On Wednesday 29th November 2006, 18 volunteers were recognised for their work in sports volunteering at the Army and Navy Club for the 44th anniversary.
Presented by Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex, each winner received their award for outstanding contributions after being nominated by their National Governing Body.
Details of recipients can be found below.
Harry Austin – The Football Association
Following the cessation of the Second World War, Harry and a group of friends formed Northampton East Park F.C., entering the Northampton Town Football League. During the next 42 years Harry was Chairman, Secretary, Manager, Player, Kit Manager, Fund Raiser and, perhaps more importantly, friend to many hundreds of players who gained much pleasure from the dedicated efforts put in by the man who became known as ‘Mr. East Park’.
Harry became an active and enthusiastic member in the management of the League and, in 1991, became the League Chairman, a position he holds to this day. In 1974 Harry was elected to serve on the County Football Association Council and has been an active contributor to the affairs of the Association, particularly in the area of youth football.
Dorian Brooksby – The Cricket Foundation
Dorian has led the Illingworth Cricket Club development for many years. This has included projects such as the refurbishment of the pavilion, the installation of all weather nets and obtaining ECB Clubmark and Focus Club status, to enable the Club to be part of the “Chance to Shine” programme and, through his work, many children in the area have been introduced to cricket. A volunteer for approaching 30 years, Dorian was a successful first XI Captain and has worked unstintingly as a Junior Coach for many years. He is now the Coach for all junior age ranges within the Club and, during the winter months, he coaches young cricketers in the Calderdale area. He has been the leading light in establishing links not only with the Illingworth Cricket Club, but also in the Calderdale district and, for the last 10 years, having obtained sponsorship, Dorian has run the Calderdale Primary Schools Kwik Cricket Tournament, involving 16 schools.
James Buchanan – The Royal Caledonian Curling Club
Jim suffered a physical disability as a result of a head injury, which caused a stroke when he was 34. After several months of treatment, Jim progressed from being totally paralysed to partial, to what we see today, a very enthusiastic senior gentleman. Jim has worked tirelessly for many years for the benefit of able bodied and disabled curlers.
Jim’s Club is the Greenlaw Curling Club, where he has held many positions including, Committee Member and President. In addition, he has held posts with the Border Province Club, the Borders Wheelchair Club, the Border Ice Rink Club, the Scottish Borders Council Disabilities Sports Group and the Royal Caledonian Curling Club.
Raymond and Teresa Finlay – Northern Ireland Orienteering Association
Although a very rare occurrence, the Trust is delighted to have the opportunity to make a joint Award to Raymond and Teresa Finlay. They have worked tirelessly for more than 20 years in the development of orienteering across the Province of Northern Ireland, but more particularly in their locality of County Fermanagh.
Between them, Raymond and Teresa have planned and organised numerous major events, including the Northern Ireland Championship and a highly successful British Relay Championship. They are the backbone of the local Club, Fermanagh Orienteers and are constantly involved in all aspects of the Club’s activities. They have also been very proactive in introducing the sport to many schools and youth clubs.
Emma King – The Rugby Football League
Emma has been coach of Stanley Rangers Under 8s for the past three seasons and has introduced more than 80 children into Rugby League in this period of time. Despite studying for a Degree and playing Rugby League herself, Emma always has time for her team, taking training twice a week and being there on match days. Emma has endless patience and each of her players is treated as an individual and is given the opportunity to develop their skills. She also organises trips for them, helping to develop the team spirit approach.
In her ‘spare time’ Emma acts as Junior Secretary and played a significant part in ensuring that the Club achieved the “Clubmark” status. The F.A. Premier League, a valued sponsor of the Torch Trophy Trust Awards, was pleased to identify Emma as a young volunteer in sport who plays a very significant role in ensuring that the young people in our communities, particularly in the city areas, are given the opportunity to participate in their chosen sport.
Martin Laws – British Gymnastics
Martin has made an outstanding contribution to the sport of Trampoline and has a phenomenal record of service to the sport over more than 27 years, as a Coach, Judge, Administrator, and Tutor and produced Great Britain’s second Olympic representative.
