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Julia is “shocked” to be named Sports Champion
12:50pm Thursday 28th June 2012 in News
A HARD-WORKING and popular figure at Evesham Swimming Club has been crowned the winner of the Journal Sports Champion award 2012.
Julia Annis from Kings Road in Evesham said she was ‘still in shock’ as she received her trophy on Tuesday.
Julia beat off strong competition to emerge victorious with several nominations of outstanding candidates making the final decision a very tough one.
Mrs Annis has been involved with the swimming club for almost a decade and in that time she has been the driving force behind the club’s success.
Her work covers almost every aspect of the club’s activities and although her tireless efforts are mostly behind the scenes, they have not gone unnoticed.
She was nominated twice by parents whose children have been members of the club, each outlining how much time and effort she puts into the club without any fuss or personal gain.
Mrs Annis’ work includes organising competitions, collating entries and monies for internal and external galas, organising referees, judges, timekeepers and transportation of swimmers, and if all that wasn’t enough she is also the fixtures secretary, a mother of two and has a regular job.
Speaking to the Journal after being presented with her award she said: “It is nice to know that the work I have done has been recognised.
“I am so shocked that I was nominated and it is a real honour. I just want to thank everyone who helps me and put me forward.”
Mrs Annis’ connection with the swimming club began when she took her son Kyle to the pool for the first time aged six.
“I was just a parent watching her son. But I felt like I didn’t want to just sit there; I wanted to be more involved and helped with the timekeeping,”
“I just started taking on more and more responsibility and with not many others coming forward I have continued to do so.
“It does take up a lot of my time so I have to be dedicated and passionate about it.
“The club is like one big family and we all get along very well.
“I do plan to scale back some of the work I have been doing to spend more time with the family but I will still be very much involved.”
Mrs Annis was called the ‘best thing Evesham Swimming Club has’ in one nomination and an ‘absolute champion’ by another.
Her next big project is to organise daughter Charlie’s 13th birthday party this weekend.
She fits the bill of unsung hero perfectly and that is exactly what the award was for.
In this sporting summer of Euro 2012, London Olympics, not to mention the Evesham Festival of Sport, starting on Sunday, she is a local star.
The Journal Sports Champion award unearthed some wonderful characters from across the Vale, all deserving of recognition and choosing a winner was difficult. Other nominations deserving of a mention include Sara Turner, chairman of the Evesham Vale Triathletes who has helped establish a very successful club in a short time.
Andrew Clarke, commonly known as Keegan, from Bretforton Sports Club was lauded as a man who selflessly gives his time so others can enjoy sport and someone who stands back to let others take the glory.
Ken Baker from Littleton Table Tennis Club was also one who caught the eye.
Mr Baker devotes most of his spare time so that sports stars young and old can enjoy the game, working extensively in local schools.
Finally, 15-year-old Natasha England was nominated for her work as a Gold Young Ambassador for the Youth Sports Trust.
The youngest person to be put forward for the award, she was labelled a star who needs to step forward into the spotlight.
• The Festival of Sport’s opening ceremony will take place on Sunday on Crown Meadow at noon.
A day of sports, activities and information on how to get involved in sport in the area will be on offer.
The festival lasts for a week and will be jam-packed with entertainment and events.
The final event is the popular Evesham 10k race on Sunday, July 8, which sees runners travelling through the streets and riverside.
A closing ceremony will take place after the race is complete.