The Annual RAF Sports Board Awards have been presented to recipients in a ceremony at Halton House Officer’s Mess at RAF Halton.
Awards were presented by Air Chief Marshal, Sir Andrew Pulford, Chief of the Air Staff with more than 100 guests and sponsors attending.
Sir Andrew paid tribute to the standard and professionalism of all the recipients. Sports Team of the Year went to the Air Forces’ male rugby union team, who defied history and the odds this year to pick up their first inter-services title in over two decades.
Sportsman of the Year went to Flight Sergeant Kevin Johnson, who has dominated clay pigeon shooting in the RAF for the past four years.
Sportswoman of the Year was awarded to Squadron Leader Joan Cawthray, who has enjoyed runaway success at service level since retiring from international canoeing more than 20 years ago.
Sqn Ldr Cawthray said: “I was very pleased to be nominated for the award, not only as an individual but also pleased that the sport of canoeing is recognised at such a high level. I was completely surprised when my name was read out as all of the citations were of a high standard.
“It was a lovely occasion to be able to bring my parents to, as they were the ones many years ago who ferried me around the country to canoe competitions and spent countless hours on cold river banks watching a young teenager realise her dream of representing her country in the canoe slalom discipline.”
The full list of nominees and winners reads:
FS Kevin Johnston RAF Small Arms - Winner.
SAC Josh McNally RAF Rugby Union.
SAC Luke Pollard RAF Triathlon.
Sqn Ldr Joan Cawthray RAF Canoeing - Winner.
Cpl Bethan Morgan RAF Triathlon.
SAC Sian Williams RAF Rugby Union
RAF Sports Official/Coach:
FS Peter ‘Tug’ Wilson RAF Rugby Union - Winner.
Sgt Anne Thomas RAF Powerlifting.
RAF Sports Administrator:
Flt Lt Daniel Mortimer RAF Skeleton (BLSA) - Winner.
Chf Tech David Cox RAF Rowing.
Cpl Alison Cartlidge - RAF Equitation.
RAF Active Article:
Sqn Ldr Jayne Mitchell - ‘3 out of 5 ain’t bad’ - winner.
Sgt Keely Skinner - ‘High Jump at Hickstead’”
RAF Sports Team:
RAF Rugby Union Senior Men’s team - Winners.
RAF Equitation management team.
RAF Triathlon Ladies Team.
Lifetime achievements: (Both received awards)
Wg Cdr Shaun Ryles - RAF Boxing.
FS Mark Lane RAF Tennis.
Special Awards: (Both received awards)
Flt Lt Thomas Dunlop RAF Natural Luge (BLSA).
Mr Gary Benger RAF Biathlon - Posthumous award being received by his widow, Mrs Elke Benger.