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Holbeach sporting legend Geoff Capes receives Lifetime Achievement Award from Lincolnshire sports body




Legendary Holbeach sportsman Geoff Capes has at last been recognised by his home county, 50 years after making his international athletics debut.

The 70-year-old shot put legend, who won two Commonwealth Games and two European Indoor titles in the 1970s, was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by Active Lincolnshire, part of Sport England.

Capes received the accolade at this month's Lincolnshire Sport and Physical Activity Awards for his role in setting up and running the Lincolnshire Throws Academy which he does along with his son Lewis.

Abigail Sharples, of Lincolnshire Throws Academy, speaks to ex-Team GB athlete Craig Heap, host of this year's Lincolnshire Sport and Physical Activity Awards after accepting the Active Lincolnshire Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of Geoff Capes.Photo supplied by Chris Vaughan Photography.
Abigail Sharples, of Lincolnshire Throws Academy, speaks to ex-Team GB athlete Craig Heap, host of this year's Lincolnshire Sport and Physical Activity Awards after accepting the Active Lincolnshire Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of Geoff Capes.Photo supplied by Chris Vaughan Photography.

It is the third honour in the last 20 months following inductions into the World's Strongest Man and England Athletics Halls of Fame in April and October 2018 respectively.

Capes said: "When Active Lincolnshire first contacted me to say that somebody had nominated about the award, I didn't think I'd actually won it.

"I thought they were just contacting me to say that I was under consideration for the award when it had actually been decided on already.

Geoff Capes with his Active Lincolnshire Lifetime Achievement Award.Photo supplied (22683072)
Geoff Capes with his Active Lincolnshire Lifetime Achievement Award.Photo supplied (22683072)

"This is the first award I've received from Lincolnshire Sport itself and I accept it on behalf of the athletes I've coached, and still coach, as well as the academy."

The citation for the Lifetime Achievement award said: "Geoff has been a holder of the British shot put record since 1980, a total of 39.

"He retired from athletics in 1980 but since then, Geoff has coached throws athletes, both locally and atnational level."

Capes attended Boston Road Junior School and George Farmer School (now Holbeach Primary Academy and University Academy Holbeach respectively), going on to join the former Holbeach Athletics Club.

Stuart Storey with Geoff Capes and Sally Reddin at University Academy Holbeach where commemorative mosaics were unveiled to mark the London 2012 Olympics. Photo by Tim Wilson.SG040712-244TW.
Stuart Storey with Geoff Capes and Sally Reddin at University Academy Holbeach where commemorative mosaics were unveiled to mark the London 2012 Olympics. Photo by Tim Wilson.SG040712-244TW.

After a career that also included three Olympic Games, Munich 1972, Montreal 1976 and Moscow 1980, Capes is still the UK's most capped athlete, making 67 appearances between 1969 and 1980.

He said: "Although people might think of me as an international figure, I've never forgotten my roots and I'm still a Lincolnshire person.

"The academy is doing very well, the athletes there are very successful and I'm happy to receive the Active Lincolnshire Lifetime Achievement Award for them."

Abigail Sharples, of Lincolnshire Throws Academy, accepts the Active Lincolnshire Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of Geoff Capes from Lee Wallhead, financial controller for pharmaceutical firm Beaphar UK Ltd.Photo supplied by Chris Vaughan Photography.
Abigail Sharples, of Lincolnshire Throws Academy, accepts the Active Lincolnshire Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of Geoff Capes from Lee Wallhead, financial controller for pharmaceutical firm Beaphar UK Ltd.Photo supplied by Chris Vaughan Photography.

Capes' legacy lives on through his grandsons Donovan (14), who won the English Schools junior boys' shot put title in July, and Lawson (11) who became the UK's first-ever ten-year-old to throw a shot over ten metres a month before his older brother's feat.

Stuart Storey, Capes' former coach at Holbeach Athletics Club, said: "Geoff spends a lot of his own money on coaching these youngsters now, giving his time freely.

"He's a great ambassador for sport, for Lincolnshire and for Holbeach which is where we both started from.

Geoff Capes with his England Athletics Hall of Fame award alongside son Lewis and grandson Donovan.Photo by Tim Wilson.SG-141018-4.
Geoff Capes with his England Athletics Hall of Fame award alongside son Lewis and grandson Donovan.Photo by Tim Wilson.SG-141018-4.

"Geoff has a lot of friends and other people who recognise what he's done over the years, so it's absolutely fantastic that Active Lincolnshire has at last got something right in honouring him.

"I would like to offer my own congratulations to Geoff because he duly deserves it."

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