Volunteers recognised at 2017 England Athletics Hall of Fame

Volunteers recognised at 2017 England Athletics Hall of Fame

Our congratulations to our 2017 National Volunteer Award winners who were presented and recognised at Hall of Fame and Volunteer Awards evening.  Eight awards were made to people, clubs and organisations who have given so much time and energy to the sport.  The categories were, Coach, Official, Club, Volunteer, Young Volunteer, Innovation Project, Run Group of the Year, plus Services to Athletics.

A little about each winner is detailed below, but you can find more information about this year's winners and those from previous years at www.englandathletics.org/volunteer-awards.  The evening also saw a number of Athletics Greats inducted into the England Athletics Hall of Fame, presentations made to three Ron Pickering Memorial Fund Athletes of the Year, plus the David Sunderland Memorial Bursary. Also in attendance were some of the athletes from the Nitro team that travelled to Australia in February, and some of our 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games team and staff.   Click here to read more.

Ron Pickering Memorial Fund

A coach and well-loved BBC commentator, Ron Pickering passed away in 1991 and since then the fund set up by his family the has raised and awarded over £1.5 million in small but very significant grants to over 2000 young British athletes, to help fulfil their potential.

Three Ron Pickering Memorial Fund 2017 Athletes of the Year are recognised:

  • U23 Athlete of the Year: Reece Prescod
  • U20 Athlete of the Year: Maya Bruney
  • U18 Athlete of the Year: Alastair Chalmers

Reece said that his form and wins had been seen as a breakthrough but he knew it was going to happen. Of his British Champs win and World Athletics races, "It was great being in front of a British crowd."

Maya said, "Getting gold really gives me a boost as I enter the Senior Age Group.  U23 is going to be tough but it's a real positive to see new athletes coming through."

Alistair said the additional funding has given him a real boost and would be really helpful for the additional travel and accommodation costs living in Guernsey ensues."

David Sunderland Memorial Bursary

The Memorial Bursary set up in David Sunderland's name was also presented - this aims to support development opportunities for coaches and the recipient this year is Bud Baldaro. England Athletics Head of Athlete and Coach Development, Martin Rush presented the award.

An enthusiastic schoolboy cross country runner in Birmingham, football was his passion... until as a 17-year-old Bud watched Ron Clarke shatter the world record for 3 miles at the 1965. He was hooked from then on.  A decent runner himself, primarily for Tipton Harriers, it was as a coach that he made an indelible impression on our sport. From 1977 he was involved and  after taking early retirement as a teacher, he became the endurance running coach at the University of Birmingham as well as holding other key posts.  He has coached at least 50 runners to international class, all of whom are united in their respect, admiration and affection for their mentor. Lisa York, who was the inspiration for Kelly Holmes to resume her dormant athletics career, Chicago marathon winner Marian Sutton, Eddie Wedderburn, Luke Gunn, Bev Hartigan and World medallist Hannah England to name a few.

Although in 2009 he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, he has continued to coach at the highest level as well as organising fun runs and charity events which have raised many thousands of pounds for research into the condition.  He retired from his role as national coach mentor at England Athletics in 2016.

Formal photos from the night by Mark Shearman
Informal photos by Nicola Evans

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