After a hugely successful season for Leicestershire junior badminton at all ages during 2016/17, many of the players and parents attended the annual Leicestershire Schools Badminton Association presentation night to celebrate their achievements.
Held for the second year at Hugglescote Social Club, the event featured a fantastic buffet and disco as well as a raffle, compered once again by Mitch Dale – thanks to the effort of the Social Committee of Alaina, Nat and Liz – and a great night was had by all!
However the main order of business was the presentation itself. Team Managers for each of the age groups – Adam Sewell & Karen Stevenson (U12), Amie Hoult (U14), Alaina Goodenough (U16) and Laura Cowperthwaite (U18) – were invited to the stage to present certificates and county colours to all eligible players and provide the audience with an overview of each team’s successes throughout the season.
This year’s winners of the county championships were presented with their trophies, with particular congratulations reserved for Luke Hoult and Sophie Watson at U14, Jess Allen at U16 and Eve Dale at U18 for the clean sweep across all 3 events. A special presentation was also made by Amie to her victorious U14’s for coming out on top in the Shires League for 2016/17 – the first time any Leicestershire team has managed this feat!
As usual, ICT Team Manager Chris Hall took to the mic to regale the audience with tales from this year’s tournament which saw the Leicestershire team fight hard to finish a creditable 15th place. Chris also presented the two ICT awards, the Forest Cup for Outstanding Player of the event which was won by Jai Chandarana and the Players’ Player trophy which was awarded this year to Izzy Pike.
This year’s winners of the Cooper Cup and Ray Liggins Trophy, Carly Stevenson and Tom Platzer, were also presented with their trophies.
Last but not least, 3 special trophies presented annually by the LSBA committee. The Hutchinson Trophy is awarded to a player who has contributed commitment to the sport and this year’s winner was Issy Paterson-Watts. The Appleton Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding player of the season which was awarded for this year to Jai Chandarana.
Finally, the Colin Kent award is presented to someone who the committee decides has given outstanding service to Leicestershire Schools’ Badminton and this year’s winner was Terry Talbot. Terry has been coaching for the LSBA on Saturdays for over 15 years as well as running weekly sessions at both Measham and Hood Park Leisure Centres, encouraging grass roots players into the sport. He also helps to run the non-county tournaments and has been an LSBA committee member for many years, sharing his knowledge and experience with others.
With the presentation wrapped up it was time for the players and parents to relax and enjoy the rest of the evening – what a great way to celebrate an amazing season for Leicestershire junior badminton!