Stuart Rye and David Madden are the big winners at Cambridge City Hockey Club's awards' night
Stuart Rye and David Madden were among the main winners at the Cambridge City Hockey Club awards dinner.
The club hosted the event for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic to recognise those who have excelled on and off the pitch during the 2021/22 campaign.
Rye won the Sally Tippen Award, which reflects a volunteer contribution.
He joined the club when his children started playing having never previously played, and soon settled in to become a hard-working forward but, more importantly, he coordinated everything as the club expanded its youth hockey to help make sure they met all the requirements for Club Mark, Talent Centre and Talent Academy status. He also does photography for the club.
Madden won the Andy Richardson Award, which recognises the contribution of coaches in delivering a fun, engaging and progressive coaching programme.
Madden started coaching a few years ago and gave up playing at a higher level to be there for his teams.
He has taken on the second and third teams, and they have consistently contested promotion in leagues dominated by first-team XI squads. He is known for his generosity of time and clear, fair feedback to players and in-depth knowledge of the game.
The young player-of-the-year awards went to Alex Pitchford and Tom Spreckley.
Pitchford was the women’s winner after progressing up through the ranks to reach the first team this season, where she has produced composed performances beyond her years at the National League standard.
Spreckley claimed the men’s crown having joined City last summer, with the ambition of playing a handful of first-team games but ended being one of the stand-out players, with the hard work earning selection for the England under-18 boys’ squad.
The 2020/21 and 2019/20 awards were given out retrospectively as the dinners for previous years could not be held because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2020/21, Sharon Ely won the Sally Tippen Award for her extensive work to ensure return to play safely and securely during the pandemic, Chris Evans took the Andy Richardson Award for his dedicated coaching to the women’s section, and Maddie Axford and Eddie Harper were the young women’s and men’s players of the year respectively.
In 2019/20, outgoing chairman Andy Richardson claimed the Sally Tippen Award for the coaching structure and support he put in place at City, Helen Richardson-Walsh won the Andy Richardson Award for progressing the culture and mentality of the first-team squad and supporting other coaches in their development, and Katie Curtis and Harper were the respective young players of the year.
2021/22 awards: Women’s players of the season: W1 – Ellie Harrison, W2 – Amy Brook, W3 – Megan Higgs, W4 – Ella Chen, W5 – Viv Ronco, W6 – Amelia Udy. Men’s players of the season: M1 – Nat Farrant, M2 – Ben Dudgeon, M3 – Alex Johnsen, M4 – Aidan Edwards, M5 – Ben Jones, M6 – Thomas Liley, Vets – Pete Wilkinson. Women’s most improved players: W1 – Charlotte Rye, W2 – Kate Beytell, W3 – Hannah Roberts and Hannah Bebington, W4 – Claire Beytell, W5 – Natalie Ronco, W6 – Dalin Li. Men’s most improved players: M1 – Connor Webb, M2 – Grant Gilmour, M3 – Hamish Weir, M4 – Josh Oakes, M5 – Gaston Hawes, M6 – Ben Journeaux, Vets – Geoff Sheir.