Volunteers recognised at 2018 England Athletics Hall of Fame

Our congratulations to our 2018 National Volunteer Award winners who were presented and recognised at Hall of Fame and Volunteer Awards evening. Ten awards were made to people, clubs and organisations who have given so much time and energy to the sport.

The categories were; Spirit of 2012 Award, Inclusion, Coach, Official, Athletics or Running Club, Volunteer, Young Volunteer, Inclusion Award, RunTogether Group of the Year, RunTogether Leader of the Year, plus Services to Athletics or Running

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 The evening also saw a number of Athletics Greats inducted into the England Athletics Hall of Fame, some of our Gold Coast Commonwealth Games team presentations made to three Ron Pickering Memorial Fund Athletes of the Year, plus the David Sunderland Memorial Bursary.

Dave Cropper Award

Dave Cropper OBE was a former International and Olympic middle distance runner who dedicated his life to the sport of athletics. Dave was chairman of AAA for 13 years when it was the governing body for the sport. In addition Dave helped to set up the charity Athletics for the Young.

The 800m Awards to commemorate the outstanding service Dave gave to athletics over many years were presented to:

  • Male 800m Athlete 2018: Max Burgin.
  • Female 800m Athlete 2018: Keely Hodgkinson


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 2018 Athletes of the Year are recognised:

  • U23 Athlete of the Year: Laviai Neilsen
  • U20 Athlete of the Year: Niamh Emerson
  • U18 Athlete of the Year: Sam Bennett

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 Helen Clitheroe. England Athletics Teams and COmpetitions Manager Andy Day presented the award.

Helen coaches coaches endurance from U20 level through to veterans at Preston Harriers. She is currently the steeplechase coordinator and talent coach mentor where she looks after and mentors coach and athlete pairs. Her knowledge not only as an international athlete but also now a renowned coach is freely shared and cascaded down to other coaches she works and interacts with. She was recently part of the England endurance team at the Commonwealth Games out in the Gold Coast, Australia. Her passion for the sport means she is frequently away from home at competitions and coaching events and attends events to meet and talk to other coaches.

She won a charity event in 2008 which was similar to Strictly Come Dancing where she had to learn the Quick Step and Samba in six weeks. When she was an athlete she set a national record in the heats of the 3000m steeplechase at the 2008 Olympic Games.

She is a most worthy recipient of the prestigious Dave Sunderland Award - Dave would approve that the award goes to a former international athlete, who he used to watch compete and who has successfully transitioned to being a great coach and mentor to others.

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