Thu 2nd Dec 2021

Congratulations to Steve who was announced the Unsung Hero of the Year and WADAC was runner up in the Club of the Year category.

You may remember that at the beginning of July this year we sent all members details of the 2021 England Athletics Volunteer of the Year Awards and asked everyone to vote for their choice under the following categories:

- Innovation in Athletics & Running

- Leader of the Year

- Coach of the Year

- Young Volunteer of the Year

- Run Together Group of the Year

- Newcomer to Officiating

- Club of the Year

- Unsung Hero of the Year

- Services to Athletics or Running

Thanks to every one of you who responded by nominating someone or some group (such as our own club). The shortlisting process was organised by England Athletics at the national level, studying each and every nomination.

The Awards ceremony took place via ZOOM on Monday 29th November where WADAC and Steve Oliver were shortlisted in Club of the Year and Unsung Hero of the Year categories respectively.

WADAC came runner up in the Club of the Year category. Highlighted in the nomination was:

- the fact we kept members active over lockdown across a whole range of activities;

- we have a strong group of volunteers who take time to talk to you and make you feel welcome;

- the club was quick to mobilise competitions and provide for its members and others locally;

- the athlete centric approach enabled teams to travel to competitions, generate a club spirit and gain good results. This also helped unite the club through lockdown and keep together.

The winner of this category was Reading AC but, as highlighted by our Chairman, this was the first time that the club had been shortlisted for the award in recent living memory.

The highlight of the evening for our club came in the Unsung Hero of the Year Award where Steve Oliver had been nominated by some of our members. We are very pleased and proud to report that Steve won this prestigious award and accepted it while away from Winchester. This is well deserved and recognises the massive contribution he makes to the club and our members.

Highlighted about Steve, from the various nominations he received were:

-Steve is a long-standing member and stalwart of WADAC;

-He took it upon himself to raise the morale of the club during the covid lockdown;

-Steve went above and beyond to create an impressive series of virtual competitions;

- His virtual Grand Prix consisted of a set of 31 races, all with set distances and elevations and he recorded and ranked the scores of all runners according to age, which were then emailed to all members so everyone could see how they were doing. This definitely served to keep a sense of normality, competition and motivation throughout the club;

- 106 runners took part in the challenges in total, ranging from V70 to the very young. Members of other cubs took part too, competing in virtual matches.

- All-in-all Steve’s efforts kept everyone in the club engaged and helped people to stay motivated to get out and run.

Hearty congratulations to Steve and anyone who would like to see and have their photo taken with Steve when he is presented with his award, he will be at the Bar End track next Tuesday evening.

This might not be the end, as Steve’s name and nomination have now gone forward for inclusion in the National Awards process that will be held within the next week. Fingers crossed for Steve and watch this space! He is surely a strong nominee in this category.