Volunteer Awards 2016
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 and photos from the night will be uploaded soon.
Volunteer Regional winners 2016 are announced via our news section. Click here for the National Award news article.
Click on the region to find out more:
London East South East South West West Midlands East Midlands North East North West Yorkshire & Humberside
Club of the Year: Bridgnorth Athletics Club
This has been a year of unprecedented success for Bridgnorth AC, with significantly increased membership and exception performances from the Club’s athletes.
Bridgnorth is a community and family orientated club which focusses on junior athletes; active membership of 9-18 year olds at the Club has increased by 20% to over 120 this year. This reflects strong and effective partnerships with local schools, both secondary and primary and the success of initiatives like using athlete role models at ‘This Girl Can’events. The Club is an integral part of the town’s community, taking part in youth and charity events.
This year, for the first time ever the Club has swept the board in all the Shropshire junior team competitions by winning the XC league, the Sportshall competition and, against much larger clubs, the track & field league. In terms of participation, the Club regularly entered teams of 40+ athletes across all age groups in these league matches.
The Clubs’ exceptional success reflects both the development of athletes and the high level of commitment and participation that the Clubs’ ethos encourages. This resulted in winning a record 78 medals (including 42 golds) at the Shropshire County Championships in May. Also, 3 athletes broke long-standing records at these championships. These and other talented athletes have been nurtured by the team of dedicated coaches, with 18 athletes representing the county this year and 4 competing at English Schools, where they achieved notable success: 2nd place (JB 1500m) and a 4th place (IB 800m).
Club representatives Stuart Hamilton and Paul Boden collected the award from England Athletics Board member Mike Harris
Participation Project of the Year: Greater Peterborough Athletics Network
GPAN is a growing network made up of nine affiliated athletics and road running clubs, and is supported by two active partners; Advance Performance and Vivacity. GPAN proactively supports the growth of athletics in Greater Peterborough through the delivery of a wide range of participation projects, including;
- GPAN/TDA Satellite Club, which has seen over 100 new participants.
- GPAN/TDA Girls Running Group to support under-represented groups.
- GPAN Try the Track programme providing fortnightly track sessions to all road runners within the network ran by qualified coaches. An average 60-70 runners from across GPAN clubs take part each session.
- GPAN Runner's Workshops.
- GPAN Green Wheel Relay in which 36 teams took part this year over a 50mile course - income generator for the network helping them to sustain and invest in other participation and community projects.
GPAN works in partnership with a number of organisations to provide additional opportunities within the community:
- Coach led ‘Get Fit 4 the East’ track training sessions in lead up to the Perkins Great Eastern Run.
- Leader led lunchtime running sessions in partnership with Peterborough City Council targeting employees at local workplaces.
- Inclusive Try the Track sessions offering a British Sign Language interpreter, working in partnership with a local deaf charity.
GPAN proactively supports volunteers across all member clubs by providing:
- Popular Coach Development Workshops;
- Female coach development support;
- Opportunities for young coaches to deliver the GPAN Summer Scheme;
- Road Traffic Management and First Aid Courses for Officials.
Network Chairman Tim Cook collected the award from England Athletics Board member Mike Harris
Coach of the Year: David Millett
David is Head Coach of Youth Development at Marshall Milton Keynes AC, delivering Athletics 365 to all junior athletes who come through the club, developing their overall athleticism to achieve in their event group that follows. He has become one of the best known deliverers of Athletics 365 in the country and has delivered an impressive number of workshops and flying coach visits across the country this year. Just recently he was asked to deliver an Athletics 365 and youth development workshop in Gibraltar.
At event group level, David is also an excellent Hurdles Coach. His passion to share knowledge and facilitate the development of both coaches and athletes contributes significantly to developing athletes of the future.
David has become a Leap (Bucks & MK County Sports Partnership) grassroots mentor in the last year supporting a female athletics coach delivering at Stowe School - developing her ability to work with young athletes and linking them in with the local senior club Marshalls Milton Keynes AC. He has also agreed to continue this role in to the 2nd year of the programme supporting two further female coaches from the Vale of Aylesbury Athletics Club.
His mentoring role does not stop there as he has also been trained up as a Leap Talent Foundation Programme Coach Developer in recent months which will support coaches working with athletes who are in the talent pathway. The effort and commitment of David to mentor athletics coaches in the last 12 months is having a huge impact on raising coaches standards locally.
