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2020 Leeds Sports Awards: winners announced


England Women’s rugby league star Leah Burke and tennis ace Clay Crawford topped the bill for this year’s Leeds Beckett sports awards, which saw the university’s sports stars honoured in an online awards ceremony on Carnegie Sport’s Instagram page.

Leah was one of two high profile sports students to claim the top individual awards, as she was crowned the Leeds Beckett Sportswoman of the Year, while Clay was awarded the Sportsman of the Year award.

Last autumn saw Leah make her international debut for England. She featured in their inaugural Nines World Cup campaign and two match Test Series in Papua New Guinea, before returning to action for the university’s women’s rugby union team.

Clay also enjoyed an incredible campaign, winning most of his BUCS tennis games and competing against top level players on the LTA Circuit.

LBU swimmer Alicia Rose Hartley was named the Sports Personality of the Year by her peers, with over 300 students voting online for their winner.

In the club categories, the Carnegie Cheerleading Competition squad received the Performance Club of the Year award, while Carnegie Dance were awarded the Participation Club of the Year award.

Leeds Beckett Women’s Rugby Union Club were recognised as the Most Improved Club after making their Varsity debut at Emerald Headingley Stadium this season. The men’s rugby union second team were named Team of the Year, after their unbeaten season saw them clinch promotion.

Coaching scholar Maj Skok received the Student Development award for his support of the Athletic Union clubs’ strength and conditioning programmes, while Sarah Walton from Dance was awarded the Club Officer of the Year prize for her significant contribution to the club this season.

Carnegie American Football coach David Rowlands was the proud recipient of the John ‘Tats’ Harkins Unsung Hero award for his relentless dedication to the club in a voluntary role.

David’s commitment to supporting students on and off the field, growing the profile of American football and balancing his day job as a lawyer with travelling, self-funding, and training saw him recognised for his efforts.

Athletic Union Coordinator Lisa McCormick said:

“The Sports Awards event is a highlight in the calendar for so many students and staff at the University.

“Whilst we were unable to celebrate in the traditional fashion this year, I’m delighted that we have still been able to recognise and celebrate the achievements of our outstanding individuals and clubs.

“All of the winners have shown great determination and commitment to their sport over the past season. Congratulations to all of our winners.”

Your 2020 Leeds Sports Awards winners list in full:

Individual Winners:

Sportsman of the Year – Clay Crawford, Tennis

Sportswoman of the Year – Leah Burke, LBU Women’s Rugby Union & England Rugby League

Sports Personality of the Year – Alicia Rose Hartley, Swimming

Club Officer of the Year – Sarah Walton, Dance

Student Development – Maj Skok, Leadership Academy Coaching Scholar

John ‘Tats’ Harkins Outstanding Contribution – David Rowlands, American Football

Team & Club winners:

Performance Club of the Year – Cheerleading (Competition Team)

Participation Club of the Year – Dance

Most Improved Club – Women’s Rugby Union

Team of the Year – Men’s Rugby Union 2nd team


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