Trust History

The Torch Trophy Trust was founded in 1962 by the late Commander Bill Collins RN, whilst honorary development secretary of the Amateur Athletic Association.

In 1948 two Olympic torches were made for the last leg of the Olympic relay – one presented to the International Olympic Committee, the other presented to Commander Collins. In turn, Commander Collins presented it to the Torch Trophy Trust.

H J Bignall hands over to Fred Prevett at Redhill, Surrey during the Olympic Torch's progress from Dover to Wembley in 1948.

H J Bignall hands over to Fred Prevett at Redhill, Surrey during the Olympic Torch’s progress from Dover to Wembley in 1948.

Commander Collins believed the Olympic ideal, symbolised by the torch, could also be an inspiration for men and women working quietly in their own small corners of the world of sport. The torch became the Trust’s symbol and represents the  ideals which blend sport with culture and education within local communities across the United Kingdom.

Over the next few years and with the help of others, he approached many leading figures in sport and persuaded many to join him, including former Olympian, Sir Arthur Porritt, Sir Stanley Rous who served as President of FIFA between 1961 and 12974  and former England cricket captain, The Revd. David Sheppard.

The first Trust meeting was held in 1962 alongside a press conference, where a message of encouragement was received from The Duke of Edinburgh. Since then, the work of the Trust has gone from strength to strength in recognising outstanding achievement and providing support to hard working volunteers in sport.

The Sport and Recreation Alliance has provided the day-to-day support for the Trust since 1999.

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