Chairman and Striker on hand to present the Sports Awards
Chairman Ian Lenagan and forward Jon-Paul Pittman were delighted to present awards at the recent Oxfordshire Youth Awards.
More than 300 young people attended the event at the Oxford Town Hall on Friday evening along with a further 300 friends and family in the audience. Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes and author Philip Pullman also presented awards, with United sponsoring the Sports Award
The three award winners in this category were:
1st Rory Shadbolt
Rory suffers from 'Ora motor dyspraxia' and has general learning difficulties so finds it difficult to participate in any sports. This affects his major movers and core muscles making running, jumping and even walking very difficult. If any other child walked for an hour for Rory it's like walking three. The effects of this on his core muscles make balancing incredibly difficult so riding bikes is impossible. Rory's two brothers and sister both play Skater Hockey as do his two next door neighbours and most of his social network. His parents have been involved in the running of the local club so he has always been around the sport helping out where he can. He has helped the coaching team run training sessions on foot and learned to referee just to be able to take part. This season saw most of his friends move up into the youth age group of the Southern Hockey League (15 and under) this year they were without a goalkeeper and unsure whether they would be able to field a team at all. Rory knows how much his friends love hockey and it meant a lot to them, and this meant a lot to him. With the league due to start on the first weekend of February, a week before Christmas Rory decided to step in and help out his friends so they could play, and put on a pair of skates and within one month learned enough to be able to stand up for most of a game.
Rory didn't always want to go to every game but he kept saying "I have made a commitment to the team and I won't let them down". He played every game this season and for the first time ever felt part of a team. By the end of the season he was chosen to represent the Southern Association of Skater Hockey regional team, the only player in the club to do so, and competed in the regional championships in August this year. Rory suffers with muscle spasms and cramps every time he plays but for him the pain of playing was worth it to help out his friends.
2nd Zoe Sheehan
Zoe has continued to rise in the ranks of GB Fencing and is currently ranked 14th in the UK and is on the reserve list for the GB squad
3rd Ethan Chapman
Ethan in 2012 represented England 13 times for the U13 Boys Hockey team and also assisted with coaching boys and girls at the Oxfordshire Junior Development Centre sharing with them his experience and his passion.
Ian Lenagan said:
"Oxford United are very proud to be part of these annual awards. The club is proud to play a major role in the community of both Oxford and Oxfordshire and this was a wonderful night for everyone involved. Our warmest congratulations to all of the nominees and to all of the winners."
Jon-Paul Pittman added:
"It was a fantastic night and it was inspiring to see so many amazing young people doing such great work in all of the categories."