St John's College Oxford
Below are the list of nominees. To vote, please visit the link at the bottom of the page (when the voting system is set up. This requires single sign on). You will only be allowed to vote once. Voting closes at midnight on Monday 6th May.

Sportswoman of the Year


Imogen Bentham

Imogen Benton

Imy set up the college hockey team in her first year at St Johns, and was captain through her first and second year.    

Imy has played hockey at University level for the last 4 years, beginning in the women’s 3rd team in her first year, then progressing to the second team in her second year through to her fourth year. This year, as a finalist, Imy became captain of the women’s second team.  Imy led the team to win their first Varsity match in four years, also winning man of the match for ‘being a rock at the back and adding some marauding runs through midfield into the mix’.


Georgia Ling

Georgia Ling RugbyOver Georgia’s 3years at St. John’s she has been an integral member of college sport playing rugby, netball and more questionably football. Her ruthless style of play on the netball court (making us the most feared team) led the Cupper’s team to the semi-final last Trinity and has played a key role in the two back to back league 1 victories for SJCNC. Georgia perfectly encapsulates the strong independent woman famously stating ‘I don’t need a man, I just need rugby’ despite almost single handedly integrating the men’s and women’s team within OURFC herself. Arguably Georgia’s biggest achievement was donning the no.9 shirt at Twickenham in the 32ndwomen’s rugby varsity match.  Whilst it was not the result Oxford would have wanted Georgia played a crucial role in getting Oxford over the try line and the post-match celebrations will live long in the memory I’m sure. First tries are always a momentous occasion and Georgia scored hers against the toughest of opponents, Exeter. Although OURFC didn’t have the best season, Georgia’s phenomenal play has shone in the matches and she even scored in the final of the BUCS Vase competition. Georgia’s dedication to the sport has been inspirational putting in extra hours with weekly one-on-one training sessions to ensure she mastered her number 9 position; it is this dedication that earnt her OURFC Women’s Most Improved Player of the year and a spot on the county team. Georgia embodies what you can achieve through pure determination and hard work!


Leanne Smith

Leanne SmithLeanne Smith has proved herself as an impressive athlete in both College and University Sport. After seriously putting in work on her co-ordination skills, Leanne has since established herself as a crucial component of the impressive victories of the St John’s Netball 1st team, guaranteeing the team’s consecutive Division 1 wins. Moreover, Leanne has recently completed her tenure as the Oxford University Gymnastics Women’s Captain. 

Leanne has spearheaded the Gymnastics A team against their rivals in both her Blues Varsities, and though suffering from defeat, her energy and enthusiasm for both the sport and her teammates has meant that they’ve always come away smiling. A mastermind of all things gymnastics, Leanne has administrated the women’s squad: from organising training sessions at the Abingdon gymnasium, to shepherding her team-members to faraway BUCs competitions.

Though Leanne’s interest in Blues Football spiked during her Hilary term, this was hardly enough for her to take her eyes off the real prize. Impressively, Leanne placed top in Oxford, and placed 3rd in the all-around competition, at her Varsity this year in Cambridge. Her team therefore successfully qualified Leanne for an extraordinary Blue. Her feat is made all the more impressive by the fact that she learnt a new apparatus, managing to successfully perform an ‘upstart’ on bars on the day, thus dispensing her with valuable points against a tough Light Green opposition.

Further, Leanne won her second Gymnastics Cuppers competition in Michaelmas this year, being the only member of St John’s to represent the College.


Sportsman of the Year


Kanyinsola Akinwutan

Kanyinsola AkinwutanAkin has had an exceptionally successful season playing for the University Men's 2nd Team, the Centaurs. Not only was he a staple member of the squad that won their BUCS division, but he was also Oxford's goalscorer in the 1-1 draw in the 2nds Varsity Match 2019. 

Akin is a true sportsman, working hard for his teammates and showing real talent and skill when in possession of the ball.

Not only has Akin showed his footballing ability in the University team, but equally, he has proved an important member of the college football team, SJCAFC, for 4 years. This year, Akin proved to be a supremely vital player in the college team's season, scoring vital goals like his one-man wonder goal against Jesus College.

