Guildford win major honours at Awards Evening 2017Guildford Tchoukball Club were the big winners at the Tchoukball UK Awards Evening in Kettering, while Patrick Dennis took home two major prizes.

Fareham Rhinos shooter Dennis was voted Super League players’ player by his peers, while also taking home the coveted Super League Male Top Scorer trophy.

After the ceremony Dennis said: “Getting my award was unexpected but it was amazing that my friends and peers of tchoukball all voted for me.

“It’s a great feeling and I hope others get to feel that respect and support one day."

Sixteen-year-old Bury Wolves shooter Ethan Page was named Division One Player’s Player.

The Super League’s top female scorer was Leeds Galaxy’s Jill Hayhurst, while in Division One the scoring charts were topped by Portsmouth Python’s David Jackson and Guildford Ignite’s Mari Haugen respectively.

Guildford Tchoukball Club were the big winners on the night as they picked up the Club of the Year award, while second team Guildford Ignite picked up Team of the Year for their unbeaten season in Division 1.

Guildford Inferno’s right-shooter and club chairman Rob Ellis was also named Tchoukball UK Sportsman of the Year for his starring role in the club’s stellar season as they won both the Super League and Super Cup.

Numerous awards were handed out on the evening but none brought a bigger cheer than the Service to Tchoukball award which was given to Martin Cates, who received a standing ovation for his efforts.

Cates retired from international tchoukball in 2016 after leading his side to the semi-finals of the European Championships.

“When I heard about the award I was looking forward to seeing who was receiving it up until the speech started and I knew," said Cates.

“It was a real honour to receive such an award and I felt proud, privileged and very embarrassed to be receiving it, because in my eyes I’ve just merely done whatever I have needed, to help things move on off of the court.

“On the court I have just tried my hardest and played to the best of my ability to help my team achieve their goals.

“To receive the ovation upon collecting the award was something I will never forget and I would not be collecting this award if it wasn’t for many of them. So thank you to you all for this."

Cates, who holds the record for most UK international appearances, was forced to retire from the sport due to injury after the championships.

He was also named outstanding official for the second year running.

Another player struck by serious injury this year was Leeds Galaxy’s Ruth Brazier.

Despite this, she was named Sportswoman of the Year for her efforts with the Team UK women at the European Championships in 2016, as the side secured a first silver-medal position, beaten by Switzerland in the final.

Brazier said: “I’m ecstatic to win the award and to be held in the same regard as previous winners.

“I was not expecting it at all. Huge thanks to our coach Hannah Norman and to everyone I have played with, especially the UK women’s team."

Norman was named Coach of the Year for her achievements with both Team UK and Leeds, the second time she has collected the trophy.

Other award winners included Best Female Newcomer Tara Granea, Best Male Newcomer Gianni Raise and Sports Personality Nick Hahn.

Niamh Farrelly was named Youth Female Player for a third year in a row, with Bury team-mate Abs Muhammad given the Best Male Youth honour.

This year Tchoukball UK gave out its first Volunteer Awards.

Giannia Raise and Nick Hahn were given bronze awards, while Abs Muhammad picked up a silver award for his contribution to the sport.

Only one volunteer managed to pick up the top platinum award, with 17-year-old Sam Clark dedicating more than 50 hours to the sport in less than a year.

In recognition of his extraordinary achievement Clark was handed the Volunteer of the Year Award.

He said: “Although this award is not directly related to tchoukball skills I’m very honoured to accept what I feel is a very important award which I think represents is a great role within tchoukball.

“As a small sport I feel it is vital that volunteering is taken seriously and recognised as it only through this that tchoukball can exist. I really hope even more people help in any way they can to grow our sport."

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