The end of term brings with it the annual Palatinate Ball, an opportunity to celebrate all of Team Durham’s sporting achievements throughout the past year. As usual this was a spectacular event, taking place at Ramside Hall Hotel, situated just a few miles from Durham City centre. It was great for everyone’s dedication to go noticed and celebrated – no matter the different achievements of each sport, which ranged from Rugby and Hockey to Golf, Ultimate Frisbee and Polo. It really does blow your mind the sporting achievements people can accomplish whilst studying at university – such as playing for England. The sheer number of sporting achievements was also gob-smacking – and may funnily enough make you feel like you should work harder, for these award-winning people become your idols. It really was a great way to unwind after the stress of exams, with good food, wine and brilliant company – plus a good excuse to dress up nicely!
Durham is lucky to have a number of athletes who compete at the very highest level, and similarly, we are fortunate to have students who are prepared to commit and give so much of their time to developing the sport structure at Durham. As such, the awards on offer are in place to recognise both, and we honour our top sportsmen and women each year, awarding half and full Palatinates to those who have contributed significantly. These awards are notoriously difficult to achieve.
Half Palatinates were awarded to Ben Douglas (Athletics and Cross-country), Tom Kearns (Athletics and Cross-country), Clemens Chay (Badminton), Grace Ollivent (Badminton), Jennifer Shelley (Badminton), Jamie Gossage (Boats), Catherine Lough (Boats), Oscar Richards (Boats), Abbie Creswell (Canoe), Mark Ledger (Canoe), Hannah Singleton (Cricket), Elysa Hubbard (Cricket/Lacrosse/ Ski and Snowboard), Daniel Bryant (Cycling), Edward Stroud (Fencing), Josh Addinall (Football/Futsal), Spencer Brown (Football), Oliver Gill (Football), Kyriacos Pittalis (Football), Jeremy Morgan (Golf), Alex Williams (Golf), and Sarah Mack (Gymnastics and Trampolining).
There were also a number of students who received the honour of a full Palatinate award, which, again, recognises a sustained commitment to a University club. In addition to this commitment, recipients of the full Palatinate have also achieved the impressive feat of representing at international level in their sports. Recipients included Anna Tyndall (Boats), Camilla Hadland (Boats), Freddie Van Den Bergh (Cricket), Will Bettle (Fencing), Mark Galloway (Hockey), Katie Evans (Lacrosse), Lucy Butt (Orienteering), Julian Aquilina (Rugby Fives), Simon Hammersley (Rugby Union), Sean Robinson (Rugby Union), Sophie Lee (Rugby Union), Jonathan Binding (Tennis).
Other awards included Honorary Palatinate, Sportsman of the year, Sportswomen of the year, Director of sport award, Club of the year, Team of the year, and Volunteer of the year, Contribution to college sport and Official of the year.
A special mention must go to the outgoing Team Durham President Hannah Lowther for her hosting of the event and the Team Durham staff and students who contributed to a fine season and excellent evening.
Everyone will be hoping for more of the same next year!