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Athletes honoured at Royal Navy Sports Awards

5 December 2022
RUGBY League, athletics, indoor rowing and bobsleigh took the spotlight at the Royal Navy Sports Awards.

Royal Navy Rugby League 1st XIII took the Team of the Year accolade, while Surgeon Lieutenant Commander Rachel Aldridge was named Sportswoman of the Year for her success in athletics and indoor rowing. Marine Taylor Lawrence was awarded the Sportsman of the Year trophy for his success in bobsleigh.

The awards, held at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, saw 48 citations from 27 different sports compete for the six awards handed out on the night by Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Andrew Burns.

The Royal Navy Rugby League team boasted the most successful Challenge Cup run for a Service side in more than 30 years of Armed Forces Rugby League. The team also remained unbeaten all season, with the exception of top-level Championship side Batley Bulldogs ending the Challenge Cup run.

Surgeon Lieutenant Commander Aldridge has represented the Royal Navy in three athletics disciplines and latterly in the past two years for indoor rowing. Previously twice a double medallist at 400m and 800m at UKAF Inter-Services Track and Field Championships in 2018 and 2019, Rachel concluded the 2021/22 Indoor Rowing season as the overall winner of the Global Indoor Rowers League as well as for her age group.

Alongside her as Sportsman of the Year was Mne Taylor Lawrence, who’s commitment to bobsleigh as the ‘brake man’ saw him represent Team GB at the 2022 Winter Olympics in the four-man crew.

Lieutenant Commander Andrew Holley was named Official of the Year for his dedication to motorsport for over a decade, to enable motorsport for others.
Able Seaman Britney Walker was named Young Sportsperson of the Year after an incredible first year as a Royal Navy boxer. 

A new award for this year was the Coach of the Year, which went to LSC Silivenusi Buinimasi for Rugby Union and Rugby League. 

Five Outstanding Achievement Awards were also handed out:

CPO Chris Martin: Powerlifting. 
Lt Cdr Paula Bennett-Smith RN: Rugby Union. 
PO Tim Lawrence: Winter Sport.
CPO Helen Richardson: UKAF Football, Rugby Union and Rowing.
CPO Steve Lockton: Rugby League. 


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