Yet again, on Thursday 2 May, the yearly AU Dinner was a great success. Nearly every AU sports team turned out in their numbers, dressed to impress. The Town Hall provided a delicious two course meal before we went on to have the main events of the evening. Our guest speaker Jamie George gave a brilliant speech about some life lessons he’s learnt over his years of being an international rugby player. This then followed with a question and answer session from the audience with some great answers from Jamie.
After Jamie’s speech we went on to the most anticipated part of the evening, the awards! There were many awards up for grabs with a total of 36 nominees. The first award given was for RAG Contributor of the Year. This award is to recognise an individual/club who has gone above and beyond for our two RAG charities. The much deserved winners of this award were Netball for raising just shy of £1,000 for RAG this year.
The next award is to recognise an individual that has shown massive improvement over the last year - taking into consideration commitment and dedication to improve their sport - the Most Improved Player of the Year award. The winner was Badminton’s pair Tom Dinham and William Booth. They both have improved amazingly over the past few years, progressing from just attending Sport for Fun badminton sessions to becoming an integral part of the BUCS League team.
Next up was the award for Fresher of the Year. This year, the award went to Jamal Kayani. Jamal is part of the High Wycombe Amateur Boxing Club. In February, Jamal travelled to Wolverhampton for the BUCS Boxing Championships where he won gold for Bucks. This brought back 12 BUCS points which is a brilliant achievement for a first-year student.
Next, we had the award for Coach of the Year. The winner was Ashley Webb, the hockey coach that has had a massive positive impact on Hockey this year. Ashley is truly invested in the teams and their successes and is very deserving of this award.
Team of the Year recognises the most successful team based purely on performance. Women’s Volleyball respectively received the award. They have had a fantastic year, winning their league and achieving promotion.
After a short interval, we continued with the awards and on to Captain of the Year. This award went to Marie Vodickova for her commitment and dedication to Women’s Volleyball. Marie pushed for a better coach at the beginning of the season and this helped lead the team to winning their league and gaining promotion.
The award of Committee Member of the Year was next. Jade Collis claimed the prize for going above and beyond as Chair for BNU Swans. Jade is very passionate about Cheer but she never looks for recognition, so now she has the credit she deserves.
One of the most sought after awards came next, Club of the Year, recognising an entire club based on their overall success and achievements throughout the year. This went to Netball, who have had a brilliant season. They have raised close to £1,000 for RAG by hosting a raffle and Netball for RAG. They have also teamed up with other societies to help them socialise and connect with other students within the University.
Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year honours the best male and female athlete whose performance most embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and achievement. Sportsman of the Year went to Jake Kernot, who has won male of the day three times at their competitions this year. Jake puts hours into his choreography and into BNU Dance. Sportswoman of the Year went to Karolina Zlomanchuk. Karolina is an integral part of the Women’s Volleyball team and is also part of the handball and boxing societies. She is very engaged with every sport she tries and is willing to help anyone who wants to know more or become a better player.
Next up, came the Outstanding Contribution to University Sport. This award went to Vic Mackenzie who has had a huge impact on sport at Bucks. Over the last three years, Vic has competed in her main sport Hockey and has been chair of the club for the last two years. She then picked up Rugby and made appearances for both Hockey and Rugby in Varsity for the last three years. Vic also offers to drive the minibus for any student teams she can and is a great asset to the Students' Union.
The award for Outstanding Contribution to University Sport had another winner and Catherine Lymer, Student Activities Manager, delivered the speech for our Vice President Student Involvement, Charlie Cotton. Charlie has been a prominent part of Bucks Students' Union his whole time at university. In his first year he soon became a committed player for the Rugby team, in his second year he stepped up as Vice President. In his final year he became President and Captain as well as being Athletic Union Chair and Varsity Captain. This year he has been an exemplary VPSI and is fully deserving of this award.
We look forward to next year’s AU Dinner where we will hopefully be celebrating another fantastic year of sporting success.
See the photos here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/bucksstudentsunion/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1522571704546181