In his final year of his Engineering Undergraduate degree, Akin has proven himself to be a real sportsman, playing tirelessly for both the University and College football teams.


Ben Briggs

Ben BriggsBen Briggs has offered a tremendous amount of time and energy to football at Oxford University. Ben had a highly successful season representing the Blues, with some outstanding performances at Centre Back, including in the 4-0 win over Oxford Brookes, in which Ben's footballing ability was showcased in front of a large crowd at Iffley. Although the latter period of Ben's season was stunted by injury, there is no doubt to how important Ben's contribution was to the Blues Football Team this year.

As well as being highly talented and starting regularly for the Blues, Ben has given a lot to the College football team. As well as captaining SJCAFC to champions of the JCR Premier League last year, Ben has continued to be a staple member of the college side, despite the time and physical demands of playing for the Blues football team.

Ben has also successfully created and captained the first St John's MCR Football team, which progressed all the way to the Cuppers Final at Iffley. 

Ben has really offered a tremendous amount to St John's and Oxford sport.


Noah Francis

Noah FrancisDespite suffering an injury during 2nd year, which continued to haunt Noah well into his third year, Noah has proven to have a highly successful season for the Oxford Hockey Blues. The fact that Noah was able to start in the 2019 Blues Hockey Varsity, despite his reoccurring injury, is testament to the hard-work put in by Noah off the pitch. Although often seen frequenting the college gym with a variety of bands and stretches in order to recover from his injury, Noah's quality at hockey really shone through in the Varsity match. 

This year, Noah re-trained as a no-nonsense centre back, however, he still demonstrated an appreciation of the game and skill that highlights his hockey pedigree and his many achievements in the sport. 

As well as being highly talented at a number of other sports, as those who have seen him on the slopes of Varsity ski trip or the home of football, Mansfield Road, would testify - it is on the hockey field that Noah has been nominated for St John's Sportsman of the year.


Eddy Mort

Eddy MortEddy Mort has had an extremely successful footballing career during his three years at St. John’s. Throughout his time here he has worn the SCJAFC shirt with great pride and has consistently been one of the team’s most valuable players. His commitment to the club has earned him the accolade of SJCAFC’s all-time top goalscorer, an achievement that has played a vital role in the team’s recent league wins and cup runs. Eddy’s footballing talents have also earned him a place in the University set-up in each of his three years. In his first year he was already impressing the university’s best footballers and was invited to represent the OUAFC Blues team on their summer tour to China. Having worked hard to rise through the club’s highly competitive teams, Eddy finally got the reward he deserved and was selected to start for the Blues in this year’s Varsity Match. If this weren’t impressive enough, Eddy’s selection came after he had broken his metatarsal in November. Despite this major blow, Eddy burst back into the Blues starting XI in no time with great determination (and a moderate deafness to his physio’s advice). Eddy has been an integral member of every team he has represented during his time at Oxford both on and off the pitch, and his commendable effort, skill, and commitment have earned him a fantastic record in one of the most competitive clubs in Oxford sport. Alongside his 11-a-side prowess, Eddy has also inaugurated a new sports society, Mansfield Road 5-a-side, in his final year of study. The society has no doubt increased participation in football among undergraduates from a number of colleges and has been described as ‘the highlight of the week’ by multiple players. In addition to Eddy’s countless other footballing successes, there can be no doubt that his legacy as the founder of Oxford’s most highly sought-after 5-a-side fixture shall live on.


Mixed Team of the Year


Tennis

The mixed SJC tennis team had an extremely successful season. After having closely lost to New College in the mixed cuppers final two years ago, we took revenge and regained the cuppers trophy - this time winning against New College in the final. Things went almost equally well in the league (first division, of course). Only one point separated us from the first place, thus achieving second rank just behind Balliol.

Overall we have celebrated outstanding successes due to great players and a wonderful atmosphere maintained by all players. It is almost impossible to beat these achievements. Nevertheless, having recruited some new talents this year we are looking forward to the challenge.

