The athletes listed below have been shortlisted for this award:-

Joel Leon Benitez – Joel Leon Benitez has ended this year ranked no. 1 in the UK for Pole Vault and represented GB in the European U20 Championships this year and the IAAF championships in 2015. Joel has the UK no 1. Pole Vault height this year of 5m51cm not only for his U20 age group but leading the entire field of UK pole vaulters and qualifying for the Commonwealth Games.Joel has had a phenomenal rise over the years since he first competed for Notts AC as a 12 year old boy in 2011 when he ranked 382 in the high jump – we had no clue how far his talent would take him.  Moving the clock forwards 6 years the tiny 12 year old has turned into a mature and confident athlete. Throughout this time he represented Notts AC at all the age groups and, so far as international commitments permit continues to turn out for Notts teams when he can.  He has the right approach and mentality to thrive as a senior athlete and we will see him representing his country and Notts AC in years to come.

Poppy Malik – 
Poppy Malik has been one of the mainstays of the U15 girls team this year and has produced a series of performances that have showed a massive improvement in maturity and ability. Coached by Grant Barker and John Davis she has shown a consistency of performance and improvement that shows an impressive athletic future ahead of her. This was demonstrated by her qualifying for English Schools as a bottom end athlete in the demanding 200m event – competition for the short sprints is always intense. She then went on to win the Midland Counties U15 300m title in fine style.  As a team athlete she has always been prepared to give her best in events that she doesn’t normally do and she will have a great future as part of Notts AC.

Robert Needham – 
Rob Needham has had an outstanding year as a mainstay of the senior men’s track and field team.  This year he has produced a series of outstanding performances for the Notts AC British League team winning all his races over 800m and 1500m despite doubling up on these events. In addition, at Yeovil not only did he win his 800m and 1500m races but he also ran 49.6s 400m on the same day.  Rob Needham’s story stretches back to the dim hazy days of his U13 days 10 years ago.  Even then he was an exceptional athlete producing dominant performances in his age group. Rob is not only a great middle distance runner but he is also a genuine team player and displays a spirit and a competitiveness that sets a great example for all in the club.

Harry Ilyk – 
In many respects Harry Ilyk has been one of the surprise packages of the season.  Under the tutelage of Rob Careless, Harry has discovered that he is a great hammer thrower.  From April onwards he has racked up a huge series of 60m plus throws.  He has become one of the leading U17 hammer throwers in the UK finishing 3rd in the rankings (just 40cm away from 2nd).  Harry has had a truly great season and is now beginning to show his true talent as he develops rapidly into a great thrower. Harry is also a great team competitor and over the years has produced strong performances in shot, pole vault and high jump.

Loreni Jorge – 
Loreni Jorge is an U15 athlete who has come from nowhere in an astonishing year.  In 2016 he was unknown – in 2017 he couldn’t be missed.  A winter of hard work and commitment under the guidance of Dave Hourd paid off when he shocked us all with his stand-out debut performance at the Spring Spruce – running an English Schools qualification in his first race. He has benefitted from strong local competition both in the YDL and the Notts Mini-League but it was over the late summer that he found an extra killer pace and saving the best to last ran a blistering 11.12 in the Inter-County match in September to place 7th in the UK rankings. Not only has he been a true competitor in the individual events but he has also spearheaded the unbeaten U15 4x100m relay team to show that he is hard-working athlete committed to Notts AC.

Lawrie Dunn – 
Lawrie Dunn has had a hugely successful 2017 Track and Field season.  He is the British Masters M70 Champion in 400m indoors, 60mH indoors, Pentathlon indoors and outdoors, and the Decathlon. He also won silver in the 400m outdoors.  In the UK M70 rankings, he finished top in 11 events: the 400m indoors, 60mH indoors and outdoors, 80mH, 300mH, High Jump indoors and outdoors, Pole Vault indoors, Pentathlon indoors and outdoors, and finally the Decathlon. He is ranked 2nd in the Long Jump indoors.  He holds the British Record for the M70 indoor heptathlon.  He also  won Male Athlete of the Year in the Midland Vets league.  He competed in multiple events at every Masters League match, often gaining maximum points for the club, contributing massively to the men’s Masters team Cup Final victory at the end of the season.  He is a true, dedicated club man; always friendly, supportive and encouraging to all those he meets, from Juniors right through to Masters.

Catherine Charlton – 
Catherine Charlton is a very professional athlete. She trains hard according to her running needs which obviously vary throughout the year.  She regularly runs for the club and is one of the first on the team sheets when entering races on behalf of the Ladies.  She has run two good Marathons this year and represented the Club in the Vets league on track.  She was ever -present in helping us win the North Midlands X-C League.  She has represented GB at Masters level also collecting various prizes from her races.  Overall a great athlete who gives up her time in the pursuit of improvement and helping her team mates.


You can now vote for who you would like to win this Award. Please email me the name of the athlete you are voting for and also your name to

Please note only fully paid up Notts AC Members are able to vote and only ONE vote per member is allowed.

Voting will close on Wednesday 18th October 2017, no late votes will be accepted.



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