On Wednesday, 7th December 2005, 20 volunteers were recognised for their work in sports volunteering at The Queen’s Club, West Kensington, for the 43th anniversary.
Presented by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, each winner received their award for outstanding contributions after being nominated by their National Governing Body.
Full details on recipients can be found below.
Rosemary Barlow – The British Equestrian Federation
For more than 20 years Rosemary has been extremely proactive in raising substantial funds for British Eventing. I am sure we can all appreciate there are a number of ‘hidden’ costs in this particular sport, particularly when competing overseas.
Under the umbrella of the Horse Trials Support Group and the British Equestrian Olympic Fund, Rosemary has been instrumental in raising in excess of one million pounds, to ensure that the most talented riders have the opportunity to represent their country, regardless of their personal circumstances.
In addition, again as a volunteer, Rosemary has been responsible for ensuring that the owners of horses and sponsors of events are well cared for, thus helping to ensure that riders with talent are more able to make the journey from the grass root field to the elite Stadium.
Leslie Bentley – The Rugby Union
Leslie is now in his ninth decade and has given more than 50 years of outstanding voluntary service to Rugby Union. He was a player and administrator for his local club, Bradford & Bingley, before giving wider service to rugby in Yorkshire and the North. To put it simply, Leslie has done anything and everything that needed doing for Rugby in Yorkshire and the North and is renowned for his enthusiasm and unfailing energy. Indeed, he has given 33 years of unbroken service to the full County Committee of the Yorkshire RFU.
However, it is perhaps as a District Representative that he is best known. He has an intimate knowledge of all the Clubs under his jurisdiction and travels for hours at a time across the Yorkshire Moors in all weathers to keep in touch with them.
Tom Brocklehurst – The Football Foundation
Tom is in fact fast approaching his 10th decade and has given a lifetime of service to local football, continuing to show the energy and enthusiasm for the game envied by men half his age. The term ‘sprightly’ really does not do him justice and Tom, at the age of 90, is relishing his post as President of the Derbyshire County Football Association.
Tom began his involvement in football in the early 1930’s and since then has undertaken numerous roles as a volunteer. However, Tom places considerable importance on providing opportunities for the young and takes a particular interest in the County FA Youth Squads, attending as many of their matches as possible.
A founder member of the Trust, The Rt.Hon. Lord Aberdare passed away earlier this year and the Trustees decided to dedicate one of the Awards in memory of Lord Aberdare. We were delighted to identify Tom in this connection, not least because of Lord Aberdare’s care for grass roots football as President of The Football Foundation for many years.
Valerie Burch – Badminton England
Valerie took up Badminton in her early 40’s and for more than 20 years has been a very active volunteer in the sport, as a Coach and Administrator. Her various roles are too numerous to mention here but perhaps Valerie’s contribution is best summed up by her colleagues, who say “VAL PLAYS IT, LOVES IT AND LIVES IT”.
Ian Cordingly – The Cricket Foundation
Ian has been involved as a volunteer for more than 25 years at Darwen Cricket Club, ever since his eldest son joined the Club’s Junior Section. His roles have been many and varied, ranging from Junior Team Manager, Coach, Groundsman, Schools Liaison Officer and Treasurer.
One of the reasons the Cricket Foundation put forward Ian’s name was in recognition of his role in the implementation of the pilot programme called “Chance to Shine”. This provides the opportunity for boys and girls their chance to Shine and become active participants in sport.
Tony Eskew – The Lawn Tennis Association
Tony has been the Honorary Secretary of the Warwickshire LTA for over 25 years. His contribution to tennis has been immense, covering county administration, development of tennis, competitions, facilities and looking after the needs of more than 100 Clubs who are members of Warwickshire.
Tony’s volunteer life in tennis began at the age of 13 when he became the School Fixtures Secretary – and he hasn’t stopped since then. Tony is the champion of the smaller Club and the underdog and, wherever he goes, he always promotes and encourages everyone to play the game he loves, especially the young.
Ron Fowler – British Cycling Federation
Ron was a Club rider in the 1950’s and at that time decided to become more involved in the organising and officiating side of the sport. Ron started running meetings for the Belle Vue Cycling Club in Putney in the 1950’s and since then has organised road races and track meetings every year, representing more than 50 years uninterrupted voluntary service.
