Solent University’s partner basketball club, Team Solent Kestrels, have won big at the ‘Basketball England South Region National Volunteer Awards’, ahead of the national awards which will take place in June.

The Kestrels took seven wins from 13 categories including Community Club of the Year, Young Volunteer of the Year, Young Official of the Year, Coach of the Year, All Girls Inspiring Female, Media/ Photographer of the Year and Statistician of the Year.

The annual volunteer awards programme gathers nominations from the public across 10 English regions, with winners selected in partnership with the regional management committee chairs.

“I’m extremely proud of all our winners,” says Matt Bishop, Head of Sports Programmes at Solent Sport. “But I’m particularly pleased with the recognition of Community Club of the Year, for Solent University and everyone who has put faith in the programme and the strategy for the partnership we have in place to make a difference in Southampton.

“The impact and community engagement this club has made within Southampton is significant and now we’re gaining recognition and reputation on a national scale.

“This past season, in conjunction with our incredible new Sports Complex at Solent, really has provided us with the platform to push on and really make strides to lead on one of the largest and most recognised basketball programmes in the UK.”

The clubs individual Solent regional winners included Solent University’s, Luke Simcock, who is due to graduate this year from BA (Hons) Media Production. Luke has volunteered for the club for over two years and is the club’s official photographer.

  • Young Volunteer of the Year and Young Official of the Year: Elliot Goodard
  • Coach of the Year: Matt Guymon
  • All Girls Inspiring Female of the Year: Annie Scanlon
  • Media / Photographer of the Year: Luke Simcock
  • Statistician of the Year: Cliff Fullbrook

These award wins come just days after Kestrels scooped Best Game Day Experience in the Womens National Basketball League End of Season Division 1 Awards, and Kristina Velkey – a Solent Student on an International Business Masters – was named as one of the top five players in Team of the Year.

The men’s National Basketball League End of Season Division 1 Awards saw two Kestrels players, Ian Smith and Travis Charles, named in the men’s Team of the Year. Ian, who is studying a Sports Performance Masters at Solent, was also voted Most Valuable Player in the league and Head Coach, Matt Guymon won Coach of the Year, for the second year running.