Wakefield Trinity Community Foundation celebrated 2023 in style as they hosted their annual Awards Night, honouring all four of their well-established teams.
After a year of highs and lows, it was everyone’s favourite time of the year as all our respective teams came together in the same evening to celebrate their achievements.
This included our teams from our Ladies’ set-up, Physical Disability Rugby League, Learning Disability Rugby League and our newly established Wheelchair RL side, who joined proceedings for the first time ever.
Following a two-course meal prior to the presentation, it was time for our first awards of the evening, Learning Disability Rugby League.
Another momentous year of LDSL saw another influx of players enter the Wakefield Trinity ranks for the first time, with the programme having the luxury of fielding two sides for the majority of festivals in 2023.
After a year of travelling around the North of England, playing the sport they love, our LDSL side has worn the Trinity badge with pride, competing and loving every minute of their time on the pitch.
To celebrate their fantastic commitment and spirit, every player was called up to the front to receive their award, with a special thank you going out to those who made this possible, Gareth, Clare & Sid Ramsey.
Following swiftly on, it was time to invite up our Wheelchair RL side for the first time ever, as Gavin Dobson entered the stage to talk a bit about the meteoric rise of our Wheelchair side in 2023.
After years of hard work, the end of 2022 and the start of 2023 saw a blossoming side for the very first time, with our team now travelling from City to City to compete in a Development League, a feat we thought we would never reach.
This turn in fortune has been spearheaded by our Wheelchair RL head coach, Gavin, who alongside other members of our team, has never given in and made it what it is today.
To commemorate the work they put in, every player was invited to the front to honour all of the hard work they have put in for the 2023 season, while a special thank you was given to both Gavin and Team Manager, Sheena Haigh, for their incredible dedication.
A short break rounded up our first two teams of the evening before it was time to welcome our Physical Disability Rugby League side to the stage.
Another outstanding year from a side which leaves it all out on the field as our PDRL side celebrated 2023 with their second consecutive League Leaders’ Shield in 2023, just pipped to the post in the Grand Final against Warrington.
After a brief discussion with Alex Dickinson, it was time for our first award of the night. Unfortunately, PDRL Head Coach, Lee Whiteley, couldn’t be with us on the evening, however, topping his charts following another table-topping year, John Humphries was awarded 2023 Coach’s Player of the Year.
Players’ Player was next up on the agenda, as the award chosen by their peers was a showing of ultimate respect. Influential at every festival, with a good eye with the boot, Adam Fleming was named Players’ Player of the Year 2023 after another stand-out season.
The final mainstream award of the evening for PDRL was a new one for 2023, with those who travel near and far to support the team choosing their Supporters’ Player of the Year. Like many of the PDRL players in 2023, consistent form after an inspiring World Cup win showed that a winning mentality follows through as Callum Parkinson was named our inaugural Supporters’ Player of the Year.
That concluded our PDRL awards for the evening, with Wakefield Trinity Ladies up next, inviting Head Coach, Jason Talbot, to the stage to present the awards.
The first award of the evening was presented for Most Improved, with Jason epitomising this player to a tee. Following an incredible campaign of fight, resilience and development, Holly Whitaker was the winner of Most Improved for 2023.
Showing up week-in-week-out for the side, the next award was chosen by the team itself. Following on from a strong season in 2022, this player showed a huge amount of maturity in 2023, stepping up as captain of the side when her peers needed her most, with the 2023 Ladies’ Players’ Player of the Year being chosen as Sophia Liu.
For a first year in Open Age Rugby League, let alone playing for Wakefield Trinity, Katie Evans has stepped up time and time again. Hailing from Shaw Cross Sharks, Katie was picked up at the start of the 2023 season and has never looked back, maintaining a tremendous amount of desire, fight and determination whenever called upon.
A double on the evening and a well-deserved one at that, as Katie Evans picked up both Young Player and Coach’s Player of the Year after a superb season.
The first two awards of the night were for PDRL Player of Steel & Woman of Steel. Two stellar campaigns between them, with both showing a never-say-die attitude as soon as they crossed that whitewash, everything was done for the team.
A huge ovation was shown for both Ben Reynolds and Rochelle Liddle, as they were crossed Player and Woman of Steel 2023, respectively.
The conclusion of our Foundation Awards Night draws the curtain on another successful year for our sides, which wouldn’t be possible without our staff, supporters, sponsors, followers, and volunteers, all of whom make our programmes tick.
Thank you for your continued support!