SJC Mixed Tennis Team 2019


Women's Team of the Year


Netball

St John’s Netball Club have had an absolutely fantastic year. Michaelmas was our first team's first term in Division 1 after being promoted from Division 3 through to Division 1 over 2 terms last year. The first team has been UNBEATEN this year, topping Division 1 in both Michaelmas and Hilary Leagues. The team achieved many convincing wins such as 11-4 against Queen's 1s and 11-5 against Lincoln 1s. The second team has also had a successful year, finishing in the top half of Division 3 in both terms with some big wins over the likes of Corpus.

The team have a Cuppers tournament coming up in second week, and are in a fantastic position with their sights on the title. Last year our Netball team managed to knock out our rivals, St. Catz (who have several OUNC players, with John’s having none), at the group stages and made it to the semi-finals where we just missed out to Somerville, who we are confident will crack under the pressure of our new-found reputation as the best college team at Oxford.

SJC Netball Team 2018


'Saints' Women's Football Team

The Saints have had a great term. In the first season in the Women's first division the team finished second in the league against some very tough competition. The team also had a great run in Cuppers reaching the quarter finals (and were unlucky to be knocked out in a very close game against the eventual Cuppers winning side). Finally, the team finished second in the Futsal league, missing out on the first place on goal average. The team has a strong squad, always getting a great turn out for matches and is looking forward to further success next season.

Women's Football Team 2019


Men's Team of the Year


'Saints' Men's Rugby Team

Saints Rugby (2019)Saint Anne’s and Saint John’s rugby team has had an exceptional season this year and is fully deserving of Men’s team of the year. Throughout the season they have worked tirelessly to commit the little spare time we get as students to train and compete in one of the most physically demanding sports there is. Not only do they give their time to the club, they also put their bodies on the line to ensure success weekly.

This year has been by far my most enjoyable year of rugby with this group of boys and as a direct result they have had some outstanding successes. Within this side there are players new to the game who had never played the sport before university. This alone is a huge achievement for a sport that can be off-putting to prospective players due to the commitment and physicality required. Yet, more so, after the Michaelmas season they gained promotion to division 1 to compete amongst some outstanding college sides, and in the following Hilary season they overcame old rivals Keble 65-5 at Woodstock road to come second in division 1. Moreover, they have earnt themselves a spot in the semi finals of one of the most competitive cuppers competitions for the first time in four years.

Most importantly, there is now a sense of camaraderie within the club I’ve never seen before, it so rewarding and both a cause of the current success and the biggest reason these guys deserve to with TOTY.


Special Prize


Joe Brunet

Joe BrunetJoe has been an exemplary captain for SJCBC this year, taking the club out of some tough waters for both the women’s and men’s side.
In a tricky Michaelmas for the women’s side, Joe went above and beyond to coach the women’s two novice boats four times a week, on top of his own training and commitments to the men’s side. This involved being up and on his bike at 6am twice a week, and giving up half of his Saturday to take a bunch of complete beginners from a scraggly crew to really strong contenders in their races, none of which was involved in his job description! He also took charge of all the organisation of the development squad for both the men and women, going to pretty much every outing himself to ensure boats were filled and could go out, sometimes doing five early outings in a row.

Similarly, SJCBC men’s side started with three members left from last year. Under Joe’s leadership, combined with his vice captain, this has grown to eighteen members and they had a really strong entry into Torpids with only two returning rowers in the first boat.

Joe has lead the boat club exceptionally this year, consistently going above and beyond and providing a strong base for the boat club for Trinity term and beyond.


Annabel Clark

Annabel ClarkWhilst making significant improvements in her own Rugby development this year, Bella has committed herself to inspiring and lifting up others with her. Undeniably, Bella has transformed the Saints Women’s Rugby team this year, and for this reason, she is seriously deserving of the Special Prize award.

Besides devoting a remarkable amount of time towards learning the art of ‘scrum-half’ in Hilary, Bella recruited and trained up several new faces in the sport during the Rugby Cuppers tournament. Organising and running her own training sessions, while putting together a team each week, Bella is Captain to a hugely successful Saints side, who are now looking forward to playing in the Semi-finals in Trinity. While out-competing several players for the 9 shirt in the 2nd’s Varsity Match, Bella’s stunning 80 minute performance has motivated and inspired several members of the Saints team to take up the sport for good. Bella has since established herself as a valuable member of the Blues squad; recently, she was selected to play in the important Vase Final match against Swansea.

