04.Oct.12 East Midlands award their volunteers
Athletics enthusiasts made their way from across the region to attend the 2012 England Athletics East Midlands Awards Ceremony at the Quorn Grange Hotel near Loughborough. The presentations were performed by Chris Jones, Acting CEO for England Athletics, and by some regional councillors to the following recipients.
Chris commented, "During 2012 the important role of the volunteer has been captured in shining lights through the work of the Games Makers, the officials and the other volunteers who have made this year such a special one. Whilst the Games Makers rightfully received extensive media coverage through the national press and television, at a local level volunteering is part and parcel of our great sport. To recognise the specific winners of the 2012 East Midlands volunteer awards at this event was both fitting and representative of the wide ranging effort going on across the region as a whole and on a regular basis."
Development Club of the Year – Newark AC
The club has a very effective working relationship with other clubs in Nottinghamshire. They work with 2 other clubs to share training facilities and encourage members to join other clubs in events where specific coaching is not available. There has been a significant increase in new members in the last 12 months and athletes are now competing at a higher level and now have access to a wider range of competitive opportunities with the club entering the Lincolnshire League and NJAL as part of a composite team for the first time. The club has also established strong links with local schools and are in the process of establishing a Run England group.
Athletics Network of the Year – Leicestershire Vision 2020 Network
The coach and run leaders committee which was formed during 2011 is now a thriving and driving force behind the initiatives taking place at ground level and this continues to grow in strength and enthusiasm. From these initiatives clubs have begun to work more closely together and have subsequently shared training sessions and coaches.
The Network has also been involved in competition provision having organised a 3 match Club Quadkids league and in conjunction with the county association a 3 match Sportshall Athletics league. It has also taken over the running and organisation of the UKs biggest primary schools cross country league and has turned this, against all odds into a commercially viable and ultimately profitable project. Sustainability has been a key focus from the beginning and the Network has, very importantly, worked towards its long term future by becoming a financially viable organisation and is well on target to produce 75% sustained income in the coming year.
Partnership of the Year – Bassetlaw District Council & Worksop Harriers
This award goes to someone who only became a qualified coach in 2011 and has since moved on to become coaching co-ordinator and Rushcliffe AC. She has implemented a very successful Athletics 365 programme for U11s, which has now been extended to the U13s and was subsequently appointed 365 Ambassador for the Notts Network providing assistance and encouragement to other clubs. Her keenness and drive has resulted in new initiatives being established at the club which include:
In addition to her club involvement, she has worked tirelessly to promote athletics in the local community.
Services to coaching – Ted Grey
From his base at Mansfield he runs weekly sessions for athletes and coaches. These sessions are open to all comers and athletes from several different clubs regularly attend. For over 12 years he has been the inspirational Co-ordinator and lead coach at the Northwood Academy of Hurdles. He is also the author of a 36 page booklet entitled “Guide to Coaching Young Hurdlers.”
He has delivered regular sessions across the region as part of England Athletics Flying Coach programme at clubs in South Yorkshire, the West Midlands and the East Midlands. He has delivered local sessions supporting Networks and clubs. From these sessions clubs have nurtured their own coaches and set up local hurdles squads where they previously did not operate. This has resulted in an increase in the number of coaches coaching hurdles and an increase in athletes competing in hurdle competitions.
She has given her time not only to organising events and ensuring accessibility to groups, but also to support individual athletes to progress through to National level competition, or to gain funding for specialist equipment to allow them to progress within their discipline. Her enthusiasm and passion has been the driving force for disability athletics in Leicestershire for a number of years, seeing the development group become a well respected body by local and national agencies, and key part of disability sport within Leicestershire and beyond.
She supports all levels of competitions as an official from Sportshall and QuadKids right through to national championships level at schools and clubs; and across all disciplines including track and field, road and cross country. This year alone she has attended over 50 competitions.
She is also heavily involved with officials' education and is very supportive with the personal development of technical officials together with the recruitment and retention of new officials. Conscious that new officials were unwilling to travel to attend courses she was responsible for organising a level 2 technical officials training day locally in Nottinghamshire which recruited 12 new track judges and 14 new field judges. She is now currently mentoring two new officials and was also involved with the Olympic Games as an athletics umpire.
Nick has become more and more involved in facilities maintenance and supports the annual inspections visits of tracks process. Nick regularly carries out track inspections, writes reports and advises on equipment replacement and purchase.
Services to Volunteering – Margaret Madden
She also plays an integral part in ensuring home matches are smoothly run at Harvey Hadden as she shares the responsibility of making all the officials lunches and serving them from the club canteen all day.
As well as ensuring the club has been well represented in all the Young Athletes League matches during 2011 and 2012 she has managed to fit in studying for A levels with regularly helping behind the clubs tea bar and officiating various events. She has been described as someone who throws herself into many club activities and always with a smile on her face!
He runs an under 9s session weekly before the main club session and attracts over 30 youngsters. He also coaches a group of athletes three times each week at the club plus he goes in to local schools to deliver sessions. He has set up a satellite club at a school away from the club HQ and supported a club member to gain a LIRF qualification and to set up a Run England Group.
He is also heavily involved in event organisation and as a race organiser facilitates 12 races each year. This year he was also involved in the organization of an Olympic Torch style event which went through the local community.
These next 2 awards are both new categories for 2012 and will be presented together as the person who has one the Run England Group Leader of the Year is also the driving force behind the Run England Group of the Year. Fiona Fianda is the Leader who is picking up the first award for her enthusiasm and drive to ensure that everyone succeeds in achieving their goals. Fiona started Rushden Runners in early 2011 as a beginners group and has grown to include both established runners and those individuals new to running. Fiona has made running a fun and a very sociable activity which has been the secret to the group’s success. Group members have become friends and developed a real enthusiasm for running, which has lead them to regularly take part in 5 and 10K runs, Parkruns, marathons and fun runs.
The group has over 50 people registered and they regularly introduce new beginner courses to bring new people into the group. They work in partnership with Wellingborough & District Athletics Club who signpost any new runners to the group and in return, Rushden Runner signpost any interested runners to W&DAC. The group now organises regular social events and even has its own Facebook page!
Working together with the local Activator they have continued to support and assist with driving forward the project which is now well on course to exceed the targets set. This project has recruited the highest number of Run England registered members in any county in the country and this is set to continue as the two organisations maintain a close working relationship, working together to create a positive and supportive environment to promote and progress recreational running in the county.
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