2016 Centurion Awards For Service to Lacrosse
Dan Funnell and Henning Schmidt are the latest recipients of a Centurion Award for Service to Lacrosse. Each was presented with an engraved silver salver and a framed citation by Lord Addington at the Centurion Club Annual Dinner held at the House of Lords.
Centurion Awards are made to individuals who are considered to be worthy of recognition for the service that they have given to the game either on or off the field of play. Typical of the reasons for the award are exceptional performance as a player; exceptional contribution in developing new schools, junior teams or clubs; extraordinary loyal continuous work in holding a club together; or exceptional administrative work.
Dan Funnell was introduced to lacrosse at the age of 10. He has since played for Timperley, Leeds University, Cheadle Hulme, Wanneroo (Australia), Timperley (again), Hampstead, and Epsom. With Hampstead, he won the Southern League and the Senior Flags three times each and represented Lancashire, Yorkshire, English Universities, South of England and Wales.
Qualified by birth for Wales, he has played with distinction at international level since 1999. He became Captain and Assistant coach from 2003 until 2009 leading to his appointment as Head coach in 2011. His dedication has been fundamental to the development of Wales at international level as the Welsh squad has grown in numbers, skills and enthusiasm.
Throughout this work, he has mentored and nurtured many young players. He has fought against a challenging illness with the same fervour as he has devoted to lacrosse which he continues to serve in both Wales and London. He lives in Essex and travels frequently to Wales where, as Head Coach, he stimulates performance in the national squad and broadens the game at Under 19, University, and Veteran’s levels. In London, he also travels frequently to Epsom where he was a co-founder of the new club for which he still plays.
During 30 years of skilful playing and development leadership, lacrosse has been a central part of his life. He intends to continue contributing for many years ahead to repay the many happy memories that he has accumulated.
Henning Schmidt has been nominated for his service to Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse in Europe and England. He first played for BTV 1887 Likkedeeler in Germany where he was soon involved in fundraising before qualifying as a coach. Coaching became a prime interest when he was appointed as Coaching Co-ordinator for the European Lacrosse Federation in which role he managed a European-wide coaching programme. He organised coaching weekends in Germany, England, Scotland, Norway and Bulgaria.
He held the post of Vice-President of Men’s Lacrosse for the European Lacrosse Federation for a year before reverting to his main interest of coaching, particularly by developing new women’s teams. After he came to England, he played for Welwyn Warriors and Hillcroft. He became Head Coach of the women’s sections at Hertfordshire University, University College and Hillcroft. Since he was appointed as Club Development Officer at Hillcroft, the membership has doubled. In 2014, he founded the Hillcroft Summer League which draws players from several clubs mixed into four teams to play from May through August.
He has worked hard and comprehensively for both men’s and women’s lacrosse, starting a new team or club at each place where he has lived. He has used ideas from one club to lay the groundwork for another and then encouraged new clubs or teams to take ownership and build further.