Bella is not one to master only one sport. The wing-attack has been critical to many College Netball wins, thus proving a vital component of the 1st team’s consecutive Division 1 victories. Further, the Hockey team are quick to welcome her onto the turf whenever she is available to play. A versatile, energetic sportsperson, and exceptional teammate, Bella is an important contributor to College sport.


Tom Johnson

Tom JohnsonTom Johnson has been an outstanding member of St John's college, and of the college sporting community throughout the past two years, and is I believe, strongly deserving of this recognition.

Although I know Tom best through his success as men's rugby captain, I know he has also played college football, college cricket and has coached the Saints women's rugby team under captain-coach, Bella Clark.

Whilst I can't speak specifically to Tom's accomplishments in these other sports, more generally, it is Tom's attitude that epitomes college sport; his willingness to throw himself into everything with gusto and with a consistent smile on his face is commendable. It is Tom's commitment that has helped propel the men's rugby team, Saints, through to the semi-finals of their cup competition (with a semi-final and (hopefully!) a final still to play), after he took up the captaincy in Hilary term.

Although on short notice, Tom was eager to step into the role, and quickly adapted into a coaching position, as well as organising a large squad spread across two colleges. Latterly, this commitment also had to be balanced with his role as one of the JCR welfare officers, his personality cementing an important bond between mental and physical well-being in college life. His success in leading and motivating the rugby team is evident in the turn-out at 7.15am training sessions, and in the eagerness of other members of the St. John's college sporting community to join the team in playing and social capacities. Tom also took the reigns organising a friendly game between St. John's alumni and their colleges at Sciences Po, Paris, celebrating a 30 year bond.

In summary, I believe Tom is extremely worthy of this recognition as both a fantastic college sporting captain, and as the all-round epitome of the best qualities of college sport.


Edward Sandford

Edward SandfordEd Sandford has contributed significantly to College Sport. He has established himself as a vital member of the Rugby team, and was even snatched up by the Netball 1st’s in their mixed cuppers campaign. From his initiation into Saints, Ed has considerably bought in to both the team’s camaraderie and work-ethic. He repetitively put his allegiance towards the boys ahead of his commitment to the University Water Polo Blues squad.

Proving his worth and dedication, Ed was elected as Captain of Saints for the 2018-19 season. Though leading his team to several impressive victories in Michaelmas, Ed’s diagnosis of diabetes meant that he was unable to continue his captaincy into the Hilary term. Despite this, and (regrettably) living in the North, Ed still travelled down on the weekends to play for the side, to see them through to the semi-finals of Cuppers. He has been training hard for the clash against Corpus Christi-Somerville by continuing to play the sport with his local club in Wigan, and has since established himself as a valuable and diverse player – in both the pack and the back line.

No doubt the Saints are eagerly awaiting his return this Trinity, and are excited to play alongside him in the rest of the Cuppers campaign.


Issy Stephens

Issy StephensIssy has been at the core of St Johns boat club for the past year. Last trinity, Issy was in the women’s first summer eight, which achieved the first bump for St Johns since the crew that won headship five years ago. This was an incredible achievement for Issy, given she only learnt to row eight months earlier, given this, she achieved most improved oarswomen.

Issy is currently the women’s vice captain of SJCBC. Issy has brought energy and enthusiasm to the whole boat club this year, making it 90% fun, and 10% pain, when it is typically the other way round. Through the change in women’s captain, Issy took the lead in keeping the Women’s side afloat, sacrificing a great deal of her time. She continued to be a key supporter of others in the boat club selflessly, with complete humility. She has integrated the two sides of the boat club in a way that hasn’t been for years to create a positive environment, as well as keeping in touch with the club alumni. In the midst of this, she has had exams, yet still found time to design multiple inventive stash items for the club. She was key in bringing in many novice rowers this year,  learning to cox to facilitate their development. She coxed them to the semi-finals of Nepthys regatta- the best performance of a St Johns crew in living memory.


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