Pembroke Sports Awards 2016

14th June 2016

On Tuesday 14th June, the Master Dame Lynne Brindley and Bursar John Church were joined by Pembroke JCR and MCR students for the Annual Sports Awards.

The awards, held in Trinity Term each year, are a celebration of Pembroke student participation in sports at a College level, with the presentation of 'College Colours' and the 'Sportsperson of the Year' award.

The 'Sportsperson of the Year' prize, introduced in 2012 and worth £250, is given to one or more students selected in consultation with the JCR and MCR. This year's winners were Alexandros Tsaptsinos (Mathematics, 4th year) and Jonathan Bentham (Arabic and Islamic Studies, 4th Year).

As captain of the Oxford University Modern Pentathlon team, Jonathan Bentham has led a selection of athletes to victory over Cambridge, achieving a Half Blue. The very nature of modern pentathlon, combining five distinct disciplines, best illustrates the versatility of his talent. The College recognises that Jonathan’s personal ambition has always come second - first and foremost, as captain he dedicated over 15 hours a week to working towards creating a team out of a collection of athletes with different strengths and weaknesses and bringing the best out of each of them. The resounding victory of his team, both Blues and seconds, is the best proof of his capability as a leader in sport. 

Meanwhile, Jonathan's commitment to Pembroke sport has never been greater. In Torpids, he and his M2 crew mates achieved a historic result, bumping five M1 crews ahead of them. On top of that, he continued to be a key player in Pembroke rugby, reaching the quarter finals of the rugby cuppers. This year has been the culmination of four years of Jonathan’s extraordinary dedication to Pembroke sport.

Alex Tsaptsinos has had a year to remember on the football pitch, captaining the Blues team to a 2-0 victory over Cambridge. He has shown the same commitment– if not more – for the college team. He captained the firsts in 2013-2014 and has been an integral part of what many are calling a ‘golden era’ in recent years for Pembroke football. He is the third all-time leading appearance-maker for college, with an impressive 45 games under his belt, and is the all-time top goal scorer for the club with 31 goals, most of them in crucial games in Cuppers and the league. 

Off the pitch, Alex has shown great commitment to the wider sporting community in College. He was the JCR sports rep in 2013-2014 where he gave his all to encourage his fellow Pembrokians to get involved in sport and has since contributed to creating a warm and inclusive environment throughout the sports teams.

The ceremony was a celebration of College sport on a wider level, recognising dozens of other key members of the Pembroke sport community. Each year student captains of the sports teams across College nominate typically two or three leading players of their choice, with a particular focus on those in their final year, to receive 'College Colours'.

This year's recipients of 'College Colours' and a £25 prize were:

Men's football Tim Wheeler (Yr 3), Ollie Radway (Yr 4), Joe Fowles (Yr 3) and Cian Wade (Yr 4)
MCR Football Connor Molloy (Grad)
Women's football Catherine Jones (graduated 2015, now OUSU sabbatical officer), Heather Wilson (MCR) and Anna Carbery (Yr 1)
Netball Imogen Watson (Yr 2), Flavia Creswell-Turner (Yr 1), Laura Turner (Yr 1) and Imogen Hobby (Yr 1)
Rugby Theo Wye (Yr 4), Ben Nabarro (Yr 3), Jonathan Bentham (Yr 4) and Sam Dennis (Yr 4)
Women's Rowing Gemma White (Yr 4), Megan Gee (Yr 3), Grace Waterhouse (Yr 3), Megan Hamer (Yr 4) and Claire Smark (Yr 3)
Men's Rowing Charlie Buchanan (Yr 2), Eddie Rolls (Yr 5), Max Jost (Yr 4) and Carl Gergs (Yr 2)
Mixed Lacrosse Jamie White (Yr 2) and Mia Milman (Yr 1)
Badminton Nathan Bram (Yr 3) and Matthew Everett (Yr 4)
Pool Laurence Wroe (Yr 2) and Thomas Gibbs (Yr 2)
Frisbee Harriet Loney (Yr 2) and Thomas Gibbs (Yr 2)
Cricket Tom Wilkinson (Yr 3)
Tennis Harry Hamer (Yr 3) and Lizzie Jonson (Yr 1)

Both the 'College Colours' and 'Sportsperson of the Year' awards are possible thanks to the generosity of a late alumnus of the College, Rodney Fitzgerald (1942). “Fitz” as he was known. Fitz was a senior Lloyds insurance broker in the City of London and an out-and-out sportsman all his life. He played cricket for Oxford while at Pembroke and later played for Sussex. He was also a keen golfer. In later life, he was an active supporter of several important London sports charities.

Always fond of Pembroke and keen to encourage excellence in sport, Fitz left a sizeable bequest to the College on his death in 2012 to provide funding for students to reward sporting achievement.

More information about the 'Fitz Awards' can be found at the bottom of this page.

Dame Lynne Brindley and John Church with Alexandros Tsaptsinos and Jonathan Bentham
Joint winners of 'Sportsperson of the Year' - Alexandros Tsaptsinos and Jonathan Bentham