Golf has paid tribute to the unsung heroes of the game at a special awards night held in true ‘Oscars style’ where volunteers within the sport were honoured for their work.
More than 200 people gathered at a tribute dinner during the County Golf Development Conference at the National Headquarters of the English Golf Union Woodhall Spa, Lincs, to applaud a series of winners for their efforts at the grass roots level of the game.
Chairman of the England Golf Partnership, Bill Bryce said: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of any sport and golf is no exception. Without them and the countless number of hours they dedicate to helping develop the game, we would be unable to offer the number of programmes, support and sheer man hours which go into making the foundation of any sport a success.
“The people being honoured here this evening have been singled out for special mention but they are a small selection of the thousands of volunteers who all in their own way deserve an award and our continued appreciation.”
Two headline awards of Services to Golf (Male) went to Jim Pocknell of Gillingham Golf Club, Kent for more than 24 years involved in golf volunteering at club or county level within Kent and to Angela Caton of Pleasington Golf Club Lancashire, for Services to Golf (female), for more than 20 years of volunteering in junior girls golf within Lancashire.
The award for Services to County Development went to Di Gritt of High Post Golf Club Wiltshire, for her work over the past decade in Wiltshire girls and ladies golf.
The Golf Development Award went to Dave Manson of Boston Golf Club, Lincolnshire for his work as junior organiser at the club and introducing golf to local schools in the area.
Volunteer Coach of the Year went to Kim Brusadelli of Aquarius Golf Club, Kent for her efforts at taking golf into primary and secondary schools throughout the area. Qualified as a PGA Level 1 coach, Kim has worked with hundreds of youngsters both at her club and in the local community.
Encouraging young people to get involved is an important role of the England Golf Partnership volunteers programme and 14 year old Danielle Kay of Tapton Park Golf Club, Derbyshire received the Under 18 Volunteer of the Year award, while another Derbyshire golfer, 18 year old Robyn Furze received the 18-25 Volunteer of the Year for her work with the Bolsover and District School Sports Partnership.
The winners were presented with their awards by EGP Chairman Bill Bryce and Jennie Price, Chief Executive Sport England.