South East volunteer award winners

The Volunteer Awards 2018 are a chance to celebrate and recognise the unsung heroes amongst all of our volunteers in the Athletics and Running community - volunteers across England have been nominated in 10 categories, and the winners in each of the nine Regions will be recognised then put forward to our National Volunteer Awards.

Our England Athletics regional Volunteer Awards presentation evenings are now complete and the South East awards were presented on 4 October in Guildford. Ten South East Region winners received their awards.

The winners are listed here and excerpts from their nominations are below.

  • Spirit of 2012 Award: Bracknell AC Game Changers
  • Inclusion Award: Abigail Hamilton (Itchen Spitfires)
  • Athletics or Running Club of the Year: Crawley Run Crew
  • Coach of the Year: Conrad Milton
  • RunTogether Group of the Year: So Let’s Go Running
  • RunTogether Leader of the Year: Portia Simond
  • Volunteer of the Year: Jack Rutherford
  • Young Volunteer of the Year: Charlotte Webb
  • Official of the Year: Julian Starkey
  • Services to Athletics or Running: Ray Scovell

Spirit of 2012 Award: Bracknell AC Game Changers

Game Changers is a volunteer support programme that supports clubs to expand their volunteering provision. Although Phase 1 & 2 were focused on young people, phase 3 (applications now open!) is looking to move into under-represented groups.

Our Spirit of 2012 winner is a group of young volunteers who have embraced the Game Changer programme. All qualified assistant coaches, they have increased the capacity of the club, allowing 50 athletes to come into the club from the waiting list. They run and officiate QuadKids and Sportshall competitions, have demonstrated huge growth as part of the Game Changer programme, growing in confidence, developing leadership, communication and organising skills and learning to work with youngsters who have learning and emotional disabilities. 6 of the group have gained Games Force Awards in Sports Volunteering, 5 have completed online Disability Inclusion Training, and 3 have attended a Cerebral Palsy Leadership Workshop.

Inclusion Award: Abigail Hamilton (Itchen Spitfires)

As a club Itchen Spitfires are all about Inclusion. John and Rachel Grant launched the club back in December 2014. People are encouraged and included regardless of race, gender, sexuality and disability. Everyone is encouraged to reach their full potential regardless of ability and speed. Over the last few years the club has developed to be even more accepting and inclusive of mental health. A mental health ambassador was appointed. Since Abigail Hamilton was appointed she has arranged with the help of the Run Directors and committee the Spitfires regularly hold Run and Talk sessions in replace of the normal Thursday night club run. Abigail co ordinates that everyone runs and talks together, followed by a social event afterwards - sometimes including pizza. I feel proud to be part of such an inclusive club that is growing all the time. Our motto really is embraced Together As One.

Athletics or Running Club of the Year: Crawley Run Crew

Crawley Run Crew is a club that caters for all abilities. They have grown to over 170 members, and started running beginners courses. They work in conjunction with Crawley Council, and mental health charity Sussex Oakleaf. They have joined the West Sussex Fun Run League, raising over £1000 for a local charity They have doubled their volunteer numbers, and are increasing activity for the local BAME community.

Coach of the Year: Conrad Milton

Conrad has been coaching for many years. In that time, he has worked with some incredibly high profile athletes, but it doesn’t matter to him who they are… every athlete he works with gets the elite athlete treatment. He works with his female athletes, building positive attitudes to sport and a healthy lifestyle, beyond that on the track. His intent to ensure that female athletes maintain healthy attitudes is amazing.

RunTogether Group of the Year: So Let’s Go Running

The group has an ethos of ‘running without barriers’. Everything about the way they operate is intent to remove any barriers to participation. They engage with Run And Talk, opening up conversations about mental health, have guide runners for visually impaired runners, don’t charge for their sessions and embrace a welcoming attitude to all potential runners.

RunTogether Leader of the Year: Portia Simond

Our RunTogether Leader of the Year does so much more than lead sessions. She supports beginner groups, mentors other coaches, is a mental health ambassador and has even spoken on occasions like National Women Day.

Volunteer of the Year: Jack Rutherford

Our Volunteer of the Year is a coach, chairman, team manager, official and athlete. He steered the delivery of a stunning new stadium for the club, working with the council to ensure it met everyones needs. He works with an all inclusive group, and is always there to support the athletes. Despite recently being diagnosed with a serious illness, he continues to support the club.

Young Volunteer of the Year: Charlotte Webb

Our Young Volunteer of the Year is a young lady who has volunteered for 7 years. A Coach and Team Manager, she runs the U13 satellite club and organises competitions. It was her idea for her club to join the Game Changers project and expand its youth volunteering provision. She put on extra sessions when she realised the junior section had a long waiting list. She inspires other volunteers and has made a massive difference to her club.

Official of the Year: Julian Starkey

Julian is Chairman at Bracknell AC. When he isn’t fulfilling Starter duties, he is competing for the club! He is fully committed to driving the club forwards in every way, trying to reduce the size of waiting lists and maintain high standards of delivery. He is the ‘go to’ person, and even recently undertook a masters to grow his knowledge around volunteering and improve the service he offers the club. He has supported the Game Changers project wholeheartedly and is a wonderful asset to the club.

Services to Athletics or Running: Ray Scovell

Our long-term service award this evening always seems to be wearing a different hat! Everything in this sport, from traditional roles through to painting and mowing. Everyone knows him in the Isle of Wight, as his impact on junior sport in the Isle of Wight has been immense. There is a lot you can say about this man, but this quote sums it up perfectly …"In all of the clubs I have visited, I have only come across one Ray. He is appreciated and loved by all, and known to many.”