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Haverhill rewarded at sports awards with number of trophies

By Sport Haverhill

The winners of the West Suffolk Sports Awards 2018 Picture: Phil Morley (4506773)
The winners of the West Suffolk Sports Awards 2018 Picture: Phil Morley (4506773)

Haverhill was placed nicely under the spotlight at the 2018 Greene King IPA West Suffolk Sports Awards, with four of the 13 awards presented to local interests.

Gary Dourado became the Iliffe Media’s People’s Champion for his tireless work as a volunteer youth football coach with Haverhill Rovers, while Haverhill-based business Sanofi was selected for the Allied Health Professionals Suffolk Most Active Workplace Award at the Abbeycroft Leisure-run event run across the St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath District Council areas.

Sanofi Haverhill was also the recipient of the award at the inaugural event last year and has again been highlighted for its commitment to physical and mental wellbeing in the workplace.

Sharon Banner, head of HSE lean and performance, said: “Sanofi is delighted to have won the Most Active Workplace Award at the West Suffolk Sports Awards for the second year running.

“We have a wellbeing team here at Sanofi who are committed to keeping everyone active and healthy at work, and we are looking forward to building on the success of this year’s achievement again next year.”

West Suffolk Swimming Club – which includes members across the Haverhill to Bury St Edmunds corridor – was also involved in the awards action, with club treasurer Carla Barnes collecting an impressive two awards.

Barnes admitted to being stunned at walking away from Tattersalls with two trophies from the second West Suffolk Sports Awards.

But for the people at her club who know what she does – the equivalent of one unpaid work day a week to keep them afloat in her role – it was deserved recognition for a largely unseen hero of local sport.

The mother-of-two, who also juggles a full-time job in accountancy alongside her swimming club administration and social events roles, was the recipient of both the Unison Unsung Hero Award and the Smarter Drop from Anglia Water Community Volunteer of The Year Award.

Asked if she could have imagined winning back-to-back awards, the only person on the night to receive two, she said: “No. I did not even know I was nominated. I don’t really like the limelight or anything like that.

“Really, I’m only doing my day job on the finances side, so it is business as normal.”

She said she does, on average, around seven hours a week since taking responsibility for the club’s finances in 2012, with her nomination saying she has taken the club ‘from financial wilderness guiding us to operating a well organised and efficient system’.

She has also sorted and secured CASC (Community Amateur Sports Club) status – allowing the club to register with HMRC for tax relief purposes – as well as setting up pensions for their full-time coaches.

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