08.Oct.12 North East recognise their Volunteers
The North East Regional Awards - sponsored by Northern Powergrid - were held on Monday 1st October 2012 at the Gateshead International Stadium. It was the opportunity to celebrate all that is good in our sport, and a chance to say thank you to all the volunteers who make athletics what it is.
Local Club and Coach Support Officer John Stacey said, "It is time to reflect on a fantastic year for our sport with friends and colleagues from across the region, and to recognise the special efforts people in this room have made over the last 12 months and more."
Before the presentations, there was a short summary of what services England Athletics could provide to volunteers both locally and nationally as well as the generic support through affiliation including iInvestment in competition, support For Facility Providers, welfare, insurance and of course the Awards Programme itself. In addition in the North East, Northern Powergrid provide sponsorship for the Regional Awards, and a funding pot for local clubs to apply to engage new participants and develop new opportunities and support to athletes who take a role in inspiring young people as Athletic Ambassadors.
The three new Run England Awards were presented by North Area Coordinator For Run England, Craig Blain.
Run England Group Of The Year: Pink Ladies Running Group
Runner Up: SeafRUNt Smilers
The Pink Ladies is a ladies only group, started by a local leader who wanted a change from facility based exercise classes. Started initially through word of mouth, the first night was a cold, wintery rainy night but 14 willing ladies turned up. Since then a number of runners have gone on to join or attend training sessions at the local running club. Members have taken part in numerous races this year such as Race for Life, Darlington and Richmond 10k and have raised money for a number of charities.
Run England Leader Of The Year: David Savage
Runners Up: Ian Young & Mike Powell
David has created and developed a running group which nurtures personal self-confidence, instils a belief in teamwork, improves people’s health and has seen many new friendships blossom. Some members have commented on their weight loss, others are really happy to be able to run for a period of time without stopping, and virtually all of the group now take part regularly in the Sunderland 5k Parkrun. His nominator stated, "As a someone new to running I joined The SeafRUNt Smilers in October 2010. Since then I have managed to run 5K and 10K races. This is all due to the dedication and commitment of David leading the group. He understands the beginner and never pushes anyone too far. I can’t thank him enough for the impact he has had on my health and wellbeing since I joined the group."
Run England Project Of The Year: Run North Tyneside
Runner Up: CPAL (Changing Physical Activity Landscape)
During 2010 Run North Tyneside had 410 attendances at its one group. In 2012 with 7 new sessions, there have been 820 since April. Around 70 people run with the groups per week. Two sessions are progressive beginners groups, two are intermediate and some buggy push sessions are proving popular with the local mums in the community. The sessions have given purpose, direction and company for individuals who have become unemployed or have experienced redundancy. Continued weight loss for at least 5 runners who have been diagnosed with clinical obesity and a BMI over 30. The project has been a huge success and continues to form an integral part of the offering for the people of North Tyneside.
Northern Powergrid Athletics ambassador presenting the awards was Becky Lyne - European Junior and Under 23 Champion and medallist.
Athletics Network of the Year: Northumberland Athletics Network
Runner Up: NOTAN
With the help of the Network 20 new coaches have qualified, and also trained 40 young leaders to act as officials at young athlete events. The Network have helped develop the junior section of clubs with SCUK courses and delivered Sportshall competitions in both the school and club pathways, ensuring young people get an opportunity to have their first experience of the sport. In addition they have delivered numerous Star:track camps to generate income and work towards becoming self sustaining beyond England Athletics funding. The Network has worked closely with local partners to maximise resources and share expertise within the county.
Development Club Of The Year: Heaton Harriers
Runner Up: Tyne Bridge Harriers
The club has gone from having no junior section to having over 20 members each week and still growing. The club is a social hub of activity, and held a BBQ for all members whilst holding a long distance race for all juniors to practice in a competition. Within the last year, Harriers has been a pro-active club, constantly seeking ways to develop and working with local clubs through NOTAN. They continue to have a visible presence in the local community and are training more coaches to cater for the growing numbers of juniors interested in taking part.
