Dishing out awards to MK’s rowers

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Milton Keynes Rowing Club celebrated their annual awards evening last week.

In a year where the club saw local, national and even international triumphs, the competition for awards was strong, with the winners being extremely deserving.

Steve Lawson picked up the acclaimed award of Oarsperson of the Year for his tireless commitment to the club, racking up an astonishing 3.3 million meters of rowing on the Concept 2 land rower.

In addition to this he had consistently strong performances in single and pair categories on the water, winning Marlow Long Distance Sculls, Bedford Head and Star Head, as well as winning at Nottingham Masters regatta, coming second at National Masters Championships and coming fourth at World Masters Championships in the pair.

Club Person of the Year went to Cath Keeling for her hard work running Learn to Row courses throughout the summer and nurturing the development squad to great success in their first local regattas.

Nominations from many of the development squad outlined the incredible support and motivation Cath provided the new members.

Next up Team of the Year was won by the strong Women’s Eight crew who rowed at Women’s Eights Head of the River Race, coming third in the provincial clubs category.

The team, made up of Heidi Towse, Louise Rivett, Jayne Skeith, Louisa Briar, Abi Green, Lucy Millett, Karen Wilson, Paula Heywood and their cox and coach Andy Darnell recorded the best ever position for a MK crew at the national event, finishing 52nd overall out of almost 300 boats.

The Outstanding Achievement award went to Karen Wilson for her hard work captaining the Women’s squad to their most successful year to date, with Nick Hughes gaining the title of Most Improved for his transition from new rower to men’s captain in only a few years, as well as his contribution to the club and constant support of all club members.

Special thanks went to Robert and Paula Heywood, having been at the club for 10 years the duo have given countless hours of time and energy to helping others and keeping the club running smoothly.

Club captain Benn Klewpatinond said: “It has been probably the most successful year in our club’s 20 year history. Without the commitment, determination and enthusiasm of all our members the club would not be where it is.”

As seasons change from Regatta to Head Racing all eyes are on the coming year as MK rowers set their sights on even bigger and better things to come.