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BBC West Sport Awards 2009

Jenson Button's acceptance speech


By Chris Kelly

West Sport Personality: Jenson Button
Outstanding Contribution: Ivor Powell
Team of the Year: Taunton RFC
West Volunteer: Paul Harvey
Coach of the Year: Paul Nicholls
Enterprise in Sport: Airbus
Unsung Hero: Tom Foley
Young Sport Personality: Hannah Turland
Cultural Olympiad: Helen Owen
Paralympic Hopeful: Stephanie Millward
Olympic Hopeful: Sam Weale
Power of Sport: Riverside Youth Project

1935: Jenson: "It's the racing I love and I came out on top this year. This means a lot... I'm very, very happy. This year has been very special to me. I've worked 21 years to be world champion. I hope you're having a fantastic evening and I'm sorry I can't be with you. I'm looking forward to having this [the trophy] down in my apartment in Monaco."

1932: The Frome Formula 1 champion is not in Bath - but David went to present the award to him at Battersea power station. Jenson: "Thank you to everyone for this award. It has been pretty special... it's been an exceptional season."

1933: And the winner is ..... JENSON BUTTON!

1931: It's the biggie now - Paul Nicholls, Chris Wood, Jenson Button and Marcus Trescothick are up - and it's the public who voted for this one.

1930: Ivor - who is an amazing 93 - says he can deal with modern footballers: "While I am out there and with them they have to do what I want them to do." With that much experience, would you argue with Ivor? No chance! Well done to him.

1928: Alastair pays a great tribute to winner Ivor, who points out his amazing achievements - and says he is a Guiness record holder for longest time in football. An amazing man who has brought through many generations of footballers.

1926: West Contribution is next: the legend Mervyn Baker from the Downs League, Jan Bartu (modern pentathelete coach), Colin Gardner and Ivor Powell (TeamBath football) are up - Alastair Hignell, a former winner, is here to present it. Great to see him.

1921: Simon, their head coach, says "winning is a habit". He adds: "We have a bit of fun as well... a few beers on Saturday. We try to incorporate a family ethos." Some 20 or so from the club have come to Bath to see the award dished out. I suspect a few more, well-deserved, beers will be on the cards tonight.

1920: Taunton RFC win - to a loud cheer from their corner of the seats. The the choir then springs up for a rendition of that rugby anthem Swing Low.

1918: Paulton boss Andy Jones is going to hand the award over. They took on Norwich in the FA Cup: "Our catchphrase, living the dream, is exactly what we did," says Andy.

1916: Team of the Year is next - Taunton RFC who won 22 matches on the bounce, Swindon Speedway, TeamBath's Netball Team and Somerset County Cricket Club up for this one.

1914: And in the wheelchair basketball - 10-a-piece between Will Glennon and John Maguire's teams.

1907: Wheelchair basketball on the stage now... Team GB are going to give us a demo.

1906: David Passmore (he who is co-presenting tonight) tapped me on the shoulder to say: "the words I'm looking for are 'excellent presentation'"... Dave, mine is white, nicely stewed tea please.

1904: Paul Harvey wins for his work on the Mendips. He's a dry-stone waller, and is starting to slow down a bit because of back problems but is now training others in the skill. David says Paul is "not one to sit on the wall..." Groan!

1902: West Volunteer is next: John Cronk (National Trust), Peter Vaus (Chedworth), Steve T'abois (Devon Ability Games), Paul Harvey (Mendip volunteer).

1900: Paul's betting tip - Big Bucks will be unbeaten this year, he says. I'm off down the bookies...

1857: And the winner is - Paul Nicholls. "We've had a fantastic year. Luck to have such fantastic horses such as Kauto Star, Denman. It's a big team thing to make it all work."

1855: The award for Coach of the Year - Jess Garland (TeamBath netball coach), Paul Nicholls (National Hunt, Kauto Star and Denman - Somerset), Gyorgy Fellestar (Wellington Swords Fencing Club), Alan Rossiter (Swindon Robins). Golfer Chris Wood to present.

1853: Richard Barrington from the 2018 bid team: "Very competent bid team [at England level] that we work with... From a technical perspective we're looking very good." Wallace and Gromit are being touted for the bid team now - that'd be a laugh!