The British Cycling Federation states ‘his quiet reliability means that, once asked, you know that Ron will turn up and do the job.
Rodney Francis – British Fencing
We now turn to Fencing, a sport closely associated with our Trustee Dame Mary Glen Haig. As a computer expert Rodney has revolutionised the organisation of all levels of competition of British Fencing. The programmes that Rodney has introduced ensure that the competitions are run efficiently, strictly within the rules and with fairness to all competitors.
Rodney first became involved in fencing some 16 years ago, when his son started fencing at school. From that time he has supported his local club, country and national governing body and his enthusiasm is so infectious that his wife has now started to fence and to help with competitions.
Jean Gates – British Tennis Foundation.
Jean has worked tirelessly to promote sport and tennis in particular, in schools, both locally and nationally, for more than 30 years. She is passionate about the work she undertakes and always finds time to do that little bit more to make a difference.
Apart from her volunteer work in Hertfordshire, Jean was elected onto the National Council for School Sport and it was not long before she was asked to be the Honorary Treasurer and to join their Executive Committee. Jean was instrumental in attracting to Great Britain the first ever International Schools’ Tennis Tournament in 2003, which took great determination, persistence and resourcefulness. A resounding success, this Tournament has now become a regular event in the International Schools’ Sport Federation calendar.
Simon Goodey – Amateur Rowing Association
He has been instrumental in making rowing truly accessible to severely physically disabled people. He has been a strong advocate for raising awareness and developing new opportunities and has produced the ARA’s classification guidelines for adaptive rowers, which provide a clear pathway and guidance for those wishing to compete in the sport.
Simon has also developed a special rowing seat for participants with severe spinal injuries, thus allowing participants to participate in a sport from which they had been excluded in the past. In addition, Simon has developed a logbook for the National Junior Rowing Programme, aimed at children with profound and multiple learning disabilities.
Norman Haslehurst – Amateur Swimming Association
As part of the reorganisation of The Port of Liverpool after the Second World War, the Neptune Swimming Club was reinstated in 1952 and Norman has been its Honorary Secretary since then – more than 50 years. Prior to that Norman was the Honorary Water Polo Secretary of Wallasey Swimming Club. Over the last 15 years the Club has evolved as a Club for Wirral residents, predominantly Senior Citizens and, over the whole period, many, young and old alike, have learnt to swim or improve their swimming and participated in sponsored swims for The Heart Foundation, Cancer Research, RNLI, Guide Dogs for the Blind and many others.
In 2002 there were attempts to close the facility but Norman led the campaign to ‘save’ it, collecting more than 15,000 signatures. The outcome was the withdrawal of the closure plan and the Centre has just completed a £1m refurbishment.
Barry Hume – The National Playing Fields Association
The National Playing Fields Association, a loyal supporter of the Trust for many years, nominated Barry, whom they describe as remarkable. Barry, now in his 70’s, lives in sheltered accommodation and has overcome severe physical disabilities to provide over 25 years of voluntary service to the playing fields of Papworth Everard.
Barry works tirelessly on the bowling green, cricket and football pitches, using the mowers he has donated to the value of £8,000 – he even supplies the petrol for the mowers!
Although Barry has to walk with sticks, often in considerable pain, it never deters him from helping out whenever possible. Unable to participate in sport himself, Barry takes great pleasure helping the local sports clubs and is a worthy Award Recipient.
John Jenkins – The Sports Association for the Disabled.
John contracted Polio at the age of 5 and, since then, has used a wheelchair for daily living and participation in sporting activities. Through his own sporting achievements, John has been an inspiration to disabled people wishing to pursue sport and his success in swimming and table tennis have won him medals at every level, including the International Paraplegic Games and Paralympics in 1984.
John joined the Windsor and Maidenhead District Sports Association for the Disabled shortly after it was formed in 1975 and is widely acknowledged as the person responsible for developing the Club to a membership of over 600 and superb clubhouse facilities. The Club provides facilities and opportunities for the disabled to enjoy sport at whatever level they desire, with the overall objective of enhancing the quality of their life.
