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Dudley Ladies Dress To Thrill At Best Ever Awards Presentation Evening

Friday the 24th June saw Dudley Ladies stage their annual Awards Presentation Evening at The Park Hall Hotel in Wolverhampton when around 170 people dressed to thrill and see who were to be recognized for their past years achievements.

The evening was started off by Phil getting everyone warmed up with his usual hip gyrations before settling down to a three course meal of soup followed by either, turkey, salmon or garlic mushrooms with raspberry crumble, coffee and mints to finish in the recently refurbished and swelteringly hot ballroom.

Following the meal, Rita allowed Phil to speak as a rare treat and he promptly grabbed the opportunity to relate a number of funny anecdotes he'd picked up from this years induction, with the most notable being about the lady who had done her 3 miles for the first time and was challenged to a race by her ex-footballing husband and SHE WON. Phil then finished off with a motivational speech about the achievements of Paula Ratcliffe, the great strides being made in women's distance running and the desire of everyone in the club for today's beginners to become part of this emerging revolution that would have inspired even the weakest of wills.

The awards ceremony proper was begun by Rita recognizing the contributions made to the club by a number of children and youngsters aged between 10 and 15 years of age by presenting them each with a tiara and a gift wrapped presentation box of Belgian chocolates. It was totally unexpected by the children and to see their faces as they were called up on to the stage individually and be applauded by everyone in the room was truly uplifting.

The children and youngsters called up were Katie Parry, Esther Morton, Bethanie Garbutt, Emma Stringfellow, Grace Allen, Carly Cox, Kirsty Orgill and Leanne Keeley.

Then came the beginners awards, with around 150 beginners each receiving their medal, certificate and tee-shirt for running a minimum of 3 miles during their recent 12 week beginners course before having their photograph taken by husband and wife team Nick and Julie Walton.

The evening then moved on to the individual award winners and as Phil explained, this year was more difficult than ever, with around 325 beginners and 325 established runners in the club and everyone with a good case to put, just where do you start???

For the beginners, Rita and Phil explained that the criteria used to recognize achievement award winners was based upon "Value Added", in as much that their ability was accessed from when they joined the club to what they can do now, taking in to account other influencing factors such as returning from injury, having just had a baby, age or losing weight etc etc.

Kelly Faulkner, Alison Willis and Sheryl Allman - were three ladies that couldn't be split. They didn't know each other before coming to the club 10 weeks ago as absolute beginners but now they always run together and have improved to such an extent that they could now easily go out with the established ladies. They are always at the front and we’re sure that they’ll be a real asset to the club.

 

Joan Rutter - when people join Dudley Ladies they never really leave, even if they become pregnant, or injured or ill or for whatever reason they can’t make it down the club for sometime and this particular lady is an absolute classic example of that. Joan was one of our original founder members but due to various problems with her health she had to take a break but she’s come back again, she’s had to start from scratch and she’s overcome a lot of painful obstacles and problems along the way.

Eleanor Phillips – when Eleanor first came to the club she was worried sick, she felt self conscious about her age, didn’t think she’d be able to do it and was totally lacking in confidence but none the less, she bought a new pair of running shoes and gave it a go. What a transformation!! There is now no comparison to that lady that first came down and she is now a very confident and proficient runner.

Janice Stanton – Eleanor would be the first to admit that she wouldn’t have done what she’s done without the help and support of people around her and none more so than this lady. Who, whilst being a total beginner herself stayed with Eleanor and together they worked their socks off to now be able to run nearly 5 miles.

Emma Blacker - This lady doesn’t fit the normally expected runner profile but we were impressed by her sheer determination to do it and the way she conducted herself. Emma worked out what worked for her and stuck at it with bags of enthusiasm and commitment. And the look on her face when she ran the 3 miles for the first time was great……Her little face beamed.

Hayley Scriven – Another lady who doesn’t fit the normal runner’s profile. Hayley started from day one and couldn’t run for a bus, let alone run around the football pitch but now through sheer guts and determination she’s done it and thoroughly deserves being recognized for what she’s achieved.

Bridgene Backer - This lady has got a wonderful personality. She’s always has a smile on her face and always leaves you feeling better for being with her. She is not a natural runner and so for her to run 3 miles is absolutely fantastic. It’s not been easy for her but she was so determined and we’re both really pleased for her because she’s a real inspiration to everybody.

Dawn Keeley – We first met Dawn quite a few ago now when she first came to our Beginners Course at a club called DK but due to a number of minor niggles and illnesses, she had drop out BUT SHE’S BACK and like Joan earlier she’s had to start from scratch again and not only has she done it, she’s managed to keep in front of her daughter Leanne at the same time.

Katie Parry – For 10 year old Katie to run 3 miles is quite an achievement but with the help and support of her Mom Dawn and the new friends that she made, in what must be an overwhelming environment she did it and we’re sure she’ll go on and be successful at whatever she chooses to do next in the future.

Lynda Hunt – As shown great determination and commitment even though she was very apprehensive about coming along in the first place. Lynda first came to the club with her daughter as a bit of support but now she has made loads of new friends and even seen her daughter off.