Young Volunteer Of The Year: Lais Takiguchi
Runner Up: Chris Laidlaw
Lais is a college student starting University in September. and although she started out doing nothing within athletics, she has given up her spare time whenever she can to help at different events and projects which NOTAN has going on. She now volunteers at every event NOTAN holds, from writing up the results at the QuadKids events, to being the first aider, or helping with refreshments. She will also help officiate if needed. She has been an invaluable member of the team, and always has a smile on her face.
Development Coach Of The Year: Steve Hay
Runner Up: Tim Dredge
Steve has been working with the younger elements of Middlesbrough AC Mandale for over 4 years now and his multidisciplinary approach towards his young athletes combined with his fair calm and relaxed and positive manner has seen his athletes excel at a local level, with 2 NECAA champions and a host of other medals from within his young group.
Community Partner of the Year: Tony Blair Sports Foundation
Runner Up: Blyth Valley Arts and Leisure
The Tony Blair Sports Foundation was launched in the North East by the former Prime Minister and its aims and objectives are to recruit, train and place more coaches into athletics for the benefit of children and communities. The team at the Tony Blair Foundation work tirelessly for the greater good of Sport, including Athletics in the North East. Staff members help and encourage everyone they can to get involved in sport, and without them the clubs and volunteers of the region would find it far more difficult to progress in their chosen path.
Peter Stanley, England Athletics National Coach Mentor For Triple Jump made the next presentations.
Services To Volunteering: Kevin Carr
Runner Up: David Savage
Sunderland Harriers Chairman Kevin Carr has served his Club as athlete coach and administrator for the past 52 years. Over the past 41 years Kevin has organised road and cross country events for the athletes of the North East. Kevin has served on the District Committee for over 30 years and is at almost all road and cross country events as Race Referee or Results Recorder;he is also the area race licence Secretary. Kevin also writes two Athletic columns per week for the Sunderland Echo. Almost all of his spare time for over 40 years has been devoted to our sport.
Services To Disability Athletics: Victoria Spence
Since coming into post as the North of Tyne Athletics Network Co-ordinator, Victoria has worked hard to further improve the athletics provision for people with disabilities across the North East. One of her key achievements has been working in partnership to establish and develop a disability athletics training group for young people with disabilities across the North East. The first training day, which was held in February, was fantastic with 17 athletes signing up in total. This has continued to be delivered throughout the year, with inclusive competition opportunities being created for the young people as well as the training they receive.
Services To Coaching: Ron Stewart
Runner Up: Brian Walsh
Ron is an extremely dedicated coach who for over 25 years has always been there. Even at the age of 71, he is at the club twice a week whether its sunny or snowing (and even if the whole region is underwater with floods)! He doesn’t just turn up for the sessions though, he has taken time to plan and arrange the sessions so that his athletes can excel regardless of their level of ability or ambition. Unfortunately Ron couldn’t attend the evening, so Diane Williams accepted the award on his behalf.
Services To Athletics: Ed Lown
Runner Up: Kevin Flannery
Ed Lown has been involved in the shaping of athletics over the last 30+ years in both at his club, Birtley AC, and across the NE of England. He has dedicated both his and his family’s lives (as they are also all involved and have supported him) to the good of athletics. He has been a great fund raiser for the club enabling athletes to participate across the whole of the country and keeping the club in a healthy position financially to make sure they can support coaches, volunteers and athletes for years to come. He is involved in delivering star:track camps to local children, is heavily involved in the county and Regional Sportshall competitions and for over 25 years has ensured that the local community in Birtley have an athletics club they can trust.
Northern Power Grid – the company that owns and operates the electricity distribution networks in Yorkshire, northern Lincolnshire and the North-east - is proud to support England Athletics through its corporate sponsorship programme. The company are proud to sponsor the “Get Switched on to Athletics” programme which aims to help aspiring athletes from the region reach their full potential and follow their dream to compete in the 2012 Olympics and beyond.
You can visit Northern Power Grid’s England Athletics micro-site, which includes interviews with some of the region’s young athletes, training plans and a body mass index (BMI) calculator, by visiting http://athletics.northernpowergrid.com/page/index.cfm
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