• Swansea Uni Athletics&XC

Club shortlisted for two awards at the Swansea University Sports Awards

Updated: May 24, 2020

Despite the current climate, the Swansea University Sport Swansea Awards will still go ahead on the new date of Friday June 5th 2020 but this year it will be streamed live through their Facebook page with interviews from award winners via zoom. So no need to dress up but, for our club, there is everyone reason to tune in with a glass of bubbly.

Following an incredibly successful year in the club's development and performance, Swansea University Athletics & Cross Country Club has been shortlisted for two awards this year. The club has been shortlisted for the Most Improved Club of the Year and Club Captain, Nathan Phillips, has been shortlisted for the Clubperson of the Year Award.

This year's performance highlights include an Gwent League Cross Country trophy for our Men's team who won the University category by over 200 points and finished 12th place in the overall senior men category which was higher than the local Swansea and Cardiff clubs. The club also saw it's most individual Indoor BUCS Athletics Championship finalists in years and saw over 7 indoor club records broken. Individual highlights came from Conor Smith who finished 34th at BUCS XC which is our highest finish since Dewi Griffiths back in 2013 and Max Heavens who was invited to compete at British Indoor Championships against GB and Olympic athletes in the 60m.

It is not just performance which the club improved on this year but also our development including getting the club out of it's historic debt by raising club funds including gaining sponsorship (Joma Sport, Popworld and Faaram Court Kennels) and setting up sustainable income streams. For example, The club has linked up with Welsh Athletics to be a host for their summer virtual league

competitions. Despite this falling through this year, the club has signed on to continue this in 2021. They have also begun training with a renowned Strength & Conditioning company,

Swansea Strength & Conditioning, who have trained a number of GB and commonwealth athletes and have been able to offer nutrition and sports injury prevention on top of strength & conditioning support. The club has also been able to up skill its members through officials courses and talks from coaching experts and former professional athletes including world record holder, Kevin Young.

The Club Captain for 2019-20, Nathan Phillips, for the Clubperson of the year award. The passion, dedication and hardwork he has put in over the past year has been recognised by the Sport Swansea team. Nathan spent the majority of his summer leading the development of the club including building and strengthening the relationship with Welsh Athletics, Swansea Harriers,Swansea Strength & Conditioning, Joma Sport & Total Teamwear. He used this time to begin raising club funds and preparing the club for the Winter season. He found initiative ways to increase club funds without having to lower the club experience and performance allowing for extra nutrition and injury prevention support.

During the year, he has always been approachable and supportive to the athletes and he has responded to everyone quickly and chased up any queries instantly. He linked up with local coaches to provide taster sessions in every athletics discipline to link athletes up with the best event and right coach for them. He also organsied the officials course, a talk by the current 400m World record holder Kevin Young and a pre-BUCS talk on handling major competition by expert coach Adrian Thomas. He did this all while volunteering as the Sport Swansea Media Co-ordinator and completing an MA in Creative Writing.

Nathan Phillips and Conor Smith (Cross Country Captain) will be attending on the club's behalf. Conor has been an asset in his role, setting up coaching links with middle-long distance coach Kev Tobin and providing a 5-day training week for our cross country athletes, at times, offering individual coaching plans to ensure our teams were prepared. He also single-handedly organised the Gwent League fixtures and got one of our strongest teams out in years.

The awards will be live-streamed on facebook here for everyone to watch so make sure you tune in on Friday 5th June at 8pm to support both the club and Nathan and find out if the club have won an award this year.

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