The fifth Welsh Athletics Hall of Fame and Awards Dinner returned last weekend to celebrate the Olympic year, with almost two hundred guests congregating at the Angel Hotel in Cardiff.
Four more names were inducted in the prestigious Hall of Fame, which now accommodates 18 of the most decorated and representative Welsh athletes. The 2012 recipients were Commonwealth Games silver medallist and Olympian Tim Benjamin, steeplechaser Roger Hackney and Moscow 1980 bronze medallist Michelle Scutt.
A poignant commemoration was held for the first ever recipient of a posthumous induction, 1920 Olympic Games gold medallist Cecil Griffiths, whose award was collected by family members who proudly displayed the 400m specialist's Antwerp gold medal.
With all table names recalling a previous edition of the Olympic Games, it was fitting to have an incredible gathering of 20 Olympians and Paralympians from Wales, including London 2012 stars Brett Morse, Rhys Williams (who collected a special award to celebrate his 2012 European Championships title) and Gareth Warburton alongside Paralympic heroes Beverley Jones, Olivia Breen and Tracey Hinton.
Presenters Angharad Mair and Rob Cole welcomed on the stage the winners of the Athlete of the Year awards. In the Junior category, the accolades were bestowed upon race walker Heather Lewis and multieventer Aled Price as a reward for their outstanding achievements in the current season; the senior awards went to 2011 World Champion Dai Greene - who could not attend the night unfortunately - and long distance running star Caryl Jones, who finished an amazing 10th in the Half Marathon World Championships only a week ago.
The night saw Lifetime Achievement Awards given to two legendary figures in Welsh athletics: Carmarthen Harriers long-time Chairman Hedydd Davies, a Commonwealth Games runner for Wales in 1970 and multiple Welsh Champion, and Newport Harriers stalwart Ivor Adams, the "voice" of athletics events due to loved duties as commentators, joined a list of the great names who helped shape Welsh Athletics into the successful organisation it is today.
Before the start of the dinner, Welsh Athletics hosted the ceremony for the 2012 Club Awards, which went to:
- Club of the Year (Track & Field): Swansea Harriers
- Club of the Year (Off Track): Swansea Harriers
- Club of the Year (Juniors): Swansea Harriers
- Club of the Year (Inclusivity): Wrexham AAC
- Club Volunteer of the Year: Ann Owen (Swansea Harriers)
- Services to Club Development: Gareth Prothero (Brecon AC)
- Newcomer to Officiating: Marcus Price (Cwmbran Harriers)
- Off Track Official of the Year: Colin Davies (Swansea Harriers)
- Track & Field Official of the Year: Dave Jessett (Swansea Harriers)
- Participation Coach of the Year: John Parkin
- Performance Coach of the Year: John Davies
- Partnership of the Year: Menai Track & Field / Urdd
Pictures of the night are available on DE Photo's website.