Bal Birring - This lady joined the group as an absolute beginner but her progress was rapid that we had to integrate her into the main group in record time.

 

Awards were then presented to some of the established runners, first to be called up were :-

Liz Woods, Maggie Quebdanni and Nikki Guest who again couldn't be separated because they always run together. they socialize together, they’re always together. They are good friends and whenever you see them they always look as if they are thoroughly enjoying themselves. They all started as absolute beginners last year, they didn't know each other before they each came to the club and their improvement has been tremendous. All have lost weight and body fat and changed their body shape and look fabulous.

.Jan Cook – This lady has had more comebacks than Gary Glitter and has run with the club for longer than we can remember and she will be the first to admit that during that time she has had her fair share of UNRELATED injuries, back problems and ups and downs. But through it all she has refused to give up on her running. She is the comeback kid and keeps coming back for more, we just can’t get rid of her, I mean, what have we got to do? Sometimes she has been in such pain that she’s had to sleep on the floor but she’s one of those people who’ll never give in. She always supports the club, even when she’s crocked and tries to give help and encouragement to others. We guarantee whenever you meet this lady you’ll always leave her with a smile on your face.

Donna Proffitt – This lady has made great improvements over the past year. She leads a busy life as a full time mom but still manages to find the time to run. She has lost weight and Body Fat month upon month, is toning up and is now looking absolutely great. She did the Sandwell Race For Life a few weeks ago and was our first lady back. We hope she can manage to keep it up and deserves this award for all the hard work that she’s put in.

Donna Concannon & Sue Hickman – These two ladies have achieved such a lot in such a short space of time. They have both lost Body Fat, toned up and look amazing. If you saw pictures of what they looked like before and what they look like now you wouldn’t recognize them as the same people. Last week they ran the Blackpool Marathon in blistering heat and even though the organizers had run out of water, and they were scrating about for discarded bottles, they never stopped or walked and ended up doing a fantastic time of just over 4 hours 41 minutes, They are two very dedicated ladies and have already started training for the Amsterdam Marathon in October.

Tosh Perry – What can we say about Tosh Perry that everyone doesn’t know already. Since she came to the club last year, she has joined in with all the activities, she has made loads and loads of new friends and she always has a big happy smile on her face. Her dirty jokes regularly do the rounds on the emails. So if you’ve received a joke from us on the email it probably originated from this lady. She keeps everyone amused with her kind heartedness and humour. She is always bubbly and enjoys a laugh. We are all really sad that she’s having to move away because of her job but we know that she’ll keep in touch and come back whenever she can

Pam Edmunds, Jessica Stones, Raj Sangerha, Sheena Di Franco - All these girls started as beginners last year last year and not one of them can believe just what running has done for them. All of them entered the London Marathon and set about training in earnest. Sheena suffered an injury just a couple of weeks before the big event and was heart broken when she had to drop out but she still encouraged the others to stick at it and was even there waiting at the end for them to finish. So they ALL thoroughly deserve this award.

Star of The Year - Brenda Chapman – This is a very special lady. She is an absolutely tireless worker, if she’s not doing her full time job then she’s helping out her family or supporting and working for the club and is one of those people who is always there with encouragement, advice and help for everyone even when she could do with it herself. The club just wouldn’t be the same without her. Although this year has seen some highs for her it has seen some really sad lows as well, she has always been there for the girls at the running club and is a true STAR

Club Woman Of The Year - Mary Lavender – This lady is an inspiration to us all. She has a busy full time job, clubs to run, trips to organise and a new addition to the family to care for. She has loads of energy and never ceases to amaze us with her never ending enthusiasm. There isn’t a better Mrs Motivator anywhere in the Midlands. Every week she is at the club, supporting, advising , cajoling and working everyone that runs with her. Everybody loves her and she is the epitome of everything that Dudley Ladies is about.

Runner of The Year - Enid Brazier – For this lady, age is no barrier. She has achieved such a lot in a short space of time. Marathons, Half Marathons, 10K’s, 5K’s. Every week she is running some race or other. She is a truly amazing lady who shows great determination and courage.  She is an inspiration to us all at Dudley Ladies. The club would certainly not be the same without her and this is the third year running that she has won the award.

Finally people that no one ever notices but without whom the club couldn't function were also brought up on the stage to be recognized, they included :-

George Kosteczko & Nick Walton - where each presented with cut glass crystal brandy glasses before George cheekily pinched Rita's bottom and gave her the biggest thrill she'd had all night.

Caroline Glover, Julie Walton, Joy Whelan, Louise Hipkiss, Pat Powell, Lynn Kosteczko, Nichola Plant, and Ronnie Smith. where each given bottles of bubbly stuff that was put to very good use later on in the evening.

 

The evening was finished off with a number of girls slightly the worse for wear giving their all on the karaoke. Star performers on the night were Wendy Martin, Donna Proffitt, Pam Edmunds, Raj Sanghera, Gail Edwards and just too many others to mention that would have had some very sore heads on Saturday morning.

 

 

 

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For More Information Contact:

Dudley Ladies Running Club
c/o Wombourne Leisure Centre
Tel 01902 898202 or
Email: rita@dudleyladies.co.uk

Site Last modified: January 29, 2016