Coaches Award –
The Coaches award is (as the name suggests) is chosen by the coaches and always given to someone who has been loyal to club sessions, taken on the advice from club coaches and then gone on to do something amazing with what they’ve learned. The winner of this year’s Coaches award is someone who is relatively new to Celtic Tri, and as someone who could barely swim just a year ago, is also new to triathlon. This person has regularly attended club swim sessions with the Pirates at Pontardawe, and has absorbed all of the tips and advice that has been given, and continuously pushed themselves to improve. The improvement in their swimming was to such an extent that they not only completed triathlons this year but also took on Ironman Wales in September, finishing the swim leg in a very respectable time of 1 hour 27 minutes. This is a pretty remarkable time to be achieved in less than a year! The swim was followed by a 7:18 bike and a 5:16 marathon, so slayed the dragon in an overall time of 14 hours and 28 minutes. Not bad for someone new to the sport eh?
We have affectionately called the winner of this year’s Coaches award “Quiet man to Iron Man” – and we are extremely pleased and proud to call on Sy Bromham to receive the Coaches Award for 2019!
Bill Pritchard –
This award is given in memory of the late Bill Pritchard who was an inspirational local triathlete who passed away some years ago. His wife wanted his name to live on in the form of an annual trophy given to someone in Celtic Tri who has done something deserving of recognition. This could be in relation to sporting prowess or by simply being a positive and inspirational person who is dedicated to the sport and more importantly to our club. This year we had a long list of nominations, including 5 committee members, which is a great expression of how many of our members are valued and admired for what they do for our club. We do however have a clear and extremely popular winner this year, who ticks all of these boxes and more; this person has amazing sporting ability (with many podium places and a Super Series second place trophy to prove that), and is also a person who has embraced our club and its values. Additionally this person volunteers valuable time to ensure the club continues to run smoothly, and is always a willing representative when called upon. This person breathes positivity into our club and is encouraging of all members, always willing to offer advice and share experience.
This person will never be heard blowing her own trumpet, even though she has every reason to do so. This year’s deserving winner of the Bill Pritchard Award is Jennifer Aylward.
Sporty Snaps –
This award is always given to an inspirational athlete who has had to overcome adversity, by-pass obstacles, and jumped through hoops in order to achieve a goal. There were many nominations for this award and it was a tough call trying to come up with the overall winner. Names that made the shortlist were Kirsty Leckonby, Joanna Evans, and Eirian Evans, who have all done something amazing this season. The overall winner however is someone who unfortunately is unable to be here tonight but we would still like to tell his story as it truly is quite amazing.
So basically – after completing Ironman Wales and then Ironman Majorca in 2015 this person decided to sign up for the triple brutal!
He started training from then – determined to complete it!
He trained day and night through 2016 and he was aiming for the brutal in 2017!
In August 2017 however, his back went – just a couple of weeks before the triple that he was due to take part in.
He was devastated! Couldn’t walk! Couldn’t work! Depressed and miserable! NHS told him it would be at least 6months before operation so he went private and he had his op on 28th October 2017!
He was then told by the surgeon he couldn’t run or cycle again!
He started his recovery by walking a mile a day for 75 days and then building up to some cycling and eventually running!
He started smiling and looking forward to the triple again! His wife didn’t want him to do it as she was obviously worried that his back would go again, but his determination and love for the sport didn’t stop him.
The triple brutal, for those who don’t know, is a triple Ironman distance over an extreme course – that’s a 7.2 mile swim, a 336 mile cycle and then a 78 mile run that includes an ascent of Snowdon.
He absolutely smashed the brutal this year, taking 3rd place in a phenomenal time of 56 hours 4 minutes and 23 seconds!
His wife says it was the hardest thing she had ever seen him go through with his emotions – but she extremely proud! As are we!!
He has apparently talked about doing the Quin but she has firmly put her foot down and told him NO!
The very deserving winner of this year’s Sporty Snaps award is Christopher Gay.