Included below are tributes to each of the winners from their coaches.
Tony Barker Award for All-Round Sporting Excellence: Dan Humes
Dan has been an exceptional 1st XI footballer throughout the last three years. He was a key player in both his Lower and Upper Sixth years and was a major contributor in the 1st XI’s run to the ISFA Boodles Quarter-Finals and County Cup Final this season. He scored a couple of key goals during both these cup runs and he can be proud of his time as a 1st XI Shrewsbury footballer.
In cricket, he is the most aggressive stroke player we have had at Shrewsbury since Edward Pollock (2010-12, now playing for Warwickshire CCC). He has scored a weight of runs equivalent to our very best batters over the past two decades and has taken to captaining the 1st XI this year with growing maturity and assurance.
In December, given the possibility of a National title, Dan committed to make fives his priority in the Lent Term. The realisation over a weekend of London fixtures against Highgate and Eton that his back would struggle with consecutive days of high-intensity matches led to a change of approach. No-one is ever happy to be told to compete and train less in order to improve: it is testament to his commitment and development as a sportsman, and to his focus on the goal, that he took this seriously.
In the National Fives Championships in March, all of the work done through the season came together. What was not perhaps apparent in the National Open Final to those who don’t know the sport well, was the grace and ease with which the players made often difficult decisions on the refereeing of the game. Dan, as he had been in the semi-final, was a paragon of this, calling objectively and earning the respect from his opposition that he also showed for them.
He stands shoulder to shoulder with the very best Old Salopian sportsmen and fives players.
Sportsman of the Year: Will Sissons
In cricket, Will led the wicket-takers last year and has developed into the 1st XI’s ‘anchor-man’ in all formats of the game. He is a sublime fielder with time to spare and very much gives of his best on every occasion.
He has been both an outstanding fives player and an upstanding captain of fives this year. When he has not been playing on court, he has still been at the courts, supporting or learning, and he played frequently through the Michaelmas Term alongside his football.
He is an outstanding athlete who, as observed by some of the others in Strength and Conditioning sessions, appears to have properties of weightlessness. As a sportsman he excels by thought and the ability to listen. He has consistently managed his full commitment to sport alongside an equal dedication to his academic progress.
David Spencer Memorial Trophy for Outstanding Contribution to Boys’ Sport: Ben Holehouse
Ben arrived at the School as a Third Former having recently faced significant surgery and long rehabilitation to his left leg after a motor cross accident. This never once got in the way of him pushing and testing himself to the limit at the Boathouse. He trained with great determination and, despite being one of the smallest boys in the year group, always forced himself into the A boat with pure tenacity.
Not one to take the easy route, Ben managed to break his right ankle in the December of his Lower Sixth year. For most this would have seen them reduce their training load; for Ben it was a reason to double it. Whatever the rest of the squad were doing on the ergo, he would do on one leg with the other on a skateboard or on an arm crank. His sheer drive and determination are a continued inspiration for all at the Boat Club.
Ben was an obvious choice for the Captain of Boats and has been a leader in all that he has done. Despite all his set-backs, he is a pivotal member of a very strong 1st VIII racing at the National Schools’ Regatta this weekend.
Sportswoman of the Year: Emma Graham
Emma is a most dedicated and supreme athlete. She is brave and bright in equal measure, disciplined in her approach, intensively competitive, and yet always fair and honest in her decision-making. She is a fantastic sportswoman and a great role model for any Salopian. Her sense of humour and modesty make her what we want all our girls to be: resilient, confident and grounded.
She is an outstanding hockey player of tremendous skill and has been an integral part of Shrewsbury’s hockey since starting in the Third Form, captaining the A team year after year. She has been a superb captain of the 1st XI this season, leading by example and regularly putting in extra time after training. She is never satisfied with anything but the best and pushes herself and her team to strive for excellence every session, whether it be training or a fixture.
Elle Gurden Trophy for Outstanding Contribution to Girls’ Sport: Katie Oswald
Katie has represented school A teams throughout her five years at Shrewsbury, culminating in her playing 1st team hockey, 1st pair Fives and captaining the 1st VII netball team. She is always keen to further her skills and performance, putting in extra hours on the training pitch and giving 100% to every task she undertakes.
As netball captain she has led her team to a very successful season and is an outstanding role model for both her peers and younger players. On the Fives court, Katie always came to the fore when faced with a challenge. Never wishing to let her partner down, her skill levels, determination and intensity have soared whenever she has faced a strong opponent. As with her Fives peers she has the capability and fitness to play to a very high standard over a long period of time. Self-deprecating and incredibly funny, she coped well with the pressure of close matches and often prevailed.
Katie approaches all sporting activities with a positive, competitive and determined attitude and has been a wonderful asset to sport at Shrewsbury and a great Salopian.
Congratulations to all the Sports Awards winners and to the following sportsmen and women who were nominated:
Sportswoman of the Year:
Kitty Taylor, Phoebe Wasdell, Abby Adebiyi
The Elle Gurden Trophy for Outstanding Contribution to Girls’ Sport:
Lizzie Ware, Sophia Dixon, Tessa Scott-Bell, Sophia Breese, Jetty Russell
David Spencer Memorial Trophy for Outstanding Contribution to Boys’ Sport:
Harry Remnant, Alex Loumidis, Tom Plaut, Charlie Ockleston, Frank Morris, James Hinwood
Sportsman of the Year:
Dan Humes, Xavie Clarke, Dom Sullivan, Toby Pegge