Martin established a Trampoline Club in Gillingham in 1979 and, after enormous hard work, he saw a state of the art centre with more than 15 trampolines opened in 1996. It is one of British Gymnastics High Performance Centres and the foremost trampolining centre in the country.Martin is described as a ‘top notch’ coach and has coached a number of British Internationals. He has also been an International Trampoline Judge for 18 years and has judged at World Championships and World Age Games, as well as being proactive in the computerisation of scoring for competitions and run courses for Computer Scoring.
Alison Lowndes-Knight – England Squash
Alison has been involved in Squash for many years, both as a player and an administrator. Most recently, she has been involved at the Hampden Juniors Squash Club as Junior Co-ordinator and during this time the Club has seen something of a revival. The Club has gone from having one junior to now successfully running three teams. Alison has attracted local sponsorship and in 2005 she obtained a grant of nearly £5,000 to inject new life into the Club. Alison was also able to obtain a grant from the local Sports Council in order to purchase display boards. Alison also set about establishing a range of coaching and competitive opportunities, including the introduction of After School and School Holiday Coaching, as well as a very successful Junior Tournament.
Michael Lubbock – Woodbridge Rugby Union Club
Michael has devoted his time and energy over the last 55 years to the promotion of Rugby Football. Michael captained his School Rugby Team and represented Norfolk and Eastern Counties Schools. He continued to play rugby throughout his National Service with the RAF and followed this with a three year Physical Education Course at Loughborough College.
A founder member of the Woodbridge Rugby Club in 1969, Michael became Club President in 1982 and remained in that position for 24 years and is now Life President of the Club. During this period he was eager to establish a Town Club that provides rugby football for as many as possible. Most noteworthy has been his endeavour to promote mini and youth rugby and, through the foundations he has laid, the Club now has a large and healthy mini and youth section.
Margaret Mauchline – Royal Calendonian Curling Club
In 1988 Stirling Ice Rink Young Curlers had dwindled to only a few keen teenagers when Margaret was asked to boost the Club membership. She has been actively involved as the lead Coach and organiser since then to the present day. The Club now numbers over 60 members aged 8 to 21 and covers all levels of ability from absolute beginners to those competing at national level. Regular activities include Saturday morning coaching sessions, international competitions, friendly matches with other clubs – home and away – and encouraging teams to take part in open competitions around Scotland.
As a Coach, Margaret has seen a number of her players achieve international success, including two players who won World Gold Medals, a Junior Men’s Team (all aged 13) who won several Junior Competitions in Scotland and a Team who qualified for the Scottish Junior Men’s Championship.
Bob Neill – Scottish Amateur Rowing Association
Bob took over the running of the George Heriot’s School Rowing Club over thirty years ago. At that time it was a small Club with little prospects but now it is one of the strongholds of Scottish Junior Rowing.
George Heriot’s School is based on the Union Canal in Edinburgh and it is accepted that this is not the best rowing water in Scotland, so Bob can be seen week after week driving a mini-bus and trailer to Glasgow or Strathclyde Park, to ensure that his crews have a better experience and better training opportunities. Most weekends Bob takes his rowers to events throughout Scotland and to major events in England. His crews also regularly gain selection for Scotland and Great Britain in international representative matches. None of this would have been possible without Bob’s personal efforts and thousands of youngsters would not have been introduced to rowing or the healthy experience it provides.
Janet Paul – UK Athletics
Janet has been involved in athletics for most of her life, starting as an athlete in the 1940’s. As an administrator, Janet’s major contribution has been to the establishment and continued development of Sports Hall Athletics in the West Midlands and Birmingham area. She has been the League Secretary of the Birmingham Division since its inception in the late 1970’s and it is one of the longest standing models in the United Kingdom.
The League offers competition for 9 to 15 year olds and has inspired, motivated and lifted thousands of youngsters to be better and move on to great success. Whilst 50% of the current League Clubs are original, the League has affected many more across the region and Janet’s drive and enthusiasm, hard work and effort, has maintained a strong format. The workforce remains young and vibrant as Janet encourages athletes to help and parents to step in. It is a winter programme, running from October to April and predominantly takes place in Birmingham, with Clubs travelling in from the surrounding region.
Sandra Perry – Swim Wales
Sandra has been an active volunteer in swimming for nearly 20 years, beginning, like many parents, when her daughter was a member of the Heads of the Valleys Swimming Club. It was not long before Sandra became more involved, taking the money on the door, becoming Membership Secretary and running the Swimshop, which included ordering supplies and passing on the discounts to the Club. Sandra also organised trips and other social activities for the Members, ensuring that there was something to suit everyone and that all benefited from the fun side of Club life. Another of Sandra’s skills is her catering ability, being relied upon to provide enough food to ‘feed an army’ at Club Presentations and Club Galas.
