4x400m gold at the Commonwealth Games to win his first senior medal. He didn’t disappoint in Zurich either as he finished right behind Martyn Rooney (Rana Reider) to win European Championship silver in a new personal best of 44.75. Just days later he bagged his first international gold medal as part of the GB & NI 4x400m relay team, making it three medals out of three in his first summer as both a senior, and a one lap runner.
Double IPC European Championships gold medallist Hannah Cockroft (Jenni Banks) has scooped the annual British Athletics Paralympic Athlete of the Year award. There’s isn’t much Cockroft is yet to achieve in para-athletics but her trophy cabinet kept on growing in 2014, with the the 21 year old notching up two more titles. Unbeaten in her senior career, Cockroft broke the T34 100m and 200m world records in May before adding European 100m and 800m titles to those she won at the IPC World Championships and Paralympic Games in 2013 and 2012 respectively.
At just 14 years of age, Maria Lyle (Tabo Huntley) has followed up a year of international titles and world records with the British Athletics Young Paralympic Athlete of the Year award. In 2014, para-athletics found its newest star as Scotswoman Lyle burst onto the international scene by breaking the 200m world record in February, before taking over a second off the 100m record in Loughborough three months later. There was no stopping the teenager as she broke both world records again in Bedford on the same day in May; however her crowning moment came with a double gold triumph at her first major championships in Swansea in the T35 100m and 200m.
Steve Fudge, who masterminded European titles for three of his sprinters this year, has been awarded the British Athletics Coach of the Year award after the public vote. Leading the way was James Dasaolu, who returned from an injury which curtailed his indoor season to win European 100m gold. He was followed just a few days later by Adam Gemili, who tore up the same Zurich track to take the 200m title, the first of his senior career, to add to the Commonwealth Games 100m silver he won a fortnight earlier. Rounding out a golden summer for the Fudge stable was Jonnie Peacock, who added IPC European T44 100m gold to the World and Paralympic titles he has won over the last two years.
The British Athletics Club of the Year award has gone to Swansea Harriers, who have already won the Welsh Athletics Track & Field Club of the Year, Junior Club of the Year and Off-Track Club of the Year for 2014. One of Wales’ premier clubs with almost 600 members, they also boast approximately 100 coaches, team managers and officials which is the largest in Wales.
The Volunteer of the Year Award was won by Blair Pettigrew from Scotland. Like all volunteers in the sport, Pettigrew has given up a minimum of twenty hours a week for the last twelve months to modernise North Ayrshire AC in every aspect possible and has been described as the driving heart of the club.