2023 Award Winners

The Chairwoman’s Challenge Trophy – for the annual competition flight

Awarded to a member for the entry judged to be the most interesting or unusual flight within a theme. The 2023 Challenge was on theme of ‘Crowning Glory’.

Recipient: Amal Larhlid

As an enthusiastic student pilot passionate about sky art, Amal was inspired by the change in the British monarchy. She accurately flew a route drawing the crown that King Charles wore for his coronation in May 2023. Amal demonstrated her precision flying ability while marking the historic event.

Naomi Christy Cup – for personal achievement

This trophy is awarded to a female British pilot for a flying or flying-related personal achievement, beyond the recipient’s wildest dreams. This award is not aimed at the record breaker or high achiever, but is awarded for an achievement special to the recipient.

Recipient: Jayne Stubbs

Throughout her training for her private pilot licence (PPL), Jayne has shown an incredible level of persistence. She has been open about the challenges she has faced, proving that you do not need to compare yourself to others and that everyone achieves milestones at different rates.

OP Jones Cup – for achievement in gliding/hang gliding/paragliding

Awarded to a female pilot for an achievement or special contribution to gliding, hang gliding or paragliding.

Recipient: Cecilia Craig

As an instructor and membership officer of the Oxford Gliding Club, Cecilia has introduced hundreds of people to gliding through her conscientious nature and motivational attitude. She encourages students to set goals and is a particularly good motivator of nervous pilots, going out of her way to include everyone.

BWPA Special Recognition Award

Awarded in recognition of active support of women in aviation.

Recipient: Sharon Cox

Sharon is a true ambassador for flying and is very encouraging of women pilots. She is a member of the ‘Cheshire Flyers’ club where she took on the role of the club newsletter editor. She makes sure that women of all ages at the club feel included.

Recipient: Lily Ayres

Lily has encouraged and supported women in aviation for many years, acting as a role model and mentor. She works as an Airworthiness Engineer at Draken, where she is the Chair and founder of the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Programme. As a BWPA volunteer, Lily helps get the best people into the right roles.

Jackie Moggridge Cup – for career achievement

Awarded to a female pilot for achieving excellent qualifications in her chosen career.

Recipient: Charlotte (Charlie) Link

From cleaning Viking gliders as a 13-year-old RAF Air Cadet to becoming a senior Gliding instructor at RAF Central Gliding School at RAF Syerston, Charlotte has always had a professional and passionate attitude. In 2023, she was awarded the ‘A1’ instructor category, which is reserved for exceptional instructors.

Jean Lennox Bird Pendant – for long service to aviation

Awarded to a female pilot who has served aviation over a period of time in any aspect, consistently achieving goals, showing diligence to duties and encouragement to others.

Recipient: Claire Hatton

Claire has been committed to flying for over 30 years. She has had a PPL since 1994 and gained her Commercial Pilot Licence and instructor rating in 1999. Claire coordinates the BWPA Northwest group, where she welcomes new members, gives advice from her wealth of experience and supports members through various personal challenges.

Hilda Hewlett Trophy – for initiative and commitment in a young pilot

Presented to a female British pilot between the ages of 16 and 25 who has shown initiative and commitment in gaining her PPL (with a view to following a career in aviation) and who, through her actions and her example, is an inspiration to her peer group.

Recipient: Matilda (Tilly) Watts

Tilly joined the RAF Air Cadets as a teenager and stayed on as an adult to serve as a civilian instructor. Through her strong commitment to aviation and natural ability, she won a place on the BAE Systems Aerospace Engineering degree apprenticeship and a full PPL scholarship from the Honourable Company of Air Pilots.

Faith Bennett Navigation Cup – for special merit in navigation

This trophy is awarded to a female British pilot for a navigation exercise undertaken during the current year. It must be an exercise of special merit or one that stretches the experience of the pilot to the limits, reaching goals beyond the pilot’s expectations. It can be given to regions for group flights/achievements.

Recipient: Team Bridges/Benn

On 17 May 2023, the 80th anniversary of the Dambusters Raid, ‘Team Bridges Benn’, composed of Sharlene Benn and Ruth Bridges followed the route of the original flight flown by Guy Gibson and members of 617 Squadron in 1943. They plotted the flight using paper charts as it would have been done in 1943.


The following trophies were not awarded in 2023:

Brabazon Cup – for outstanding performance

Awarded to a female pilot for one particularly outstanding or noteworthy performance in aviation. This cup was presented to the BWPA by Lord Brabazon of Tara in 1959.

Muriel Sells Trophy

This award is made to a BWPA member who has supported the Association either by regularly attending events or by working in the background to further the Association’s aims.

Jack Brackenbury Photographic Trophy – for noteworthy photography

Awarded to a BWPA member for recognition of a particularly notable photograph. Entries may include photos sent in for the newsletter and website. This trophy was first awarded in 2004 in memory of Jack Brackenbury and to encourage members to record our events as he used to.

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