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Nearing the end what has been a successful season, one in which they not only finished third in the RFU Championship but also for the time ever kept an unbeaten home record in the league, the Cornish Pirates held their Dinner & Awards Evening on Sunday evening. After a two-year break because of Covid, it was a very well attended event held at the Penventon Hotel, Redruth, and much enjoyed by all those present.
On the night of celebration Phil Westren, who was the MC for the evening, firstly welcomed all present and, at the meal’s end, bestowed deserved words of praise to various award winners. He also expressed admiration for the efforts made by the club coaches, the playing squad as a whole and the backroom staff. Liz McLean was also thanked for organising the successful evening’s event.
Presentations/Awards made were as follows:
Community Player of the Year – The club’s Community Engagement Manager, Sam Teasdale, was invited to present this award which went to
someone who has throughout the year been more than happy to be involved, starting off with the 2021 summer sessions, and then through to the match day activity, the School of Hard Knocks programme and most recently the Bradfords Community Cup. Always helpful, the winner was – Bear Williams.
The next five awards were presented in turn by joint head coaches Alan Paver and Gavin Cattle.
Sportsman of the Year – To be considered a good sportsman is something to be very much proud of, and this year’s winner is again very worthy. He has displayed these traits in his two seasons with the Pirates, during which he has also developed as a player and made 17 appearances. Congratulations were expressed to – Harry Bazalgette.
Most Improved Player – There have clearly been several good candidates,
with the person chosen someone very worthy. Again, he is a player whose development has been noted, which has also led to him making 11 starts alone out of the 16 appearances he has made this season. The winner was – Joe Elderkin.
Clubman of the Year – Of this year’s winner, who was clearly very deserving, Phil said the club has been extremely lucky to have the individual help as a lead volunteer. For many years now nothing is ever too much trouble, he responds to requests to help immediately, and with enthusiasm, whether it be transporting kit for cleaning, or whatever. However, it is the thousands of photographs he has taken which has recorded so much for present and future benefit and is also so greatly appreciated by supporters. The winner was – Brian Tempest.
Try of the Season – In advance of the night supporters had the opportunity to vote from 10 choices, with the first choice being a try scored in the 19-0 win at home against London Scottish in February. The winning try-scorer was – Alex O’Meara.
Player of the Year – This year’s recipient has enjoyed a fine season, featuring in 21 games – all starts – and always at a consistent high. Dogged by injuries over the years it must have been great to get such a run of games together for someone who has now made 126 appearances for the club. The winner was – Matt Bolwell.
Players’ ‘Player of the Year’ – On behalf of the players, club captain Nicolas De Battista was called forward to present this special award. Special indeed, as to receive such a trophy confirms a mark of respect and admiration felt by the recipient’s fellow players. The 2022 winner was – Josh Caulfield.
Extra Award/s – Three extra awards were finally made, the first two presented by the club’s hardworking and admired CEO Rebecca Thomas to two valued individuals who were stepping down from their roles.
A first award went to Jan Oates – meet & greet doorman in hospitality – and the second to Martin ‘Woll’ Woollatt who for a good number of years has compiled the club’s home match reports for use on the website. Both were warmly thanked, and each was presented with a rugby ball signed by the Cornish Pirates squad.
A final award, a shirt signed by the squad, was presented to Chris Price who, after being a committed and valued lead Analyst for the past decade, is leaving on a new job venture. Making the presentation, Gavin Cattle expressed thanks to Chris and to all who contribute to the Pirates cause.
To conclude the evening’s programme of events, there was a Raffle and then a Disco.
Note: As is usual, certain further annual awards will be made from the Truro & Penwith College grandstand at the end of the Cornish Pirates versus Doncaster Knights fixture in the Championship Cup to be played on Saturday 23rd April (ko 2.30pm). These will be for the Edwin Bryant Trophy, The Dave Berryman Cup (to the Volunteer of the Year), The John Stirling Cup for Commitment, The Roger Pascoe Cup (to the Supporters’ Player of the Season), The Monckton Cup for Achievement, and the President’s Cup (presented to the player who, in the opinion of the club’s President, Terry Drew, has been the most outstanding contributor on the field during the season).