South East volunteer awards
The England Athletics regional volunteer awards evenings are held to recognise and celebrate the work of our volunteers, without whom the sport could not function. Volunteers were nominated by their peers and the England Athletics regional councils then made the decisions of who would win.
Winners are put forward to the National awards which are presented at our Hall of Fame gala evening on 14th October at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry. Click here to find out more about our Hall of Fame.
We are pleased to announce the South East Volunteer Award winners are:
- Coach of the Year: Bronwin Carter of City of Portsmouth AC
- Official of the Year: Dawn Hookway of Tonbridge AC
- RunTogether Leader / Group of the Year: Sandi Starling of Hamstreet Runners
- Volunteer of the Year: John Bayley of Reading AC
- Young Volunteer (14-25) of the Year: Anne Flitcroft of Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC
Services to Athletics: Tony Roberts of Worthing & District Harriers
Their award nominations are reproduced below. The South East regional awards presentation evening has not yet taken place, but we will add photos after the event.
Coach of the Year – Bronwin Carter of City of Portsmouth AC
Bronwin Carter has coached javelin and shot put at City of Portsmouth AC for 35 years. She works tirelessly, often training 5-6 days per week with over 20 javelin throwers and 15 shot putters along with 6 disabled athletes ranging from the age of 10-49 years old, of both genders and from very varied backgrounds. Her dedication to her throwers is outstanding even when she is unwell. She never misses a session, whatever the weather. She also regularly travels at her own expense to support her athletes at competitions.
She recently took a UK contingent of throwers ranging from 12-49 years old to the Finland Javelin Carnival and coached all week alongside top Finnish coaches. Her nominator writes, "As a mentor, Bronwin is amazing; I have been her assistant for four years and I am still drawing on her vast knowledge and learning new things every week. She is also a very renowned and respected coach within the throws coaching community."
Bronwin recently had two Under 18 girls competing for England in the Commonwealth Youth Games. She also had five throwers selected to represent Hampshire at the English Schools Finals in Birmingham. Currently she has 11 athletes ranked in the top 19 in the UK across all age groups. She has two disabled athletes both ranked in the top three in the UK.
Considering Bronwin’s never ending commitment to her athletes and to every member at City of Portsmouth AC she is recognised with the South East Coach of the Year award.
Official of the Year – Dawn Hookway of Tonbridge AC
Dawn continues to put in an unprecedented number of hours as a track official, not only for her home club of Tonbridge but for virtually every athletics meeting that the Club attend in the country from county events to national events. She is unfailingly cheerful and supportive to all that she deals with and has an innate sense of fairness in her dealings with athletes. In addition to her officiating duties, which take up virtually every weekend during the seasons, she also does as much as she possibly can for her club. You would be hard pressed to find a more dedicated official or supporter of young people in athletics, especially as her children are now grown up and therefore she no longer needs to be at matches to support them.
RunTogether Group or Leader of the Year – Sandi Starling of Hamstreet Runners
The nominator wrote, "Sandi is the greatest run leader you can ever ask for; she is friendly, helpful and passionate about running. She gives up her Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings to organise her rabble of runners. On Saturday mornings, after the more experienced runners have finished, she stays behind and runs a beginner’s club too for those not used to running. She is an inspiration to many and deserves to be recognised as an amazing woman and run leader. She makes sure we have all signed in to run and tells us off if we have forgotten; she keeps us in check, but in a very friendly way. She organises our run routes often a couple of weeks in advance. During marathon running season, Sandi will drive around on our long runs, providing us with support and water. In winter, she will go out and spread salt about on our routes before we run to make sure we don’t slip over. What a woman. I know all RunTogether groups will say this about their leader, but Sandi really does go exceed expectations for us. She even organises many competitions and fun runs for us all to do throughout the year. She is a winner."
Volunteer of the Year – John Bayley of Reading AC
The nominator wrote, "John Bayley has supported me and my older brothers from the moment we joined the Reading Athletics Club. He is always at the training ground come rain or shine and is always present at every competition encouraging us all and willing us to be the best we can be. His dedication to the Reading Athletics Club is immeasurable."
Young Volunteer of the Year – Anne Flitcroft of Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC
Anne is only 18 and has worked very hard to become a level 3 official. She has shown many people that dedication and hard work can take you anywhere. Anne has successfully officiated many competitions, and officiated at the IAAF World Championships in London this summer. The nominator wrote, "Like many people, I am so proud of this young lady, and I have watched her grow as a person. The support she has given to many young athletes is inspiring."
Services to Athletics – Tony Roberts of Worthing & District Harriers
Tony Roberts, the starter, is very well-known, liked and recognised not only by his fellow officials but also by the many runners and athletes in Sussex. Toby has been a mainstay of Sussex Athletics for well over 20 years, enabling athletes of all ages and events to get off their marks in track, cross country, road and indoor athletics races and his contribution to Sussex Athletics has been immense. His willingness to turn out with his guns at any event at any time, frequently with little prior notice and always with a big smile on his face makes him a most popular figure, and his longevity and dependability as a starter is unrivalled.
As a sprinter with Worthing Harriers AC he represented Sussex county, lifting championship titles, making him fully versed in the athlete’s requirements from a starter. He has been able to translate this into a very strong but very sympathetic attitude towards all competitors, whether they are under-13’s at their first meeting or experienced seniors at higher levels.
He is an official who has gone way beyond the normal course of duty, season after season, in championships, leagues for all age groups at county, club and schools' competitions including many fund-raising events for local charities. Tony is one of those ‘ever present’ officials without whom the sport would not, could not, function.