Earlier this month I was awarded various awards in recognition to my work for pole dancing, at our University’s sports federation’s annual awards ceremony. I wanted to share with you what I won, and hopefully it will be the start of my pole dancing becoming more accepted and appreciated as a sport by external organisations.
-I was awarded Coach of the Year 2013 for services to pole dancing at the University of Essex. This award is presented to the coach who has delivered an outstanding contribution and consistent high level of service to a Sports Federation club. I was put up for this award by the clubs Treasurer, Megan, and when I was announced on the short-list I was already beaming with appreciation that she believed in what I had done for the club was greater than any other sports club coaches during 2012-13. To win this award I beat squash and cricket coaches, and it was amazing to think that I was being judged alongside such experienced professionals.
-I was also awarded the Simon Loveday award 2013 for services to pole dancing at the University of Essex. Simon Loveday was captain of the University’s canoe club and was tragically killed in a canoeing accident on the River Teme in 1984. Simon’s strength’s were in his commitment to sport, his readiness to help others, his sportsmanship and his ability to inspire others so that sport at Essex would flourish, and this award is given to the student who best epitomizes these qualities. Winning this award was the highlight of my time at Essex, as it showed that the sports federation had recognised the time, passion and dedication I had put into the club since setting it up during my first year at University. Its been a great experience, but it also has been very demanding, both physically and emotionally, but to be awarded such an award shows that all my hard work has been recognised and that my love for pole and the club is clear for all to see.
-Next I was awarded Full Colours for performance in sports at the University of Essex. This award is presented to students who perform in their sport at unusual distinction and have consistently represented the University at a high level. Every competition I have competed at, I have been proud to call myself a University of Essex student, and I am proud to have been able to represent the level of sporting ability at the University.
-My last award was Exceptional Service to Sports award for service to pole dancing at the University of Essex. This award is presented to students who have provided consistent and exceptional service to a sport club, to the Sports Federation and University sport beyond that which is normally expected of a club member, student or official. What more can I say but what a awesome award to be recognized for.
Of course, I am most importantly proud of winning the awards for what they stand for, but I am also very proud that pole dancing has been recognised as a sport, and on the same level as any traditional sport such as football or rugby, at our University. When I set up the club I did not expect the club to be so successful and I did not expect the club to be so accepted as a sport in the short period of time the club has been running. I would love for more recognition of pole dancing like this to place elsewhere across the world, but understand that its going to take a lot of time and work to make those changes in peoples mind. But until then, I can proudly say that the University of Essex Pole Dancing club has changed people’s minds about pole dancing, and that if we can do it, then anyone can!