National French Gold Medal for Sheena Fitzmaurice

Sheena being presented with the Gold Medal by M Alain CousinSheena being presented with the Gold Medal by M Alain Cousin

Sheena Fitzmaurice, Hampshire Ladies' Cross-Country and Track & Field Team Manager, has recently been presented with the highest National Distinction for involvement in Sport and Education of young people in France. This is the Gold Medal of Sport & Youth, which is the French equivalent of a British M.B.E. in Sport.

The medal was presented to Sheena at this year's reception at Coutances Town Hall, Normandy, prior to the Cross des Vignettes (formerly the International Cross des Coutances).

The presentation was made on behalf of the French Minister of Sport M Rama Yade by M Alain Cousin (Deputy).

Sheena Fitzmaurice with the Dignitaries of the City of CoutancesSheena with the dignitaries of the City of Coutances (left to right):
M Claude Perier,
M Olivier Leclerc,
M Gerard George,
Mrs Sheena Fitzmaurice,
M Alain Cousin,
M Yves Lamy (Mayor of Coutances)

Sheena has been taking up to 35 young Hampshire athletes to compete at Coutances since 1984. She has taken Track & Field teams to compete in the French Regional Championships at Caen in 1990 and 1991.

Hampshire Schools have also benefited from Sheena's team managing skills when in 1990 and 1991 she managed the winning Cross-Country teams at Percy, France.

These French trips are valuable to the education of both French and English young athletes. The English athletes are accommodated by French families where they have the opportunity to discover the cultural aspects of Normandy and the French way of life and food. Many friendships have been made over the years and are still maintained today. All this is down to the hard work and organizational skills of Sheena Fitzmaurice.

For over 50 years Sheena has been an inspiration for young athletes in the South of England, 30 years of this time as Hampshire County Ladies' Team Manager and ten years as part of Hampshire Schools Management Team.

Sheena's achievements in Athletics

  1. Honours and Distinctions
    • 1976: UK Club Coach Athletics
    • 1978: Hampshire Sports Personality
    • 1987: UK Senior Coach Athletics 800m/1500m
    • 1988: Hampshire Services to Sport Award
    • 1996: Hampshire President
    • 1996: Hampshire Ambassador
    • 1996: 14th International Cross Country Coutances - Presented with the Gold Medal from the Mayor of Countances
    • 2008: South of England - presented with Silver Medal for over 25 years' involvement with athletics in the South of England
  2. Sport Responsibilities
    • 1976: UK Club Coach for Aldershot, Farnham & District Athletic Club & Coaching Co-Ordinator for coaches within the club
    • UK Senior Coach Athletics 1987 till present (2010)
    • Hampshire Ladies' Team Manager Track & Field & Cross-Country from 1980 till present (2010)
    • Hampshire Schools Team Manager 1982-1992
    • South of England Team Manager Cross-Country November 2006 Tilberg, Holland
  3. Brief list of Achievements
    • Started running for Aldershot Athletic Club in 1956
    • Had a very successful intermediate age group 15-17 years 1959-1960, winning Hampshire 800m, South of England and Scottish Titles. Second in UK 800m.
    • 1960 and 1961: Hampshire Cross-Country Champion
    • 1962: Hampshire Senior 400m & 800m Champion
    • 1962: Scottish Senior 800m champion
    • Hampshire Cross-Country Champion 1968, 1969 and 1970
    • Scottish Cross-Country Championships 1968, 1969 & 1970: finished 3rd position and selected to represent Scotland in the World Cross-Country
    • Competing for Scotland: 1968 Blackburn (England); 1969 Clydebank (Scotland); 1970 Frederick (Maryland, USA): finished 26th; Scottish team finished 6th
    • 1978: British Veterans' 400m Champion. Represented Great Britain Veterans in Viareggio, Italy, winning a 2nd 800m silver medal & 3rd 200m bronze medal