1850: Gary Johnson, the Bristol City manager, now on the Bristol 2018 World Cup bid: "If it comes to Bristol it'll be a festival of sport. We've got to really push it much as we can because it'll be fantastic for the area." The decision on whether we are through to the next round as a host city is just 10 days away.

1849: Vicky from Airbus, who is collecting the award, says the Festival of Youth Sport is a partnership with South Gloucestershire Council and has been running for nine years. Well done to them.

1848: Colin Sexstone from Bristol City FC is presenting and he challenges David Garmston to a boxing match! Colin says there's "good progress" on the new stadium, says it has a "real head of steam" and they'll begin construction next year. Winner is - Airbus.

1846: Enterprise in Sport now - and businesses that help with sport in the West. In this category are Somerset Economy and Europe Group, Airbus for a sporting tournament in South Gloucestershire, and Chris Coley for his work at the Cheltenham Festival.

1844: Syd is being given some boxing gloves and will take on Dave, one of the Barton Hill coaches. Some nice combos there on the pads! Great stuff from both of them.

1842: Tom set up the club three years ago from scratch. He has lived in Barton Hill all his life and helps out youngsters and adults alike. "This isn't to kill someone, this is to learn," he tells two kids on a video report about the club. "It's not just me," he says, paying tribute to his fellow coaches. "We love what we do," he adds.

1840: The winner is... Tom Foley from Barton Hill Boxing Club in Bristol.

1838: Next is Unsung Hero - the winner goes through to the main event in Sheffield. Tom Foley (Barton Hill Boxing Club), Alan Kingscott (Avon Swifts) and Sandra Wickham (Taunton Vale Hockey Club) are nominated. Syd Lawrence to present the award.

1836: Oh dear - Boxer Glenn Catley, who had been practising for the choir, was held up en route didn't make it to Bath for the performance.

1834: Ali Vowles, who sang in the Hallelujah Chorus choir earlier, is talking to some of the people who took part. Conductor Grenville Jones says that it is "important" that people had fun.

1830: And the name in the golden envelope is teenage golfer Hannah Turland. Scott says he was driving a fork lift truck at 16 - and says that's inspiration for youngsters to push themselves. Hannah's her handicap is +2! "I started with my brother when I was eight-and-a-half," she tells Geoff Twentyman. Hannah has managed two holes in one, which makes Geoff sound a bit disappointed. None for you, GT?

1829: Former Bristol City player, now at Yeovil, Scott Murray here to present the award.

1827: Wow, wow, wow. Very impressive once again - That must take hours of practise and gets a great round of applause. Next is the Young Sport Personality Awards - up for it are Hannah Turland (golfer), Robbie Gallier (karting), Jessica Mendoza (showjumping) and Alex Henshall (Swindon Town Football Club)


Bath Rhythmic Gymnastics Club is performing now. They were brilliant last year.

1816: Helen Owen wins. The Severn project is about inspiring creativity in communities along the River Severn. "It was about expressing the essence of the River Severn," says Helen.

1815: Cultural Olympiad next - an event which "must champion aims of Cultural Olympiad". Shortlist: Helen Owen (River Severn), Paul Smith (Superact), Sarah Blowers (Fairgame Theatre), John Clifford (Dinosaurs Not Allowed).

1811: Swimmer Stephanie Millward wins - she can't be here because she's winning gold in Rio. Her mum, Linda, accepts the award on her behalf. She said she is "very proud" of her daughter. But, here's a surprise - Steph is on the phone! "Thank you very, very much," she says. She's won eight medals in Rio and is flying back at 2am tonight. It's 40C in Brazil - much nicer than the West winter. We'll have words with Richard Angwin about that...

1809: Paralympic hopefuls next - Anthony Stevens, Stephanie Millward, Lucy Shukar, Ben Rushgrove - Phil Lane from the Paralympian Association will present the award. He said: "Paralympics have grown and grown and this is great chance for British people to see some of our best athletes."

1808: Sam (brother of the Bristol City goalkeeper) said: "Good combination of five sports ... all round test of a good athlete."

