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Jointly sponsored by Arundel Town Council and Arundel Post Office

An Arundel gymnast, Jemima Guiel (14), was presented with a £500 award at a celebration evening on Thursday 16 March at the Town Hall. Jemima and her parents were joined by other applicants and their families and coaches in a true celebration of sporting talent in the town. Certificates recognising sporting excellence were presented to other entrants.

Front row: Jemima (centre) with her parents David and Sara. Back row Carolyn Baynes (Town Clerk), Tony Hunt (Mayor), James Rufey (arundel Castle Cricket Club / Judge), Nikki Richardson (Arundel Lido / Judge)

The judges for ‘The Young Person’s Award for Sporting Excellence’ reported that they had been very impressed by the level of sporting achievement in the town and had found it very difficult to choose between young people who had achieved very high standards in 10 different sports ranging from football to the triathlon.

In presenting the award, the Mayor, Tony Hunt, said that the judges recognised that it takes a huge effort to become excellent at any sport: “Training, travelling, competing and trying to fit this in with schoolwork takes real dedication. But all the judges know from their own experience that enjoying sport can really make a positive difference to your life. So their message is ‘Keep up the good work’”. He added that the judges had been surprised and impressed by how much voluntary work, in coaching younger children and supporting their clubs the entrants managed to do.

He also paid tribute to parents – the unsung heroes of the competition-for their commitment to enabling the young people to practice their sports.

Jemima began her gymnastics journey while at Arundel CE Primary School, and now trains at the elite Portsmouth Gymnastics Club specialising in the disciplines of Women’s Artistic Gymnastics (WAG) and Trampolining. She has also recently been awarded the role of Club Captain in 2023.

She is a British Gymnastics member and now competes at county and national level with her most recent competitive success being awarded Silver for Bars in the Healthy Living Invitational in September 2022.

Jemima said: “I am training in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics for Southern Region Grades in April and am hoping to qualify for National Finals in June in Stoke on Trent. I am also hoping to qualify for The English Championships 2024 competition, but I need to master some really scary skills on bars and on vault so I’m working really hard.”

“I am delighted to have been awarded this grant, which will help me to access the specialist coaching sessions I need and hopefully reach my goal of qualifying for the British Championships in 2026.”    

Arundel’s Postmaster, Paul Money said:  “I believe that any Post Office should be at the heart of its community, and I really appreciate having been able to jointly sponsor this award for young sportspeople with Arundel Town Council. I share the hope expressed by the Mayor that this will become an annual event on an even larger scale.”

The new award – the Young Persons Award for Sporting Excellence – was jointly sponsored by Arundel Town Council and Arundel Post Office to recognise and encourage excellence in sport amongst young people. The judging panel included Paul Money, Arundel’s Postmaster, Nikki Richardson, Manager at Arundel Lido, James Rufey, CEO of Arundel Castle Cricket Club, and the Mayor of Arundel, Tony Hunt and Councillor Robin Lovell and the Town Clerk, Carolyn Baynes, to represent Arundel Town Council.

The 2023 award value was £500 and all young sportspeople under the age of 18 who live or go to school in Arundel were eligible to apply.