HILPERTON athlete Caitlin Wosika said she felt ‘shocked and honoured’ to win the inaugural Melvyn Potter Club Athlete of the year award.

The award was launched to commemorate the memory of leading Wiltshire official Potter, who lived in Chippenham, after he sadly died at the age of 64 after a long illness last month.

His son Adam, a former GB international, turned up at the Team Bath AC annual awards evening held at the Bath University Sports Training Village to present the award to 18-year-old Wosika last week.

“I had no idea I had even been nominated, no clue at all so I was completed shocked by the news,” said Wosika.

“I felt really honoured as obviously it is a new award being given for the first time and it is such a nice thing to get.”

Club officials decided that the criteria for the award, which is to be made annually, will be to recognise there is more to athletics than just winning.

“His dedication to athletics is the reason that as a club we wanted to honour his involvement by presenting the Melvyn Potter award annually to a club member that shows the qualities that he held so dear,” said club coach Julie Alexander.

Wosika showed those qualities aplenty in the final of the senior girls’ 15000m steeplechase at the English Schools’ Championships in the summer.

She was among the favourites for a medal and was leading the race in the final stages when she fell and eventually finished 12th.

“It was quite unfortunate,” added Wosika. “I felt really strong with 600m to go and to be honest I cannot remember whether someone knocked me or I just knocked the barrier itself but I fell and that was that. It was very frustrating.

“But it was the English Schools’ final and I didn’t want to pull out so got up and finished.”

It was that tenacious spirit that the judges felt represented the meaning of the new Melvyn Potter award and ensured Wosika was a popular inaugural winner.

“She has always shown massive dedication at training and is approachable and friendly to all the other athletes,” added the judges.

Moreover she ended the season as number one in the South West Rankings for U20 women in the 1500m steeplechase and has also developed into a national standard triathlete.

“Overall I was very happy with 2017 as I showed a lot of improvement and I also started doing triathlons (joining the Hot Chilli Tri Club in Trowbridge) which has really helped with my running,” said Wosika.

The two runners-up in the Melvyn Potter award were Ransford Ako-Nai from Devizes and Jonathan Evans.

Ako’Nai is also very popular among his peer group and this summer broke the U15 boys’ long jump record jumping 6.10m and won a bronze medal at English Schools’ Championships.