Paul Johnson – The Rugby Football League
We were delighted when the F.A. Premier League indicated they would like to support the work of the Trust by recognising somebody who had made a significant contribution as a volunteer in sport in an inner city area. The Rugby Football League nominated Paul from Leeds for an Award and the Trustees identified Paul as the Recipient of the F.A. Premier League Award.
Paul volunteers tirelessly to ensure the successful recruitment and development of members of the Leeds & District Referees Society. The importance of Referees is of course fully appreciated by the FA Premier League! Paul has put in place a Development Panel which ensured that new match officials are assisted in their development, many of them progressing to the professional ranks.
Shirley Knox – Disability Sport England
Shirley was nominated for outstanding voluntary service to Bedlington Disabled Sports Club. Shirley has been involved in the Club for over 20 years, has served as the Club Secretary since 1991 and was instrumental in obtaining charitable status for the Club. The club meets every week and, apart from organising the games, Shirley also organises the transport arrangements to ensure that every one of the members are able to attend and participate in their favourite sporting activities.
During the period 1997 to 2002 Shirley served as Chair of Disability Sport England and for 13 years has been an active Committee Member, a role which she continues to this day.
Shirley has faced and overcome many challengers in her life and is the main carer for her disabled husband. A remarkable woman, who is most deserving of an Award.
Mary Matthews – Guilguiding UK
For more than 20 years Mary has been involved in all aspects of the provision of walking opportunity for young people between 5 and 26 years of age. She has been a key player in establishing and promoting opportunities for Adult Leaders to gain relevant experience and qualifications in order to raise the profile of walking.
As a competent and confident facilitator, Mary has provided walking opportunities, including hill-walking, orienteering and Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, giving even the smallest ‘Rainbow’ aged between 5 and 7 a taste of outdoor adventure. In her spare time Mary has also provided opportunities and encouraged countless young people in Clackmannanshire to attend courses in canoeing, abseiling, skiing and camping.
John McCrossan – Irish Football Association
John was nominated for his outstanding service as a volunteer in the North West of Northern Ireland. John describes himself as an inconsistent goalkeeper – a phrase familiar to a number of us!! At an early age he realised that to play and organise games was not always possible and put his energies into the administration of the game.
John was the founding Honorary Secretary of Strabane F.C. in 1961 and has been involved in the administration of the game for over 40 years, undertaking numerous roles during that period. Although involved at central level, it is at the grassroots that John is most recognised and at home.
A gentleman of the game, John is widely recognised throughout Northern Ireland as a true football man.
Terry Moore – The Amateur Swimming Association
In 1959 Terry was a founder member of Addington Swimming club and continues to be the mainstay of the Club. With a group of neighbours and the local community association, they pressurised Croydon Town Council to build a swimming pool at New Addington. Membership reached 100 at the end of the first year and when in 1963 the Club moved to the new pool at New Addington, there were 147 members with 70 on the waiting list.
Terry has held every position within the Club and for the past 46 years has been instrumental in every single decision the Club has taken. Leading by example, she has been in the thick of everything from foreign exchange visits to jumble sales and is responsible for all the administration. At the young age of 81, Terry spends hours on her feet teaching or officiating and drives hundreds of miles a year in the cause of swimming, all of course as a volunteer.
Alan Parker – Rugby Football League
For over 40 years Alan has worked tirelessly as a volunteer in Rugby Football League. He dedicates approximately 40 hours a week to the running of all Rugby League in Hull and is one of the most respected sports figures in the area.
The majority of Alan’s voluntary time is spent developing the Hull & District Youth Rugby League Association, where he currently holds the positions of Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer. Alan is the cornerstone of the Youth games in the area and attends numerous meetings each week to ensure that young people have the opportunity to participate in the sport. Through his efforts now over 700 of the young children take part in the weekly coaching sessions that take part in the summer.
Kelso Riddell – The Scottish Canoe Association
Some 20 years ago Kelso instigated the purchase of land at Grandtully and developed the site into the National White Water facility. He has organised slalom canoeing and white water racing events for more than 20 years, is a qualified Coach and has introduced hundreds of people, young and old, to the sport. These recruits have formed the backbone of both the Scottish and British Teams.
Kelso is currently the Honorary Treasurer and Director of the Scottish Canoe Association and Commodore of the Forth Canoe Club, recently arranging new premises for the Club.