David collected the award from Andrew Upton-Ford of sponsors Sweatshop
Run England Group of the Year: Love Running Tuesday Nighters
Jo Randall and her husband Simon opened their IoW running shop - Love Running - in 2011. Realising that there was nothing available locally to encourage new runners take up the sport, they launched a small, free social running group on a Tuesday night. From 10 runners that first night, over 200 people are now registered, with over 90 regularly attending each week.
Jo has worked closely alongside the Sports Development department at the IoW council, who initially supported the group by hosting a Leadership in Running Fitness (LiRF) course, and now continuing to register her members.
Jo encouraged local runners to get LiRF qualified, and now has a bunch of enthusiastic Group Leaders able to assist at the group which means it can be split into more manageable sizes, offering new activities and challenges to keep the sessions interesting.
Jo regularly holds special events and competitions for her group members, and likes to celebrate occasions like their 100th attendance by presenting the member with a specially designed mug. And also arranged big birthday run to celebrate 3 years of the group.
Jo’s continual enthusiasm, and the group dynamics has provided support for those recovering from cancer, encouraged ex-smokers get fit and active, helped people lose weight, and newcomers make friends. This embodies the whole ethos of what a Run England group is about.
In the absence of winner Jo Randall, Neil Deans collected the award from Andrew Upton-Ford of sponsors Sweatshop
Volunteer of the Year: Paul Pickard
Paul became involved, with Stevenage AC as a parent, but soon got involved as an active volunteer. During the past 12 months, Paul has undertaken the roles of coach, official, team manager and valued committee member. Having got the ‘running bug’ with SNHAC Paul volunteered to train as a coach and now specialises in middle distance coaching. His squad caters for all appropriate ages, abilities and includes several athletes with disabilities.
An active level 2 Field Official, Paul is always on the lookout for ways to extend himself and he is currently training as a Starter/Marksman and Photo Finish official. At the same time Paul actively engages in mentoring new officials and supporting them to gain experiences both at club and county levels.
Paul also team manages the EYAL Girls' team, Masters Mens’ team, Mid-Week League Road Running team, and is a valued member of the Club committee who additionally attends the various league committees. Resulting from Paul's enthusiasm the rejuvenated road running group have risen to 6th place during 2016. Under Paul’s inspirational leadership the veteran mens’ team, in only their second year, has progressed to 2nd in 2016. Without Paul, the teams would probably never have formed and without his constant encouragement would not have achieved the placings they have this year.
In a club which is privileged to have many willing volunteers Paul stands out as an exceptional volunteer and club member who we believe to be most deserving of the award for Volunteer of the Year.
Paul collected the award from David Barnett of sponsors Track & Field Tours
Official of the Year: Alan Bell
Alan is nationally known as a starter for IAAF events worldwide. As a member of the Technical Advisory group he write teaching manuals for trainee starters and marksmen which are used throughout the UK.
However the North East sees him starting local events at all levels, from Northern Athletics Senior men and women's league, Youth development league, North East Youth development league, North East Grand Prix and even the minor athletes (ages 8-11) at Gateshead Stadium.
Whenever a call for starters is made, Alan is nearly always the first to reply and is always available when his international commitments allow. He gives talks to the North East Officials Group's AGM about his experiences overseas and plays a full and leading part in all North east athletics activities.
Alan collected the award from Lee Munn of sponsors Track & Field Tours
Services to Athletics: Mike Davies
Mike Davies' involvement in athletics goes back about 60 years. He was a very competent and versatile athlete competing for club and county to British League standard in throws, high jump and hurdles. His club career started with Eastbourne Rovers, then Liverpool Harriers, before moving to Coventry Godiva finally joining Blackheath Harriers in 1977.
He started 'putting back' into the sport in 1959 when he got his coaching qualification. Not content with coaching, in the 1980s, he added field judging to his skills soon after and regularly found himself both competing and officiating at club fixtures. Finally he has undertaken many administrative duties in the sport both at club and county level. He was Development Officer for Kent from 1996-2000, club officials secretary since 1985 and President of Blackheath and Bromley in 2000.
His records set at V50 and V60 for hammer still stand at the club some 20 to 30 years later. His contribution to coaching has been recognised by the British Athletics Supporters club in the hammer discipline.
His professionalism, technical competence and knowledge are a credit to the sport. His enthusiasm and dedication remains along with a deep commitment to athletics which means he is still out and about over 200 days a year; whether it's coaching, officiating, organising match officials, liaising on league arrangements, ensuring we have team managers in place or keeping our local track manager in line. All this at an age when most are merely planning their next luncheon club visit.
Mike collected the award from President of UK Athletics Jason Gardener
Formal photos from the night taken by Gary Mitchell