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Football - Paddock’s delight at top award from uni
1:00pm Friday 12th October 2012 in Sport
FORMER Malvern Town player Liam Paddock has won a highlyprestigious award towards the end of his four-year soccer scholarship in the USA.
Paddock, who was deputy head boy at Chase Technology College, has played more than 60 matches for UMBC in Baltimore since heading across the Atlantic in 2009 to study for a double major degree in psychology and sociology.
This year he has also been made captain and has been the rock at the centre of the university team’s defence in the NCAA Division One North East Conference.
In September, he was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division One Scholar-Athlete of the Year for 2012. He received his award from president of ECAC board of directors Fredina Ingold, who is also director of athletics at Penn State-Altoona, last Sunday at an awards dinner in Connecticut.
Paddock said: “I’m delighted to win it, but it took a while to really understand the full meaning of this award. There are plenty of awards schemes out here, but this one is a really big one in the university hieracrchy both for the student athlete who wins it and their university.
“To come top of the heap from student-athletes in 318 universities certainly makes you feel good and I’m delighted the hard work has paid off.
“I’ve really enjoyed my academic work out here and will be graduating a semester early, this Christmas with a decent degree, the soccer has been brilliant – the facilities out here are amazing and the experiences I’ve had have been incredible and the community work has been really rewarding.”
In February this year, Paddock became the first-ever student from his university to be named an America-East Scholar-Athlete from men’s soccer.
This latest accolade he has received is a very special award. Each year one male and one female student-athlete is selected for the award from nearly 320 universities located from Maine in the north to South Carolina in the south, based on extraordinary achievements in academics, athletics and community service.
Since hearing about his ECAC Award, Paddock has been told he is one of 30 male scholar-athletes across the whole USA that are up for the 2012 CLASS Award.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division One senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. He will hear if he has been shortlisted to the final 10 for this national award in November.