Royal Marines personnel celebrate sporting success

Storyline: Sports

The annual Royal Marines Sportspersons’ Dinner and Awards evening celebrated Royal Marines and their contribution to service sport.

Royal Navy and Marines VIPs, sports personnel and special guests attended a four-course dinner and presentation ceremony at CTCRM Lympstone to honour an outstanding year of Royal Marines sport.

Guests including members of the Dutch Royal Marines enjoyed an impressive performance from the Royal Marines Band Portsmouth to open the evenings proceedings.

The Corps Colours presentations were the first to be awarded to those who had represented the Royal Marines in their respective sports, presented by sport association secretaries.

RMSA Sec, Maj Wayne Grounsell hosted a Q&A with guest of honour Mr Tom Johnson, a successful rugby player, known most notably for representing the Exeter Chiefs and England.

Tom shared his experiences with the England team and highlighted the importance of mental health and the qualities that are transferable between sport and a career in the Royal Marines.

The award of Administrator of the Year followed, presented by RMSA Sec, Maj Wayne Grounsell. Cpl Ben Sykes received the award for his contribution to RM Paddlesports, dedicating much of his time to tirelessly drive the sport forward, including but not limited to single-handedly introducing Stand Up Paddle Boarding as a competitive sport within the Royal Marines. This required extraordinary effort, campaigning, and coordination, despite significant work pressures and a challenging operational environment.

RM Sportsperson of the Year was awarded to Mne Sam Wordley for his outstanding achievements in RM Triathlon. Presented by Royal Navy Triathlon President, Cdre Kris Nicholson, Sam’s award recognised his incredible dominance in the sport. 2023 marked his third consecutive Inter-Services Standard Distance title and he also won his age group at Ironman 70.3 Swansea, to name just two of his achievements this year. 

RMSA Vice Chair, RSM CTCRM, WO1 Billy Meldrum presented RM Cricket with the award for RM Sports Team of the year. 2023 has arguably been the most successful RM Cricket season in a long time, with an upsurge of RM cricketing ranks, the results this season have been unprecedented. 

The final awards for Lifetime Achievement were presented by Chair of the RMSA, Commandant CTCRM, Col Innes Catton. The first to WO1 Wayne Sear for his contribution to RM Winter Sports and his exceptional support, management, and recruitment to RN Telemarking, organising Ex White Dagger since 2007. 

The second Lifetime Achievement award went to Maj Kenny Craig for his contributions to RM Sport Parachuting. For more than 20-years, Maj Kenny Craig RM has been at the vanguard of pushing the limits within the sport of parachuting, showing relentless commitment and selfless dedication to the sport. 

WO2 John Jackson received a gift from the RMSA for his services to RM Sport over his incredibly successful career representing the Royal Marines and Great Britain on the bobsleigh track. 

A highly successful evening celebrating the outstanding sporting achievements within the Corps. Athletes, officials and sports personnel now look forward to celebrating the Royal Navy Sports Awards on Thursday 30 November.