ALBION head coach Pepe Mel and captain Chris Brunt were the special guests at Sporting Club Albion Girl’s Centre of Excellence, Ladies Football and Basketball teams’ presentation evening at The Hawthorns this week.
Sporting Club Albion is an integral part of The Albion Foundation and provides an opportunity for the local community to wear Baggies colours in a range of sports including girls’ and women’s football, basketball and disability sport. The Club has over 250 players and 20 teams.
More than 300 people packed into the Richardson Suite to celebrate the achievements of the girls’ under 11, 13, 15 and 17 squads, ladies first team and the men’s, boys and girls sides of the basketball branch.
The disability teams will celebrate their season at the annual One Albion Disability Awards in November.
Pepe and Chris presented individual trophies to the player’s player, coaches’ player and supporter’s player of the year for the girls and as is the tradition in basketball the most valuable player award was handed out.
Rob Lake Director of the Foundation said: “It was a great end to a great season of progress for Sporting Club.
“We really appreciate Pepe and Chris taking time out to support us.
“They made it very special for our players, parents and coaches.
“There was a great atmosphere in the room and what was obvious to me was the great respect, trust and camaraderie between the players and the coaches.
“I cannot speak too highly of the coaching staff - they have been superb.”
The night was also an opportunity to say thank you and goodbye to Dave Lawrence and Rich Holmes, manager and coach respectively of the ladies team, who are stepping down.
Lake added: “They have done a great job and provide a great platform for Graham Abercrombie who will be taking over as Head of Women’s & Girls Football for next season overseeing the ladies first team and Girls Centre of Excellence.”
The basketball squad also celebrated the graduation of five of their players who have been with the club for the last five years and will all now move on to university.
Cuba Gooden, Dale Deakin, Theo Grant and Adam Jenkins received commemorative posters showing their progression over their time at Sporting Club.
Amy Rippington, ladies captain for the last five years is also retiring and after 11 years at the Club.
She will play her last game for Sporting Club on Sunday.
The final award of the evening was presented by Amy to Sinead Scott.
The award is given in honour of Peter Rippington, long standing supporter of all levels of football, a loved teacher at Alvechurch School, and father of Amy who tragically lost his life in early 2012.
Peter was renowned for being loyal, selfless, and hard working in every aspect of his life, and the recipient of this award, shares such traits.
The award is given to the player who, in the eyes of the ladies’ coaching team and senior playing staff, has represented the SCA badge with the same loyalty and dedication that Peter represented his family, school and community with.