More recently Sandra’s direct involvement with the Club has reduced but her voluntary contribution to swimming has not, as she can now be found at Swim Wales events, where she caters for the Meet Staff and Officials.
Doris Rewcastle – The English Women’s Bowling Association
Doris has been Secretary of the Bishop Auckland Club for more years than anyone can remember. In addition, she has been County Competition Secretary since 1979 and was County President in 1980, 1983, 1985 and 1986.
Doris has been a County Bowler since 1967 and only retired from competitive play in 2002, when in her early 80’s. She also represented Durham at Inter-County level from 1970 and played in three winning teams of the coveted Johns Trophy in 1974, 1976 and 1979.
Margaret Robinson – The Lawn Tennis Association
Margaret has been involved with tennis for most of her life, as both a player and an administrator and has worked tirelessly at Club, County and National level on a voluntary basis. Her contribution began at Duffield Tennis Club and Margaret has also been the County Secretary for the Derbyshire Lawn Tennis Association for more than 20 years.
During Margaret’s service as the Derbyshire LTA County Secretary she has raised over half a million pounds in sponsorship money for the County and has worked tirelessly with a variety of local businesses to raise much needed funds. This has enabled the County to promote junior tennis throughout its region.
Michael Talbot – British Gymnastics
Mike’s involvement in Gymnastics began over 40 years ago. His contribution to the development of Gymnastics in Schools, Yorkshire Gymnastics, plus support for other Regions including Ireland and Scotland and British Gymnastics in general, has been immense, tireless and invaluable.
As Chairman of the Regions Committee, a Member of various Technical Committees and Coaching Panels, as well as being a Tutor, Examiner and Mentor, Mike has always had time for everyone, giving advice and sharing expertise. All those that know Mike, know that they can call upon him for assistance and advice and that this will be given in a very cheerful and friendly manner. Gymnastics has been his life and his ‘adopted’ family and, as he approaches his retirement as a volunteer, he will be sorely missed by all those who have benefited from his contribution to the sport of Gymnastics.
Tommy Thompson – The Rugby Football League
Without Tommy Thompson it is very easy to believe that The Copeland Stadium Trust and its current standing, as a very energetic volunteer based organisation, would have floundered. Tommy is a Trustee of the Copeland Stadium Trust and the Stadium was given to the present Trust some 8 years ago by the BNFL on the understanding that it would be maintained and developed and held in trust to support the development of the community game of Rugby League in Cumbria. During this time Tommy has led from the front and has ensured the necessary fund raising to ensure the Stadium remains operational.
Following his retirement from full time employment 2 years ago, Tommy has devoted all his time to raising over one million pounds from grants from the Local Authority, the RFL, the North West Development Agency, Coal Board Regeneration, UK Athletics and other sources, in order to upgrade the Stadium’s facilities.
David Wickens – The National Playing Fields Association.
Now in his mid-seventies, David has been associated with Newick Cricket Club for 47 years. He has worked tirelessly for the Club on a voluntary basis, holding a number of posts, including Treasurer and Secretary and has been the Club President since 2004. For the past 35 years, David has been groundsman for the Club, looking after the square and outfield on the King George V Playing Field, which is used every weekend, both on a Saturday and Sunday, as well has having a number of mid-week games played by both senior and junior teams.
William Wilson – The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards
As Leader in charge of the Wallace High School Award Unit, Bill has led that team with dedication, good humour and a total commitment for the younger citizens of Northern Ireland for more than a quarter of a century and remains a tremendous example in so many aspects of school and community life. The Award Unit at the School is ranked amongst the most successful in the Province in terms of Awards gained and overall participation.
Over 25 years later Bill retains not only his involvement but also serves as an Expedition Assessor with the Mournes Wild Country Panel, giving countless weekends to other young participants in addition to those within his own School. He has always sought to give his young people an experience rich in quality and has organised Expeditions to The Pyrenees and other mountain ranges in the Republic of Ireland and further a-field. For many young people in the City of Lisburn a ‘trip up the Mournes’ represents the pinnacle of their achievement.