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 Yorkshire and Humberside awards were presented on 19 September at the Holiday Inn Wakefield. Ten Yorkshire and Humberside Region winners received their awards .
The winners are listed here and excerpts from their nominations are below.
- Athletics Coach of the Year - Mike Stayman (Leeds AC)
- Athletics Official of the Year - Terry Bailey
- Athletics or Running Club of the Year - Goole Youth AC
- Inclusion Award - Fitmums & Friends
- RunTogether Group of the Year - Tingley RunFIT
- RunTogether Leader of the Year - Natalie Sampson
- Services to Athletics or Running - John Howley
- Spirit of 2012 Award - Sam Newnham & Dan Cherington (Trail Snails Bingley)
- Volunteer of the Year - Ben Frary (Cleethorpes Athletic Club)
- Young Volunteer of the Year (14-25) - Sian Kerry (Kingston Upon Hull AC)
Athletics Coach of the Year – Mike Stayman (Leeds AC)
Mike is a very experienced level 3 combined events coach.
He is a very technical coach and uses funny stories, entertaining anecdotes and daft acting out of what he wants the athletes to do. This fun approach helps the athletes to understand how to convert the instruction in to actions. His combined events group includes both male and female athletes from U13 to seniors, so quite a mixed bunch when it comes to individual needs. This is never a problem to Mike, he knows exactly what each athlete needs to grow psychologically and physically to develop with every event and his feedback is very specific to that individual. The athletes have enormous respect for Mike, work hard for him and grow physically and mentally as a result. He takes time to involve the parents. He encourages and mentors new coaches, other coaches to talk and observe sessions, always positive about how Mikes ideas help them in their coaching. He keeps up to date and shares his findings with the group.
As well as concerning himself with an individuals growth in the sport, but their growth as an individual - to better themselves, take the positive from everything they do, to be proud of their efforts not just achievements. He is invaluable!
Athletics Official of the Year – Terry Bailey
Terry initially became involved with Athletics through his son being a member of Doncaster AC. He has officiated at both local, national & international (Olympics) level competition as a level 5 track official, and endurance official. He is an active member of the Yorkshire & Humber regional council and a pro activeC ounty Officials' Secretary (COfSec) for south Yorkshire, attending meetings and regularly providing feedback to improve experience for officials locally to officials' development officer.
He offered to be part of the officials' digital pilot programme which aimed to improve experience and make it easier for officials who signed up to events and tested it out on the northern track and field league. He was valuable in providing useful feedback in how system could be improved and how it would benefit officials.
Athletics or Running Club of the Year – Goole Youth AC
By their own efforts, Goole Youth AC saved their training facility which had had no work done, except cleaning (once) by young offenders, for 31 years. The track is leased from ERYC by Goole Town Council. In February 2017 the club decided that work needed to be carried out; quotations for cleaning and re-lining - £12,300 were sought. This was beyond the club’s means; hence to clean the track themselves. In May 2017 a 2000psi pressure washer was hired so that parents and athletes, working at nights and weekend could clean the track – completed in December 2017.
Intensive efforts were made to raise funds throughout the period – Tesco ‘Bags for Help’ Scheme raised £2000, Howden Rotary Club supported as the club raised a further £1500 in a sponsored 20 mile bike ride. A garage, used for storage of club equipment was refurbished and made safe. Goole Town Council agreed to pay for the relining but on inspection the track was still not clean enough. The contractors had to do more cleaning.
The club raised funding; did much of the work themselves, and persuaded the town council to pay for the actual re-lining. This enabled a training facility to be retained. Contractors said that in its original state it would have been condemned.
Inclusion Award – Fitmums & Friends
Run by, for and in local communities which means it is sustainable. Simple systems of support are used to promote activity through support & encouragemen and used regularly to help maintina an inclusive approach. The group has a friendly & respected reputation locally. Run in groups regardless of ability due to methods used, creating a community feeling. Special systems of support for those who need additional help in order to attend. See https://fitmums.org.uk/in-the-pink.
Statement from a visually impaired member: "Fitmums has massively helped me get back out there as a progressively deafblind person n the support the group gives is immense. For someone struggling with anxiety n low mood due to very limited sight it's really helped and I'm so grateful for people freely giving their time to help me when often I feel abandoned on the sidelines I realised my sight impairment (combined with hearing impairment too) is the reason I've held back from being active n am starting to feel fitter than I have for a long time"
The whole ethos of the club is about supporting, encouraging and making it accessible for all, regardless of age, gender or ability. Lots of systems are in place to make sure everything is done to support those who wish to attend, including juniors.
RunTogether Group of the Year – Tingley RunFIT
Natalie started the group in March 2016 and nominated other members of her group, "We’ve had an amazing couple of years but last year when I was pregnant, it spurred on some of my runners to do their LiRF.
Now the group has 4 other leaders! This supported me during my pregnancy, even more so as I was unable to run from quite early on. Spending time still with the group helped me so much mentally. Although I created the group, the people in it create the atmosphere that we love.
We’ve added another day too in a new location!
Each of my leaders is dedicated and put the time in including cheering people on at races or even running with them. We also regularly run and volunteer at park run. This is such an important part of our week as adds to the social side. “The group is a friendly, sociable group which caters for all abilities, genders and faiths. They have a rapidly growing number of members with the average per session about 20-25 which encourages more people to join us.”
I’ve recently become a Run Leader mentor and hoping one of the others is about to be a Mental Health Ambassador. I am so proud of each of my leaders and runners, TRF helped me through last year & can’t wait to see it continue to grow!
