On the 24th February, 18 Volunteers were recognised for their outstanding dedication to sport in their local communities by HRH The Countess of Wessex at the 52nd Torch Trophy Trust Awards at a ceremony at the Army and Navy Club in London.
|Courtesy of The Sport and Recreation Alliance – The Countess and Jonathan Dance (President of the RFU) and Judith Phelps, one of the winners.|
From press release: “The awards are unique in celebrating the often thankless and unnoticed work of volunteers in sport at this very prestigious ceremony and exists to encourage, reward and recognise the 3 million people in the UK who give up their free time to volunteer in sport, in their local communities, every year – without whom sport simply wouldn’t be able to function”.
|Courtesy of The Sport and Recreation Alliance – The Countess and one of the award’s recipients, Caroline Spanton.|
The Torch Trophy Trust is a charity that recognises and rewards volunteers in sport an recreation. It relies solely on donations from the public The trust is committed to recognising the unsung heroes of sport through bursaries to enable individuals to develop their skills, and by commemorating some of their achievements at their annual Torch Trophy Trust Awards.
|Courtesy of The Sport and Recreation Alliance – The Countess and Di Charles – Nominated by Basketball England|
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Legacy has always been at the heart of the Trust’s ethos – founded after the 1948 London Olympics with the aim of inspiring and rewarding volunteers, the Trust still uses the 1948 Olympic torch as its symbol. More about the history of the trust, here. A member of the Royal Family (including The Earl of Wessex & Princess Royal) has presented the awards each year since 1980, accompanied on the evening by Trust’s president, Sir Bobby Charlton CBE since his appointment in 1999.
|Courtesy of The Sport and Recreation Alliance – The Countess and Macenzie Whittaker – Nominated by Premier League|
Speaking at the event, Chairman of the Torch Trophy Trust, Sir Bobby Charlton said: “We have honoured these volunteers at the Torch Trophy Trust Awards because of their incredible contribution to our great sporting nation. These volunteers are experts in their own field and we are pleased to bring attention to their tireless work. Volunteering is more often than not a thankless task but we must remember that without volunteers grassroots sport simply wouldn’t be able to function. Giving their time means more than turning up on a Sunday morning – as praiseworthy and important as that too is.” Full press release at The Sport and Recreation Alliance website, which is the umbrella organisation for the governing and representative bodies of sport and recreation in the UK. Link here.
Award winners, to read more, click here.
Adrian Bishop from Gloucestershire – Nominated by the Rugby Football Union, Adrian is described as ‘in every sense what we think of as a club man’ at Tewkesbury Rugby Football Club. More about Mr Bishop in this article.
Alan Gartside from Co Antrim – Nominated by the Northern Ireland Orienteers, Alan was one of the founders of orienteering in Northern Ireland and has been actively involved in all aspects of the development of the sport for over 40 years. More on Mr Gartside in this article.
Anne Holloway from Warwickshire – Nominated by British Blind Sport, if there was anybody who embodied the volunteer spirit that came out of the Paralympic Games of 2012, it’s Anne. More on Mrs Holloway in this article.
Caroline Spanton from Pontypridd – Nominated by Welsh Rowing, Caroline was at the forefront of significant changes and improvements to the organisation during her time as Chair.
Dawn Wofford from Warwickshire – Nominated by the British Equestrian Federation, Dawn has been an invaluable part of The Pony Club for half a century.
Deryck Irons from Bedfordshire – Nominated by the Football Association, there are few things that Deryck hasn’t done for his beloved Eynesbury Rovers Football Club since his father brought him along to the club in the 1950s. More on Mr Irons in this article.
Di Charles from Hertfordshire – Nominated by Basketball England, Di has been part of Corvus Cornix basketball club’s DNA since the club’s inception in 1969.
Gill Jacob from Swansea – Nominated by Swim Wales, when people describe Gill’s service to swimming over the years, the consistent phrase you’ll hear about her efforts and service is “above and beyond.” More in this article.
Gordon McCormack from Glasglow – Nominated by Scottish Disability Sport, Gordon has volunteered for and been a huge servant to disability sport in Scotland for over 35 years.
John Mullis from Surrey – Nominated by Table Tennis England, John has been the Secretary of the Croydon Table Tennis League since 1985 and is also the Vice Chairman of the Surrey Table Tennis Association. More here.
Judith Phelps from Shropshire – Nominated by the Rugby Football Union, Judith Phelps has played a vital role in ensuring the prosperity of Rugby Union in the North Midlands for over ten years. more in this article.
Lee English from Nottinghamshire – Nominated by Basketball England, Lee is rightly revered in Nottingham and respected far further afield for his services to basketball.
Macenzie Whittaker from Manchester – Nominated by the Premier League, Macenzie, while juggling his full-time studies he has contributed over 200 hours to his local community in the last 12 months.
Mandy Parker from Yorkshire – Nominated by British Cycling, Mandy has been coaching as a parent with East Bradford Cycling Club for over ten years.
Maurice Vaughan from Derbyshire – Nominated by the England and Wales Cricket Board, Maurice has been associated with Etwall Cricket Club for over 80 years.
Mike Phillipson from Nottinghamshire – Nominated by the Tennis Foundation, Mike’s appreciation for the needs of world class athletes and his eye for detail have seen him become Head of Volunteers and a crucial member of the Tennis Foundation’s organisational network for both events.
Paul Bovett from Somerset – Nominated by Table Tennis England, Paul has been an active and tireless coach and presence on the table tennis scene in Somerset for decades. More here.
Ray Gordon from Tyne and Ware – Nominated by the Amateur Swimming Association, a long standing board member of the ASA, Ray was fittingly elected President of the ASA during the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. More in this article.
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