Volunteer Awards 2015
Seven of our regional award winners received the National title in their category at our Hall of Fame and Volunteer Awards evening. Their details are below.
2015 Regional Award winners are announced prior to the National Awards and are awarded locally at their own special events; click on the region heading to find out more:
Club of the Year: Chelmsford Athletics Club
Chelmsford AC is an active, and continually growing club with a membership of over 350 athletes, which retains an inclusive, family atmosphere.
It promotes athletics through:
Outreach coaching to 15 senior schools in the Chelmsford area
Attracting new members due to its reputation for high quality of coaching including five coaches on the National Coach Development Programme across 5 disciplines, 3 coaches who have done disability inclusion training
Running an Academy to attract young athletes from disadvantaged areas
Providing Flying Coach visits to other clubs
Operating three satellite clubs
Encouraging and supporting coach and volunteer education
Recognising and publicising club and athlete achievements though a very active club web site, and weekly reports in the local press
The club has produced international athletes including Jess Judd, Hayley Mclean, Jess Tappin and Joshua Bain, all of whom actively support and inspire the next generation of athletes through their roles as Chelmsford City Council Sports Ambassadors.
John Weir, club representative, collected the award
Participation Project of the Year: Active Devon
Active Devon has worked with many different organisations and networks over the last year and has engaged more than 650 new beginner runners up to April 2015.
Active Devon has great relationships with a variety of organisations including College Sport Makers, Running Networks, Schools, Athletics and Running Clubs which help increase participation in many areas of Devon and particularly engaging harder to reach groups.
To give two examples - Active Devon worked to build a relationship with Force Cancer Charity and after consultation with the Cancer recovery patients there was a couch to 5k group formed specifically for them. Working with the local running network they identified the perfect leader to support this group.
They have also worked with a school to engage hard to reach parents working with the School Support Worker and Head Teacher.
Active Devon support volunteers to access a bursary scheme to become a Leader and then supports them in setting up beginner run groups across Devon.
Matt Evans and Tony Gale collected the award on behalf of Active Devon
Coach of the Year: Deborah Bray
Deborah coaches 6 sessions every week which includes one session at City of Salisbury AC and two at Marlborough & District Junior Athletics Club.
She is mentoring two Marlborough coaches through their Athletics Coach qualifications, coaches Mon-Thurs afternoons at local secondary school during the summer term and is involved in athletics camps at Easter and Summer.
Deborah’s work with Lavington Athletics Club has seen her grow a club for children of all abilities and with special needs. The club has linked with the Special Olympics for many years and she has set up link with Appleford Specialist Dyslexia School.
In 2015 she helped Wiltshire And Swindon Sport organise and run a local Inclusive QuadKids competition. Her work with Athlefit has seen her run sessions for pupils and staff from local secondary school doing a Charity Cycle Ride to Paris. She also runs winter Circuit sessions for public and different sports people. Aside from this she also serves as Disability Officer on Wiltshire Athletic Association Committee and a Field Official.
Run England Group / Leader of the Year: Fen Edge Runners, Tom Johnston & Luke Renouf
Fen Edge Runners’ Tom Johnston & Luke Renouf operate ‘pop up' beginners running groups in a number of different villages across their area. These are community based, progressive programmes that feed into the main Fen Edge Runners club sessions.
These sessions are all provided by Tom and Luke on a voluntary basis, and are aimed at local villages that have limited provision for sport and exercise. There are development of sessions aligned with local schools such as Swavesey Village College and Cottenham Academy, and workplace groups. These are all inclusive, no-pressure groups aimed at getting new people trying athletics.
Over 300 individuals attended the groups last year, the majority of whom are still running. They promote local parkruns and races as a goal for people completing the group sessions, in addition to local clubs. Tom and Luke are great role models and inspirational leaders.
Services to Athletics: Stewart Harris
Stewart Harris has made a huge contribution to the administration of the sport and as a technical official.
His roles in the sport over his years of service include being a past President of Warwickshire Schools Association, Warwickshire County Athletics Association, the Midland Counties AA and the Birmingham Invitation Cross Country League. His contribution to these organisations and the sport goes beyond these roles. He has also assisted Schools, County and Area athletics for over 50 years.
He is still very active in the sport and in his role as an official referees most of the Warwickshire Road Race League races in the summer, a number of cross country events in the winter and still finds time to act as a field judge/ referee, particularly for schools events.
Unfortunately Stewart could not attend this evening; he is pictured receiving his West Midlands Regional Award.
Volunteer of the Year: Tobias Nwenwu
Tobias is a great role model for young coaches. He is mature beyond his years. For the last five years Tobias has been helping out as a club coach at Wolverhampton and Bilston, for three of those years he has been coaching a group of adults with special needs.
His coaching always achieves a high level of enjoyment for the athletes and his inventive approach to the sessions sets him apart. He has progressed to take total charge of all of his club’s young coaches on club night. This has enabled the club to set up a completely new section which has swelled the younger numbers of the club dramatically introducing athletics to many new people.
He has been asked by Wolverhampton Wanderers to help deliver their involvement in sport at different schools within the city. This has again helped his club in recruiting new young members. He also organises excellent Startrack style weeks during school holidays. Tobias manages to do all of this and still take his sports science degree at Wolverhampton University.
Official of the Year: Malcolm Fletcher
Malcolm has been a tireless worker at all levels of the sport for more than 25 years. As a field judge, meeting manager, county chairman and general administrator his attention to detail and enthusiasm is outstanding.
Malcolm has remained loyal to grassroots athletics, regularly officiating at club open meetings, local and national leagues and County Championships. He is Championship Secretary for Northern Athletics across all age-groups. At national level, he has officiated regularly at National Championships and televised events for the last 15 years. He managed the Warm-Up Stadium for the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and was Equipment Officer for the 2012 Olympic Games and continues to play a major part in the England Athletics Combined Event Championships.
Regardless of the level of competition, Malcolm sets himself the highest standards as a Technical Official. At the same time, he has an unfailingly sympathetic understanding of the needs of athletes, particularly when he is working with young athletes.
Throughout his career, Malcolm has encouraged others to become involved in officiating. He is always ready to share his extensive knowledge with others and make helpful suggestions to up and coming officials. Malcolm’s enthusiasm is infectious and he has tutored and then mentored a significant number of officials, many of whom have gone on to officiate at the highest levels.