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Navy’s sports awards given golden touch

1 December 2016
The Royal Navy’s 2016 Sports Awards were given a golden touch thanks to a triple Olympic champion.

The Navy’s very own Lieutenant Pete Reed – a gold medallist rower in the last three Olympics – joined senior naval officers in presenting awards to outstanding sports stars who have put the Navy in the spotlight during the last 12 months.

The NATO Cup for the Sportsman of the Year went to triathlete Corporal Rich Ebbage, while the Sportswoman of the Year was won by Air Engineering Technician Anthea Kaptein for her exceptional talents across three sports - football, netball and basketball.

Triumphing in the team award and presented with the Sports Control Board Cup were the Navy’s netball team –  winners of the 2016 Inter Service Title for the first time in 23 years.

I am delighted to have achieved this award considering that there was some extremely stiff competition.

Corporal Ebbage

Corporal Ebbage, 25, from Ripon, North Yorkshire, enjoyed an outstanding year as the top Services middle-distance triathlete. He set records throughout 2016, winning national and international races at both national and international competitions.

He said: “I am delighted to have achieved this award considering that there was some extremely stiff competition. I would have not been able to participate in a lot of the races without the support of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Sports Association.”

AET Kaptein was described as a hugely talented multi-sportswoman whose impact at all three sports helped secure inter-service success across the board.

The Young Sports Person of the Year went to Marine George Crotty for his exploits in the boxing ring. His citation said he was a prodigiously-talented boxer and was crowned UK Armed Forces Champion in his first season. "One of the top young boxers in the UK, he has impressed with his skill, courage and tenacity.”

Lieutenant Commander Linda Cairney, hailed as the talismanic leader of the all-conquering netball team, won the Sports Official of the Year Cup. Her citation said: “Her influence over the past several seasons cannot be overestimated. As one of the few Level 3 netball coaches in the country, Lt Cdr Cairney is the epitome of a first-class sports official.”

She said she was delighted with both her own award and the prize bestowed on her netball team.

“I am extremely honoured and proud to receive the award alongside the Royal Navy Netball Team.  We worked hard over the last four years to achieve the historic win, while going on to represent the UK Armed Forces at international level.  This is an exciting time for elite military netball and I am privileged to be part of it,” she said.

Joining Lt Reed in presenting the awards at HMS Nelson wardroom were Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Jonathan Woodcock and Naval Secretary Rear Admiral Simon Williams.

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