SPORTSMEN and women, club coavches and hard-working volunteers will be honoured this Friday at the 2014 Somerset Sports Awards.
The event, run by Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP), will see awards handed out across a number of categories, including Participation Coach, Club Volunteer and Contribution to Sport.
Among the nominees are three Bridgwater coaches and teachers - here are their stories:
Josh Cook – North Newton Cricket Club – Participation Coach
USING his own passion for the sport as motivation, Josh Cook has volunteered hours of his time to increase cricket participation for people of all ages and abilities.
As well as launching a Chance to Shine initiative at his own club, North Newton CC, Josh has created links between the club and four local schools while delivering coaching in each one.
As if that wasn’t enough, Josh has also coached Somerset Disabled Cricket Club and Somerset Visually Impaired Cricket Club throughout the winter as a volunteer, and even helped run several special school competitions in the north of the county to get more disabled participants into cricket.
As a result of Josh’s hard, selfless work hundreds of people all over the county are now enjoying cricket as much as he does.
John Irish – Eastover School, Bridgwater – Get Somerset Active Award
A PASSIONATE sportsman from a young age, Eastover School teacher John Irish’s endless enthusiasm is contagious.
From dance to gymnastics and athletics to football, John puts in hours of extra-curricular time to teach children the enjoyment of something that has given him so much.
Teaching nearly 600 pupils every week, John dedicates his time to inspiring children to get active and play sport.
A keen runner himself, John has completed the London and New York marathons, and his passion for running has led him to set up a children’s club in North Petherton – a venture that has been a huge hit in the local area.
So, what is it that drives John to ‘Get Somerset Active?’ “It has been wonderful to be nominated for this award and it means a great deal that the people who nominated me are the children I teach,” he says.
“I do this job because I enjoy teaching. I have just completed a Foundation Degree in teaching and learning, and have taught the PE input on the Somerset Scitt programme for trainee teachers this year, which has been an honour in itself.
“It’s great that I can combine teaching and sport to be what I hope is an inspiring sports coach.
“I hope I’m encouraging and I intend to make sure every child enjoys their lessons or other sporting activity.
“I hope the children I work with enjoy sport, are enthused when working as a team to succeed and have their own indiviudal goals to aspire to.
“Finally I hope I’m being a good role model.”
Brian Spridgens – Brymore School – Contribution to Sport Award
BRIAN has trained and led the Year 11 rugby team to another Sedgemoor Cup final, as well as working with students to get them competing at the South-West athletics championships and the English Schools Championships.
Alongside all this, Brian is instrumental in the organisation of the school cross-country, rugby finals, sports day and swimming gala.