Urmston Judo Club’s Steve Pullen MBE WINS BARCLAYS COMMUNITY SPORTS AWARD
The Barclays Community Sports Award for September has been awarded to Stephen Pullen MBE, co-founder and volunteer Head Coach at Urmston Judo Club in Manchester, for his 50 years service to British judo.
As Head Coach at Urmston Judo Club, Stephen and his fellow volunteer coaches train people of all ages and abilities on a daily basis. Stephen is credited with being one of the founders of visually impaired judo in the UK and his main objective for the Urmston Judo Club is to integrate able-bodied and disabled judo.
As well as this, Stephen has played a fundamental role in national judo, whereby he leads the Special Needs Section of the British Judo Association, has helped coach the British Paralympic Judo Team and, more recently, has been involved with the Brazilian, Thai and various Oceanic nations’ judo teams at the London 2012 Paralympics. He was awarded the Coaching Award in 1995 from the National Coach Foundation and was presented with the Churchill Fellowship Award 1989 by Her Majesty the Queen.
Upon receiving the award, Stephen commented: “The award has been a great surprise and I’m delighted to accept it. My life is dedicated to bringing judo to everyone, no matter what age or ability. I’m currently raising funds for a purpose built Judo Centre of Excellence in Greater Manchester so this prize will really help. It’s fantastic that our work to integrate able-bodied and disabled Judo is being highlighted.”
Peers Vote Laudrup Best Manager In Premier League
Michael Laudrup has been voted as the most impressive boss in the Barclays Premier League so far this season according to a Barclays survey of current Barclays Premier League managers.
The Swansea City boss earned praise from his peers with nearly half of the managers surveyed picking the former Denmark international as the most impressive performer having guided his side into the top 10.
The survey, conducted for Barclays by the League Managers Association, saw a Swansea double with attacking midfielder Michu voted as the best signing of the season (47%) ahead of Manchester United’s Robin van Persie (35%).
Swansea’s style of play under Laudrup is also seen as a positive with a third of top-flight managers surveyed believing a more positive attacking style adopted by recently promoted sides has had the biggest tactical impact on the league in the past five years.
When it comes to identifying the best formation to deploy, managers overwhelmingly voted that flexibility is the key (58%) rather than sticking to a rigid formation such as 4-4-2 (12%).
Assessing the top three attributes players needed to succeed in the Barclays Premier League, managers said mental rather than physical abilities were the key to success. Tactical awareness (53%), mental strength (47%) and confidence (47%) all rated in their top three, while strength was surprisingly low with just one manager highlighting this attribute.
Gerard Houllier, former Liverpool and Aston Villa manager, said: “At the beginning of the season many wondered whether Swansea would be able to maintain their impressive start to Barclays Premier League life, but Michael Laudrup has come in, managed to sustain their Barclays Premier League progress and recently won the League Cup.
“He has probably made the shrewdest signing of the season in Michu and deserves the praise from his peers. Overall the survey highlights that promoted clubs can establish themselves in the Barclays Premier League, gain the respect of the established managers, play quality football and excite fans. It’s good for the future of the Barclays Premier League and football in this country.”
Other findings from the survey include:
• Over half of the managers named Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling as the best young player in the Barclays Premier League so far this season, ahead of Southampton’s Adam Lallana (18%) and Chelsea’s Oscar (12%).
• Organisation was highlighted as a crucial mindset by over a third of managers when building for success, with keeping the ball (29%) and having a strong core to your team (24%) rating highly.
Barclays Premier League
The Barclays Premier League is the biggest continuous annual global sporting event in the world. Last season more than 13m fans attended matches with average stadium occupancy in excess of 92% for the fifth season in a row. Across nine months of the year 380 matches are viewed in 212 territories worldwide. Coverage of the matches is available in approximately 720m households with an estimated cumulative global audience of 4.7bn.
Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking and wealth management with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs nearly 147,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for 48 million customers and clients worldwide.
Barclays search for the best photographer and photograph of the last 20 Premier League seasons has come to a close.
Photography has played a major role in the history of the Barclays Premier League, and has brought to life the most memorable moments of the past 20 seasons.
Offside sports photographer Mark Leech has been named Barclays Photographer of the 20 Seasons, and Robin Parker of Fotosports International has won the award for Barclays Shot of the 20 Seasons.
Photographer of the 20 Seasons award
With over 50 of the best professional football photographers submitting hundreds of pictures from all seasons of the Premier League, judges chose Mark Leech’s entry as the overall winner.
Mark submitted a portfolio of five images. These include an iconic shot of the legendary Brian Clough among Nottingham Forest fans on the final day of the 1992/93 season; shots of Arsenal’s Ian Wright competing for the ball with former Blackburn keeper Tim Flowers during the 1997/98 campaign; and a stunning shot of Spurs’ David Ginola attempting a spectacular overhead kick against Arsenal at White Hart Lane in December 1997.
Mark said: “Being chosen as the Barclays Photographer of the 20 Seasons is the proudest moment of my career.
“It has been a huge privilege to cover all 20 seasons of the most exciting league in the world; from the Brian Clough era to the dramatic final day of the 2011/12 Barclays Premier League season, and I’ve been fortunate enough to witness some of the most memorable moments.
“I’m very grateful for the continued support that Barclays shows for sports photographers like myself.”
Mark will receive an official Barclays award and £10,000 worth of photography equipment.
Shot of the 20 Seasons award
Robin Parker claimed the Barclays Shot of the 20 Seasons award with a dramatic photograph showing Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney scoring the memorable overhead winner in his side’s 1-0 triumph over neighbours Manchester City in the 2010/11 season – a goal that was recently voted the best goal in the Premier League’s history.
Robin said: “I’m delighted to win the prestigious Barclays Shot of the 20 Seasons award. For my photo to be chosen as the best shot in the history of the league is very humbling, and something I will cherish for the rest of my career.
“It was an iconic moment, and one that was seen all over the world, so to capture it in the way that I did was extremely satisfying.”
Robin will receive £5,000 of photography equipment in addition to his Barclays Shot of the 20 Seasons award.
The two winners were chosen by a judging panel which included Kevin Wall, a Vice Chairman in Investment Banking, Barclays; Steve Bates, Chairman of the Football Writers’ Association; Alan Sparrow, President of the Guild of Picture Editors; Martin Tyler, Sky Sports commentator; and Hamish Brown, a celebrated sport, music and celebrity photographer.
Kevin Wall concluded: “Photography has played a major role in the history of the Barclays Premier League, and has brought to life the most memorable moments of the past 20 seasons.
“It has been a privilege to judge some of the most outstanding football photographs by the best photographers in the business, and I’d like to pass on my congratulations to both Mark and Robin on their awards.”
The Barclays Photographer and Shot of the 20 Premier League Seasons competition aims to honour the best photographer and individual shot since the inception of the Premier League in 1992.
Find out more on the Barclays Football Facebook page