Cream of the sporting crop come out on top

Pyrford CofE Primary School Girls’ Swim Team and Costas Rakitzis of Woking Blackhawks Basketball Club have both been named winners at the ninth annual Surrey Sports Awards.

Held on Wednesday last week at the HG Wells Centre, the event once again welcomed hosts BBC Surrey who, along with award sponsors, were on hand to heap praise on the volunteers, coaches, and sportsmen and women who help make sport happen across the county.

Costas was named winner of the BBC Surrey Outstanding Service to Sport Award. Head of the Youth Programme and Head Coach at Woking Blackhawks Basketball Club, he has been a hugely influential figure in the Hawks’ success since his tenure began in 2001.

The coach began playing basketball when he was 11 and later made several appearances for the Greek U21 squad before moving to England in 1988 to join his wife’s family.

His passion for the sport saw him get involved with the Blackhawks after watching his son Dino play at Bracknell. At the time, Blackhawks ran just one boys’ team and had only 10 players.

The then Chairman Bob McGregor made an approach and there was no looking back. Costas joined the Woking club as a volunteer coach and subsequently went on to get his Level 3 coaching award and Level 2 refereeing award. Katrina Fritsch of Active Surrey piled on the praise: “Costas has a formidable reputation throughout Surrey and is a highly influential and respected basketball coach.

“He is responsible for the Blackhawks’ success throughout the past two decades. He has given up so much of his time and energy for so many and he is a worthy winner of this award.”

Winners of the Sportivate Young Sports Team of the Year Award were Pyrford CofE Primary School Girls’ Swim Team.

This year the girls swam together as a team for the first time at the ESSA Surrey Relay Championships in January. They qualified in both the freestyle and the medley relays for the next round -– the ESSA South East Division Primary Schools Relays competition.

The team finished third in the medley, meaning that they would be able to compete at the National competition. Not only did they qualify for the ‘A’ final but also finished third.

Liv Corbishley of Active Surrey hailed the input of everyone involved in honouring our sporting greats.

She said: “These awards cannot take place without the kind support of our sponsors. This year saw Woking Borough Council
play host with the wonderful venue, the HG Wells Centre, and I would like to extend our gratitude to our other sponsors including Freedom Leisure, Surrey County Council, 3Wise, Global Markets Consultants, Surrey Sports Park, Wellbridge, BBC Surrey and Surrey Playing Fields.”

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