RunTogether Leader of the Year – Natalie Sampson
Natalie was a winner last year and has continued her excellent work despite the birth of baby Ellie in November. Since that time, Nat has managed to work on her own fitness, getting back to her pre-baby levels, and has also managed to continue her work with parkrun and has taken on additional responsibilities with run together, becoming a run leader mentor.
Understanding the needs of young mums, Natalie has also started a fitness session on Thursday mornings where pushchairs and toddlers are not only welcomed but also incorporated into sessions. They're not compulsory though - maintaining Tingley RunFIT's ethos of inclusivity, everyone is welcome.
Nat has encouraged her run leaders and runners to #runandtalk, arranging specific sessions where people can chat about mental health issues - which a number continued to do on a regular basis even after those sessions were over. She also supported one of our run leaders in becoming a mental health ambassador.
Her enthusiasm, dedication and selflessness are astounding. The time she gives to the group despite having a very young family is amazing. Her knowledge about fitness and exercise is second to none.
Spirit of 2012 Award – Sam Newnham & Dan Cherington (Trail Snails Bingley)
Sam & Dan are wonderfully enthusiastic Team Spirit Champions; when they came along to our session in Leeds, they came bubbling with great ideas and insightful questions, to ensure they could maximise the impact of her RunTogether group, Trail Snails! Together, Sam and Dan are now working with over 100 runners, incredible for a group so new, providing them with wonderful experiences and supporting each other as they go.
They are the definition of Team Spirit, and the immense success of their group over such a short space of time really shows the quality of what they are delivering. We are proud to call them Team Spirit Champions, and look forward to seeing the group go from strength to strength as their enthusiasm is catching!
Immense examples of individuals making sure everyone enjoys their running experience, volunteers and runners alike. Outstanding.
Volunteer of the Year - Ben Frary (Cleethorpes Athletic Club)
Ben has been a member of Cleethorpes Athletics Club since a youngster and started coaching at aged 17. He has had success in his squad, with English Schools and National Level athletes. Ben became a member of the NCDP a few years ago.
In the last 3 years he has taken on several different roles within the administration of athletics both in the club and with the Yorkshire & District Athletics League. He has lead on the ClubMark application refreshing areas including risk assessment. More recently he has voluntarily rewritten the all clubs policies, including Welfare, Social Media and Code of Conducts to ensure they are compliant with GDPR and provided specific guidance on GPDR to the club. This was a huge piece of work that the club would not have got done without Ben. Ben has also lead on the redevelopment of the website, again a big piece of work as well as running the clubs social media pages and keeping club records up to date. Out side the club Ben has set up the YADAL website which he supports the management of as well as their social media pages and records.
Ben has also used his contacts in the area to actively engage a local Disability college in encouraging athletics to be part of their sport sessions, where he took a lead coaching role in the project.
Ben is extremely passionate about the club, its members and the sport in general. For a young man in his late 20's it is fantastic to see the dedication and contribution he is prepared to put in to Athletics which I feel is above and beyond the usual role of any volunteer. He willingly takes on numerous projects which makes the club the success it is today. I know our club and I’m sure the YADAL committee are extremely grateful for all the hours hard work he voluntarily dedicates to us.
Young Volunteer of the Year (14-25) – Sian Kerry (Kingston Upon Hull AC)
Sian has achieved her field official level 1 award and is due to complete her level 2 this weekend. She regularly volunteers at local events and YDL's. in 2017 she went to English schools as a young official and has been asked to go again this year. She is always willing to help out, even coming home from uni to volunteer at a couple of YDL's as the team were short. She's very supportive of her local club
Sian was injured in 2016 and unable to compete, instead of sitting around she decided to do some volunteering, this led on to her becoming a level 1 field official, soon to be level 2. She's pleased she's giving something back to a sport she loves
Services to Athletics or Running – John Howley
John has been heavily involved in our sport for many years and is well respected within both the athletics and race-walking communities. From his early days with race walking in the 1990’s, initially as a parent and then inevitably as an official, via various club management roles to now running successful competitions as a founder and director of the Sheffield Festival of Athletics.
John started his journey in the early 1990’s when his daughter took up race walking and with her success he gradually became more involved. He was Secretary of the Sheffield Race Walking Club for many years and then Championship Secretary for the Race Walking Association for 5 years and also the Northern Area Representative
He became more involved with track & field athletics in the new millennium when Sheffield Athletics Club and Sheffield Race Walking Club agreed to become one club. John was instrumental in the dissolution of the two clubs and the formation of the new one - City of Sheffield AC. He was then Club Secretary for many years and also Northern League Team Manager. His expertise in organising and running home matches was second to none – including the best packed lunches courtesy of his wife Hazel
In 2014/2015 John suffered from increasing health issues and as such had to take a major step back for a while. However following successful medical treatment & then surgery in late 2015 he is now busier than ever. In January 2016 he was able to resume activities and organise the Indoor Festival of Athletics. He also managed the event on the day and produced results...from his wheelchair! During his recovery from illness John undertook a timekeeping course and can now be found most weekends (and some evenings) at a track somewhere in the UK with stopwatch in hand!
He is now Membership Secretary & Treasurer for the recently reformed 2Dash Athletics Club and continues to provide high level competition in his role with the Sheffield Festival of Athletics.
He is well respected throughout Yorkshire, the North of England and UK wide by athletes/parents, coaches, officials, management and Governing Bodies and he remains committed to the development of both track & field athletics and race walking locally, regionally and nationally