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Yorkshire Universities Sports Awards 2018

Posted on 11 June 2018

The University of York has had three nominees for the awards, which included winners, Helena Mullineaux and the White Rose Head event.

The Yorkshire Universities Sports Awards was initially established last year for Yorkshire universities to celebrate a year of great sport and recognise the people who help make student sport happen. The event, which took place at the Village Hotel, Otley Road, Leeds on Thursday 31 May, was hosted by BBC’s Tanya Arnold and featured guest speaker, ex England Rugby International, Tim Stimpson. 


The University of York had three nominees, Helena Mullineaux and Annette Dearlove who were both up for the Great People award and The White Rose Head event which was up for the Great Event award.

Helena Mullineaux - Winner of the Great People award

Helena is a UoY member of staff and also a long-time volunteer coach at the University. Although she is employed by the University, her delivery to the Rowing club is down to her love of the sport. Helena gives up an inordinate amount of time to coach the Senior Women and the recreational staff group at the University (Which she developed from scratch and as promoted in this week staff bulletin). She coaches approximately 20 hours a week, week in week out throughout the year, no matter the weather; without complaining. She also often spends her own money on boats, other equipment and also ensure that there is a stock of hot drinks and snacks which hungry rowers can eat when they come off the water.

Helena is an incredible asset for the Rowing Club and she even took unpaid leave recently to travel, self funded, to a training camp in Holland to coach the senior womens team. She also organised for a second coach (who is an Alumni based in Holland) to help out at the camp. Helena is a focussed and determined person who enriches the student experience of so many within the University.

Annette Dearlove - Administration Assistant - Nominee for the Great People award

Annette is a dependable and reliable member of staff. She is the go-to person for all staff at York Sport and YUSU (York University Students Union) for sports club bookings, general queries and problem solving. She will often take on extra tasks and always delivers, even if it adds further pressure to her workload.

The majority of Annette's work is done within the sport facility Bookings team at the University of York. Annette is the foundation upon which this team is built, and her contribution to its success over the last year is significant. Annette is consistently picking up extra work, learning new processes and tasks, and often stays later than her normal shift to get work completed. Her consistency and talent to deliver is also emphasised by changes in structure and personnel at YUSU, where she has been the backbone to keep things going as they should be.

Annette does these things as a matter of course, without expectation of reward or recognition. This dedication to her work has enabled the smooth running of the University of York sports programme for club and college bookings, without her it would have been a much different story.

It is a testament to Annette's attitude and work ethic that this team has managed to function throughout these difficult periods. But again, even during those difficult times she is the first to put her hand up and get involved with other areas of the business. Whether it is helping at the University Open Days, making last minute changes to the timetables, or doing uniform orders for other members of staff.

Without her input in the last year, the programming of university sport, and subsequent club performance in BUCS would have been much diminished. She really is a fantastic member of staff who is deserving of recognition for her contribution to sport at the University of York.

The White Rose Head/University of York boat club - Winner of the Great Event award 

The White Rose Head is a time trial, 3000m boat race, organised and run by students and takes place on the river Ouse. This year there were 100 boats racing in the processional head race. As almost all boats are either coxed fours or coxed eights, it means that nearly 700 people were on the water over the course of the day. This event takes place at the beginning of December and therefor there are lots of aspects to consider such as weather, river height and day length as well as coordinating a race where crews boat from four different locations on the river separated by two miles. This is a truly enormous task and is totally student led although multiple partners are involved including but not restricted to BUCS, the Canal and Rivers Trust, Yormed 1st Aid, York City Rowing Club and British Rowing volunteers.

This year York, Leeds, Hull, York St John, Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam, Manchester, Lancaster, Liverpool and Leicester Universities sent crews. The event is run for the benefit of the rowing club and this year the White Rose Head raised more than £2000. 

Find out more about the event