Army sportsmen and women from the Army Foundation College in Harrogate were presented with a top sporting award at a special ceremony in London’s Guildhall.
Staff from the Army’s flagship training establishment for sixteen-year-olds in Penny Pot Lane stepped up to collect the trophy for the Army’s best minor unit participating and supporting sport at all levels.
In the last year, the College has won four UK North events and been runners-up in five such events. Staff at the College have not only excelled as participants in a wide range of sports, they have also committed to developing others by qualifying 30 individuals as coaches in sports from power-lifting to squash.
The AFC is home to soldiers and officers who represent the Army and the Armed Forces in squash, athletics and ice hockey. They beat 54 other British Army units worldwide to their trophy in the annual Army Sports Awards. They were judged on the number of sporting competitions entered, team and individual successes, the level of unit representation at Corps, Army, Inter Service and National level and the number of sports tours conducted.
The judges also considered the efforts made by the unit to promote sport and provide opportunities for grass-roots level sport and competition as well as qualify officials and coaches; and sponsor or host events.
The trophy was presented by the Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Nicholas Carter and received by the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Will Strickland, Captain Sian Mayor, Staff Sergeant Sheryl Richardson and Corporal Katherine Currums on behalf of the AFC.
The Army Sports Awards ceremony was attended by over 400 people, including sporting stars such as Olympic gold medallist Lizzie Yarnold, and Jade Etherington, three times Olympic silver medallist. The evening recognised the success of Army athletes and celebrated Army sport and the value added to military service. The guests were serenaded by music from soprano Laura Wright.
Major Jimmy Hendrickson, Company Commander and head of Physical Training at the College said:
Receiving the Army Minor Unit Sports Award for the second year in succession is a massive achievement for such a busy minor unit, who’s primary role is to train Junior Soldiers.
The hard work from all the Permanent Staff from the Commanding Officer down, whether that be assisting, organising, coaching or participating in sport, has been a huge team effort and one that has been rewarded with the highest accolade.
Staff Sergeant Sheryl Richardson who attended the awards ceremony said:
I am responsible for facilitating Sports participation across the College for both Permanent Staff and Junior Soldiers. Sport is highly supported by the Chain of Command and, for the second year running, the College has been crowned the UK North Minor Unit and UK Army Sports Trophy Champions in recognition of participation in, and support to, sport at all levels.
To receive the trophy is an immensely proud moment for me as the Sports Co-ordinator and it is my hope that our dedication and success in Sport will continue for many years to come.
Sport in the Army is highly valued as it engenders many of the qualities encouraged in soldiers. It fosters team spirit, respect for others, physical fitness, regimental ethos and more importantly leadership.
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