1807: Winner is - in the modern pentathalon - Sam Weale.

1806: Jason shows off his gold medal... If that isn't inspiration to the Olympic hopefuls I don't know what is.

1805: Now is the Olympic Hopeful award. Sam Weale, Jas Carlin, Leon Rattigan and Liam Phillips up. Jason Gardener to present award.

1802: Katie Livingston, who is hoping to compete in the modern pentathalon, is talking now. Says there's "lots of hard work" to go to get into the Olympic team. She's explaining the new format with the shooting and running and says she's had "tough season". She added she is "revamping" her training to pick up in the rankings.

1758: Riverside Youth Project wins - something like 1,400 go through the doors there, and they use sport to help people who have got into trouble.

1757: First award, then, is the Power of Sport Award. Breakthrough Project, New Deal Project, Active Trowbridge and Riverside Youth Project are nominated.

1753: Steph Millward now and then Taunton RFC, whose unbeaten run saw them promoted. A Twickenham cup win also boosting their chances. TeamBath's excellent netball too - followed by the Swindon Robins speedway team who narrowly missed out on the title this year. Next up is Paulton who played Norwich in the FA Cup.

1752: European Golf Tour rookie of the year, who managed third at the Open, is up in lights now. Well, on the big screens, anyway.

1751: Somerset Cricketer Marcus Trescothick up now, followed by National Hunt trainer Paul Nicholls.

1750: We are now reliving some of the achievements of sports heroes in the West. Jenson Button, who is up for the BBC West Sport Personality of the Year award is first up. An omen? I've not seen the Frome Flyer here tonight, though.

1744: BBC presenters Chris Vacher, Alex Lovell, David Garmston, David Passmore and Geoff Twentyman are on the stage.

1742: The singing is completely fantastic - and when you consider how little practice they've had - even more fantastic. The Hallelujah Chorus is to mark the 250th anniversary of the composer Handel's death. Hearty round of applause from the audience, and well deserved too.

1740: Here we go: we are under way. And it's Sing Hallelujah! - the BBC's campaign to get people singing the famous chorus from Handel's Messiah - to get us going...

1735: I've posted a few photos on Twitter - we're @BBCBristol if you want to look/say hi/ask questions...

1731: Last year's winner, Anne Dunham, has just gone past - a winner of five golds, a silver and a bronze from four different Paralympic Games, no less.

Choir opens BBC's Sports Awards

1727: Bristol City chief exec Colin Sexstone has just walked past my lofty position with the punters - among the great and good of West sport.

1725: VIPs and special guests are now starting to filter in to their seats at either end of the stage area. Well - I say stage - in the same way as last year it's in the middle and the crowd is at either side with the VIP tables at either end.

1718: Jon rummages through the free goodie bags the VIPs are getting. Frisbee and pen. Exciting. The sports people are on the way shortly...

1712: Jon (who is playing Billy Muddles in panto at Bath Theatre Royal, by the way) is now getting us to practise clapping. Oh yes he is.

1706: Warm-up man Jon Monie is saying hello and telling us that deep vein thrombosis is a possibility on these seats. I'm beginning to remember why I had a bad back last year... If you've ever watched Netball at TeamBath you'll know what I mean! No celebs yet - they're apparently off having a bite to eat.

1702: And the lights have just gone out - so we must be close to kick-off.

1652: Crowds are just being let in and I'm right in the middle of the public seating - ace! It's almost like being at a football match. Sort of.

1635: Afternoon everybody. We're sitting ready with bated keyboard at the BBC West Sports Personality of the Year awards ceremony, which is due to kick off at 5pm. There've already been rehearsals of Sing Hallelujah! and we're waiting for the audience and the sporting celebs to show up. I've also posted a few quick snaps on Twitter - you'll find us on @BBCBristol. More news to come - stay tuned!

In pictures: BBC West Sports Awards 2009
06 Dec 09 |  TV & Radio
Sports Personality 10: Jenson Button
30 Nov 09 |  Sports Personality
Sports Personality nominations
30 Nov 09 |  Sports Personality
BBC unveils sport award shortlist
07 Dec 09 |  Sports Personality



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