WHILE he was glad that the amazing success of his top-level students was reflected in the Martial Arts Centre being named as Club of the Year at the 2019 Active Braintree Sports Awards, David Wilson felt it shone a light on the achievements of the whole club.

Sensei Wilson, who was also named as Coach of the Year on a glorious evening for the Braintree-based club, was delighted to see the Martial Arts Centre gain the recognition at the gala awards ceremony at the Braintree Arts Theatre.

Their win came after seeing karate students claim a host of gold, silver and bronze medals at English National and World championships over the last 12 months with a stunning list of achievements.

Wilson said he was proud of what they had done over the last 12 months, but he also felt the Club of the Year award reflected the work put in by all of their students, not just those operating at the highest levels.

He said “This club award is one for the whole club.

“While we have competed in the National and World championships, those girls who competed there have been training for ten or 11 years and that’s what we try to nurture within all of our club.

“Everyone benefits from that.

“Only about eight or nine per cent of our club compete, the rest do it for confidence, self-defence and discipline.

“The club of the year award goes right the way through our club.

“The way I look at it is that it is for everybody.”

Students from the club gave karate demonstrations on the stage at the awards ceremony and there was also a personal honour for Wilson as he was named as Coach of the Year.

He added: “I always come to these awards thinking that just being in the last three and being commended is great, but to win is lovely and not just one but two is fantastic.

“I didn’t think we would do that.

“It’s humbling to win the coach award because our girls who have done so well have worked so hard and if they didn’t put that hard work in, then whatever plans I had for them would fall away.

“I feel humbled by it really.

“It doesn’t just happen; we don’t just turn up and hope that we’re better on the day then everyone else.

“We try to come up with a plan that is tweaked every year and the girls have put it into action.”

Like with the coaching honour, the Active Braintree Sports Awards recognised those working behind the scenes of the headline successes and one of those was the Young Community Volunteer Award that was won by Haydn Hawkins.

At the age of just 16, he has taken on a host of volunteering roles to ensure the smooth running every week of the phenomenally successful Notley Parkrun events.

His sister, Acacia, also volunteers and was highly commended in the same category as her brother and Haydn was delighted to win the award.

He said: “It was good to be recognised and for my sister as well (getting highly commended) as she also does a lot of volunteering at the Parkrun.

“It’s nice to get that.

“I first heard about the Parkrun in an assembly at school in year eight and I then started running in the 5K and 2K junior race.

“I started volunteering at the junior run because I was quite quick over the two kilometres and I started doing scanning of barcodes afterwards.

“But I then got too old to do the junior one and just carried on volunteering instead.

“Parkrun is growing all over the world and I think we’re seeing more and more at Notley.

“There have been over 300 (a week) in the summer and it’s very popular."

ACTIVE BRAINTREE SPORTS AWARDS 2019: Sports Personality of the Year (sponsored by George Yard Shopping Centre): Winner: Sue Clarke (Duathlon); Highly commended: Oli Cutmore (BMX Racing), Jason Bradley (Boxing).

Young Sports Personality of the Year (sponsored by George Yard Shopping Centre): Winner: Freia Challis (BMX Racing); Highly commended: Elizabeth Forster (Basketball), Teegan Rayner (Athletics and Swimming).

Sports Club of the Year (sponsored by Braintree Village): Winner: The Martial Arts Centre; Highly commended: Great Bradfords FC (Football), Braintree & District Athletic Club.

Sports Coach of the Year (sponsored by Braintree & Witham Times): Winner: David Wilson (Martial Arts); Highly commended: Ed Booker (Football), Julian Allen (BMX Racing).

Active School or College of the Year (sponsored by Community Iron): Winner: Howbridge Junior School; Highly commended: Richard De Clare School, Beckers Green Primary School.

Lifetime Services Award (sponsored by BDC chairman): Winner: George Cook (Boxing); Highly commended: Charles Revell (Cricket), Christopher Card (Hockey).

Unsung Hero (sponsored by Milbank Concrete Products): Winner: Sharon Mills (Football); Highly commended: Tim Harrison (Cricket), Tom Paget (Boxing).

Physical Activity Project of the Year (sponsored by Provide): Winner: Walk & Talk; Highly commended: Braintree Foyer, Braintree Walking Netball.

Young Community Volunteer (sponsored by Greenfields Community Housing): Winner: Haydn Hawkins (Running); Highly commended: Spencer Hume (Football), Yasmin Williams (Gymnastics), Acacia Hawkins (Running).

Services to Disability Sport (sponsored by Fusion): Winner: Tom Doughty (Sport for Confidence); Highly commended: Fenham Lodge (Boccia and Swimming), James McMillan (Riding for the Disabled).