We all love a bit of recognition and to recognise the hardwork and dedication of out sporting community, each year we host the AU Dinner where even being nominated is an achievement. We spoke to recent BNU graduate and 2021 winner of the Outstanding Contribution to Sports award, Hanna Free, to find out what her thoughts were on the event.
"The Athletic Union Dinner is one of the biggest highlights of the year for all of the sports teams at Bucks. It's a chance to dress up and celebrate some of the key sporting achievements and awards throughout the 2021-22 season, with many esteemed awards to win such as Club of the year, Team of the year, and Sportsperson of the year.
The dinner involves getting together as a whole club to celebrate, and toast to, individual and team achievements alongside an amazing guest speaker. There's even a fantastic two course dinner and drinks incuded with the ticket. One of the highpoints of the evening is always the guest speaker. During my first year it was England and Saracens rugby player, Jamie George, and in my final year it was Ex-England cricketer, Matthew Hoggard, both of which are people I never thought I would get the opportunity to meet or speak to.
Being nominated for any award is such an honour, and even if you don’t win it's so special that your talent and commitment has been recognised. After being nominated for Fresher of the year in my first year and seeing everyone collect their trophies, I knew I wanted to win the prestigious Outstanding Contribution to Sport award. I saw other teammates and friends win this award and it inspired me to push myself and my sports teams to be the best they could be. The Outstanding Contribution to Sport award is given to an individual who goes above and beyond to contribute and dedicate their time and efforts into their club, team and sports. I was extremely honoured, and rather overwhelmed, when I was presented with this award in my final year. I had an amazing sense of pride and emotion as I went up to collect my award in front of so many other brilliant sports people. It was a complete surprise and I am so grateful to the Students' Union and all those who nominated me.
From my own experience, the AU dinner is a fantastic way to round off the sporting year and recognise your achievements. As it is one of the largest social events of the sporting calendar it offers a great opportunity to mix with other clubs and share all your memories of the year, from matchdays and tour to winning varsity. AU dinner is one of the most special and memorable evenings that I had at Bucks and I'm so glad I made the decision to attend - I would have hated to miss out on any of it."
We're so excited for AU Dinner this year and we hope to see as many of you there as possible. Make sure you reserve your seat today before all our tickets are sold out.