This week saw the announcement of the winners of the Hockey Family Celebration Awards.
Under ‘normal’ circumstances here at Hockey Wales we would have gone into ultra-creative mode and ensured a hefty dose of pomp and ceremony to celebrate our incredibly worthy winners.
When planning the awards back in January, there was very little talk of coronavirus and not an inkling of the situation we find ourselves in with no hockey!! We had so much planned to surprise our winners, but this wasn’t to be.
Instead, we used what we could to create a level of anticipation, alongside a huge amount of credit for the wonderful work of all the nominees, and ultimately our worthy award winners.
Hannah Bevan, Head of Development, has worked on the management of the Awards over these past few months,
“We had so many wonderful nominations this year, the judging panel had a really hard job selecting the winners.
“The vast array of entries allowed us to look at different ways we could announce the winners, but with the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in, we had to utilise the social media platforms as much as possible.
“As soon as we are out of lockdown there will be a celebration for all our winners, and a chance for us to say a big thank you to all of them. They do such wonderful work for the Hockey Family of Wales and truly deserve a special celebration.”
Anne Ellis Award for Outstanding Contribution to Hockey:
One of the most prestigious honours in Welsh hockey is the Anne Ellis Award for Outstanding Contribution to Hockey.
The winner of the award is selected by Anne, to recognise an individual that brings so much to the sport and contributes tirelessly to the Welsh Hockey Family.
This year’s winner Rebecca (Becca) Daniels truly embodies everything this award stands for.
Her love of hockey started at Ysgol Glan-y-mor School in Llanelli, she then took this passion with her wherever she went, including her next educational stop at Coleg Sir Gar.
There was no hockey team when Becca arrived but, being the character she is, she was able to enthuse her fellow students to play. She became the first captain of the college team and under her leadership, they progressed to the third round of the British Colleges Cup – a huge achievement, particularly given where they had started.
Becca was one of the first people to sign up to be a coach at a local primary school as part of the Dragon Sport (Coach Education) initiative, she then volunteered, and played with Llanelli Hockey Club.
Following her role as a Hockey Ambassador in Llanelli, Becca was soon “spotted” and invited to be a Welsh Hockey Young Ambassador. This resulted in her becoming a Youth Leader at a hockey camp in Holland where she looked after the Welsh team – Becca was in control, so staff put their feet up and had a holiday!
Coinciding with these many opportunities, in 2008 Becca was one of 6 Young Hockey Leader Finalists invited to make a hockey promotional presentation, in Victoria (Canada) to an International Jury including FIH and FHC Executive Board Members and Staff.
Following her time at Coleg Sir Gar, Becca travelled east to UWIC to study. Ever since, she has remained in Cardiff and now teaches PE at Fitzalan High School (Cardiff), alongside a vast amount of hockey roles.
Her club hockey includes player, coach and umpire as a member of Whitchurch Saints Hockey Club. Manager of Cardiff & Met’s National League team, keeping the squad (and management team) in order.
Her International credits include the role of Senior Women’s Performance Manager and prior to this she was the NAG Girls Manager.
Becca is also a Trustee of Friends of Welsh Hockey, where she finds herself responsible for the website and social media.
As well as her hockey credentials, Becca also has friends in high places – she has met with Prince Charles and Barack Obama, visited 10 Downing Street, carried the Olympic torch in Llanelli in 2012 and met the Queen on behalf of the hockey volunteers at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.
On receiving news of her accolade Becca told Hockey Wales how much it meant to her,
"It is a huge honour to receive the prestigious Anne Ellis 'Outstanding Contribution to Hockey' Award.
“At the age of 17, a conversation in the Coleg Sir Gar changing room between my wonderful coach Rae Ellis and I, changed my sporting life. I will be forever grateful to my role model Rae for believing in me and nominating me to be a youth activator.
“I feel very proud to be part of such an amazing hockey family. Thank you to every player, teammate, support staff and parent I have been involved with on this wonderful journey, in the sport I love. I feel completely overwhelmed.
“Finally, to Anne, an inspiration in our game, words cannot express how much this means to me. Thank you very much."
A worthy winner of the Anne Ellis Award, presented in recognition of her outstanding contribution to hockey in Wales.
THANK YOU TO ALL OUR AWARD WINNERS FOR ALL YOU DO FOR THE SPORT AND CONGRATULATIONS FROM ALL AT HOCKEY WALES.
2019/20 Award Winners:
Club Coach of the Year: AJ Pingram
Club of the Year: Rhondda Ladies Hockey Club
Community Umpire/Official of the Year: Jim Marchant
Performance Umpire/Official of the Year: Chris Brewer
Contribution to Masters Hockey: Jeff Robinson
Teacher/Lecturer of the Year: Gwennan Harries
Team of the Year: Carmarthen Athletic Men's Hockey Team
Volunteer of the year: Margaret Jones
Young Ambassador of the Year: Ffion Ross
Young Coach of the Year: Lowri Seer
Young Umpire of the Year: Ffion Horrell
Youth Club/Section of the Year: Gwent Girls Youth
Male Junior Performance Player: Ben Wall
Female Junior Performance Player: Nell Butler
Male Senior Performance Player(s): Jacob Draper & Rupert Shipperley
Female Senior Performance Player: Eloise Laity
Performance Coach of the Year: Zak Jones
Anne Ellis - Outstanding Contribution to Hockey: Rebecca Daniels