Sports Personality of the Year to be crowned at celebration of Bath student sport

16 April 2015

Medallists at World and European level are joined by a student hailed as a “perfect role model” on a four-strong shortlist for the 2015 University of Bath Sports Personality of the Year Award.

Rower Sam Courty, swimmer Jay Lelliott, badminton player Chris Hotchen and rugby player Freddie Clarke are in contention for the prize, which will be presented at the Blues Awards ceremony.

The annual gala event recognises the sporting achievements of University of Bath students and this year will take place at the Assembly Rooms on Wednesday 22 April.

The event is organised by University of Bath Students’ Union Sport and will also see awards presented for Club of the Year, BUCS Team of the Year and Excellence in Coaching.

All members of Students’ Union Sport – more than 4,500 students – can vote for one of the four Sports Personality of the Year candidates. The shortlisted athletes are:

  • Sam Courty – The Sports and Exercise Science student only took up rowing when she joined the University of Bath in 2011 but was part of the victorious beginners women’s four at the BUCS Regatta in her first year. She was invited to join the GB Rowing Team Start programme at the university and last year made her international debut at the Windermere Cup in Seattle. Courty was then selected for the women’s eight at the U23 World Rowing Championships and helped Britain win a silver medal, before securing silver and bronze at the Commonwealth Regatta in Glasgow.
  • Jay Lelliott – Since joining the University of Bath in September 2013, the Sports Performance student’s swimming career has gone from strength to strength. He won a silver medal in the 1,500m freestyle at last year’s British Swimming Championships to secure his place at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, where he finished sixth while representing Team England. Lelliott then made his senior Great Britain debut at the European Championships and achieved his first international medal with a bronze in the 400m freestyle. He has also excelled while representing the university in the BUCS long-course and short-course competitions, winning three gold, six silver and four bronze medals in two years.
  • Chris Hotchen – the badminton player, who won a bronze medal at the European University Championships in 2009, is shortlisted for a second year. The PhD Chemistry student – hailed by his club colleagues as “the perfect role model” – has captained the University of Bath Men’s 1sts since 2010 and the club since 2011. He also coached the Ladies’ 2nd team to the BUCS League title last year and won bronze and silver medals at the BUCS Individual Championships in 2014 and 2015.
  • Freddie Clarke – The Bath Rugby university scholar helped Great Britain students to victory at the World University Games 7s tournaments in Brazil, then was part of the England 7s squad which won the FIRA European Championships. The Sports Performance student was awarded the captaincy of England Students in January, leading the 1st XV against Portugal, France and Wales.

Students’ Union Sport members can vote via the Students’ Union website – click here to vote.

The winner of the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) Team of the Year will also be announced on the night. The shortlisted teams are the Men’s Rugby 7s, the Swimming team and the Women’s Tennis 1sts.

Nominated for Club of the Year are the Badminton, Trampolining and Water Polo clubs.

Blues, Half Blues, Colours and Ribbons will be presented to students who have made a significant contribution to University sport.

And the University will also take the opportunity to pay tribute to athletes who competed at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Sixteen athletes with University of Bath links – including gold-medallists Megan Fletcher (Judo), Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and Chris Walker-Hebborn (Swimming), and Zoe Smith (Weightlifting) – will be presented with Honorary Blues to mark their achievements.

Ben Jessup, Students’ Union Sport Officer, said: “It will be wonderful to celebrate the success of so many of our student athletes and round off another great year of sport at Bath.

“I am really looking forward to the evening – the Blues Awards never disappoint!”

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