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Glittering Sports Awards showcase wealth of talent at UEL

UEL  Tennis Hero

Sporting triumphs are celebrated at annual awards ceremony

The crème de la crème of the University of East London’s (UEL) athletes were rewarded for their sporting triumphs this week at the University’s annual Sports Awards ceremony, as over 300 students and staff celebrated a fantastic year of success.

More than 20 individuals and organisations received accolades in the awards, which are a celebration of the University’s sporting achievers and recognition of their hard work and success during the year.

Among the vast array of talent at the University’s Sports Awards, held at Indigo at The O2 on 22 May, was British and Commonwealth boxing champion Lawrence Okolie, who presented the International Excellence Awards 2019 to five top scholar athletes. Special guest Christine Ohuruogu MBE, a British track and field athlete who is a former Olympic, World and Commonwealth champion, presented the award for Individual Achievement, which went to slalom canoeist and Tokyo Olympic hopeful Chris Bowers.

Professor Amanda Broderick, vice-chancellor and president of UEL, told the audience, “We are here this evening to recognise your individual and team achievements. This is about you leaving your legacy. The experiences you are gaining now, the lessons learnt academically and through your athletic endeavours, will serve you well for the rest of your lives.

“A key element of my job is to ensure that recognition of your University of East London education and experience continues to increase in value – not just tomorrow or next year but for the lifetime of your career. I want every employer across every industry sector to know just how fantastic you are, and to support you in the realisation of your life goals, whatever they may be.”

Professor Broderick concluded her address with a video about the University’s new brand and visual identity. Later in the evening she presented the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Services to Sport 2019 to winners Sam Few, Adam Payne, Alvie Lyn Co, Jasmin Hladkij, Ailsa Mc Donald, Isaac Charles, Mohamed Sheikhnor and Laura Pakenham.

Matthew Tansley, UEL’s director of sport, praised the achievements that had taken place in sport throughout the year.

He said, “There is no better way to round off the year than by celebrating all your achievements,” he said. He praised outstanding performances by the basketball team, the women’s football team and a host of individuals who had excelled in their field."

Mr Tansley also mentioned the success of inviting local school pupils, including 200 children from Gallions Primary School, to UEL’s Sports Dock to learn about the importance of having a healthy and active lifestyle. These participation programmes give children the opportunity to meet UEL’s sports students and take part in sports activities. 

Mr Tansley said, “The power of sport is there for all to see. We do all we can to inspire the next generation and, as part of the University’s new Vision 2028 strategic plan, UELSports aims to reach a total of 10,000 school pupils through our participation programmes by 2028.”

The awards ceremony lauded a host of individuals and teams, including Daniela Bishop and Tijde Visser, who both won Applied Exercise Science Student of the Year, while Emily Marie Piazza was named the Sports Management Student of the Year.

Lawrence Okolie, a former UEL student who competed at the 2016 Olympics and has set his sights on becoming world champion, gave a short address. He mentioned how Mr Tansley had given him a sport scholarship at the age of 18, which led to him becoming an Olympian.

Mr Okolie presented the international excellence awards to: Livinia Da Silva (basketball), Juan Diaz (baseball), Ibby Akani (football), Saidou Khan (football), Gina Akpe-Moses (athletics) and Faris Ben-Lamkadem (jiu jitsu).

London Lions, winners of the British Basketball League and Cup, were named Partner of the Year, while UEL's Club of the Year Award, sponsored by Chartwells, went to the Boat Club. The UELSports Tournament Winners were Shepherds and the Most Improved Club Award went to the hockey team. Men's basketball gained the Team Achievement of the Year Award, while the UELSports Charity Award went to the rugby squad, which raised £541 for CALM. In total £2,215 had been raised for charities.

The total list of award winners were:

1. Vice Chancellor's Award for Service to Sport 2019
Sam Few

2. Vice Chancellor's Award for Service to Sport 2019
Adam Payne

3. Vice Chancellor's Award for Service to Sport 2019
Alvie Lyn Co

4. Vice Chancellor's Award for Service to Sport 2019
Jasmin Hladkij

5. Vice Chancellor's Award for Service to Sport 2019
Ailsa McDonald

6. Vice Chancellor's Award for Service to Sport 2019
Issac Charles

7. Vice Chancellor's Award for Service to Sport 2019
Mohamed Sheikhnor

8. Vice Chancellor's Award for Service to Sport 2019
Laura Pakenham

9. International Excellence Award 2019
Livinia Da Silva

10. International Excellence Award 2019
Juan Diaz

11. International Excellence Award 2019
Ibby Akanbi

12. International Excellence Award 2019
Saidou Khan

13. International Excellence Award 2019
Faris Ben-Lamkadem

14. Club of the Year Award 2019 – Sponsored by Chartwells
Boat Club

15. Most Improved Club of the Year 2019
Hockey Club

16. Team Achievement of the Year 2019
Men’s Basketball 1st

17. Mike Brace CBE Award for Individual Achievement of the Year 2019
Chris Bowers

18. Applied Exercise Science Student of the Year 2019
Tijde Visser

19. Applied Exercise Science Student of the Year 2019
Daniela Bishop

20. Sports Management Student of the Year 2019
Emily Marie Piazza

21. Partner of the Year Award 2019
London Lions

22. Zawide Bascom Award for Coach of Year 2019
Sade Ottley