Senior Rate lifts gold at annual Sports Award

A rugby playing Air Engineer has been named Sportsman of the Year 2013 at the annual Royal Navy Sports Awards.

Fending off tough competition from fellow athletes, Chief Petty Officer (Air Engineering Technician) David Pascoe took the trophy for his contribution to Royal Navy Rugby.

CPO Pascoe, who works in 771 Naval Air Squadron, the front line Search and Rescue unit based at RNAS Culdrose, first played for the Royal Navy Rugby Union Senior XV in 1999 and has never missed a season since.  He is the second most RN capped player of all time and is the longest serving captain in the Senior XV’s history.  He was presented with his award by Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral David Steel, who also presented trophies to the Best Sportswoman, Best Sports Official, Young Sportsman of the Year as well as the Best Sports Team.

Receiving his award CPO Pascoe, 34 from Truro said:
“It’s been an honour and a privilege to be captain for such a length of time,” said CPO Pascoe of his eight-year tenure as captain of the Royal Navy’s 1st XV.  “I’ve been very lucky to be injury free. I still enjoy my sport – so as long as I am fit, I will keep going.”

Also receiving an award was Sportswoman of the Year, Lieutenant Rachel Cunningham, who proved herself as an outstanding female strength athlete.  Working at Navy Command Headquarters in Portsmouth, she has competed in the British Powerlifting Championships and said:

“Powerlifting is a growing sport in the Service and a lot of girls are not afraid to lift weights”.

She continued: “It’s a solo sport, but also a very friendly one. When you go to competitions, yes it’s competitive, but everyone is also encouraging you. Everyone wants you to lift as much as you can.”

Young Sportsman of the Year was awarded to snowboarder AET Ross Taylor, while the Top Team went to the Royal Navy Male Fencing team and the Sports Official of the Year was Warrant Officer Sean Childs for his commitment to Royal Navy Cycling.

Athletics Secretary and Royal Navy Sports Award organiser, Lieutenant Commander Ginge Gough, said: “This has been another exciting year for all of our Royal Navy sportsmen and women. We have seen our rugby team go from strength to strength under the captainship of CPO Pascoe while Lt Cunningham has been an inspiration for our female athletes.

“Keeping fit and healthy are integral to life in the Royal Navy and these awards acknowledge our athletes for their ongoing successes.”

Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral David Steel, said the Royal Navy had a wonderful wealth of athletes.

He added: “It is incredible that an organisation as busy as the Royal Navy, and with only 30,000 people, can still compete not only against the other Services but also at a national level.

“Not only are our men and women representing themselves or their teams on the sports field, they are also ambassadors for the Royal Navy both at home and abroad.”