There’s probably no greater honour in sport than having your achievements recognised and rewarded by a fellow athlete who has succeeded at the highest level.
That’s exactly what happened when Olympic gold medallist Sam Quek, who featured for Great Britain in Rio, presented Pendle Forest’s all-conquering first team with the Investec England Hockey Women’s Team of the Year.
Quek, who was nominated as the player of the match in the final against World champions Netherlands at the Games in 2016, dished out the silverware and interviewed manager Scott Hornby, captain Dani Hornby and leading scorer Charlotte Hartley during the ceremony.
A total of 33 members of the club attended the national awards at The Athena in Leicester to witness the team scoop the top prize on the night and they were joined on their table by Commonwealth bronze medallist Ellie Rayer and England Hockey development director Rich Beer.
Forest, who were nominated for the accolade last season, were unbeaten North Division One champions, winning 20 of 22 games to earn a second-successive promotion.
Forest dropped just four points over a 22-game season in the North Hockey League First Division.
Forest drew 2-2 with runners up Newcastle University in January at Longbenton Sports Ground when Lisa Crewe and Steph Bedford were on the scoresheet.
Honours were also even at Granby High School when Olivia Bythell’s strike earned the visitors a point against Harrogate Ladies in February.
The team are currently unbeaten in 74 league games, having reached 45 -successive league wins during the season.
They scored 83 goals while conceding just 15.
Next season the first team will compete in the North Hockey Women’s League Premier Division, won by Leeds Ladies last term who also went through the season without losing a game.
A report on the England Hockey website read: “The team has gone through the season without a loss and won back to back promotions.
“The team are a superb set role models to the juniors. The club has grown from strength to strength since its inception.”