Runaway success for Oscar at sports awards

SADDLEWORTH had two major winners at the 16th One Future Oldham Sports Awards.

Eleven-year-old Oscar Schofield, from Denshaw, picked up the sports achiever award while Springhead Football Club’s Dave Donlan claimed the unsung hero prize at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Oscar has been recognised after making it on to the Team GB’s pathway programme for the modern pentathlon and his successes at biathle (run, swim, run).

Oscar Schofield collecting his honour at Oldham Sports Awards

And this month Oscar, a former pupil at Hulme Grammar, is off to Egypt to compete for Great Britain at the world biathle championships.

Previously Oscar had featured in the Independent for his sporting exploits, mainly in triathlons.

But after a series of bicycle crashes and several hospital visits, he decided to concentrate on biathle more than triathlons to avoid the bike.

And it was while competing in a biathle at Edge Hill University, Liverpool, that he was spotted by Pentathlon UK coach Nicola Rowley and invited to train with them.

Oscar, a pupil at Bury Grammar, trains once each week with Pentathlon UK at Fleetwood as well as being in the North West biathle squad. He is hoping to soon be crowned North West champion.

He also runs for Sale Harriers and trains each night, Monday to Friday and competes at weekend with mum Claire saying he is “disciplined and dedicated”.

Oscar has had to learn new disciplines for the modern pentathlon – fencing and laser shooting to go with running and swimming.

He took up triathlon aged eight after being inspired by next-door neighbour Kyle Clegg who has competed for England at the sport. And his idols are the Brownlee brothers, Alistair and Jonny, the Olympic Games gold and silver medallists.

Dave, meanwhile, has been rewarded for his dedication to Springhead Football Club where he has served for more than 30 years.

Dave Donlan collecting his award at Oldham Sports Awards ceremony

The 47-year-old police officer from Lees, who is the current club chairman, described being “pleased and honoured” to have landed the award.

He joined the football club as a 16-year-old player and says he has done nearly every job in the club – players’ representative on the committee, coach, coaches’ mentor, vice-chairman, chairman, child welfare officer.

Dave currently coaches the U17s in the Tameside Junior Football League and he describes his voluntary work as “almost a full-time job”.

Looking back, Dave said: “When I joined the club it only had two senior teams, but today it has two open-age sides in the Manchester League though we are members of the West Riding FA, teams from U7s to 17s at every age group and a successful soccer academy for children aged between four and seven.

Dave says the club, which celebrates its centenary in 2022, has a five year development plan with the goal to own its ground, which is leased from Oldham Council, and install a 3G pitch so they can accommodate all the teams.

They currently operated from four satellite 3G pitches in Tameside and Oldham.

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