BCSA winners - 2011/12
end of season
The Barclays Community Sports Award of the Season has been awarded to Ros Cramp, Disability Coordinator at the Stevenage and North Herts Athletics Club. Ros has made an outstanding contribution to grassroots sports in her community and is dedicated to helping disabled youngsters take part and compete in athletics.
Ros Cramp has spent the past 12 years developing a fully inclusive club for disabled athletes; four of whom took part in the Paralympics test event on 8th May 2012 and seven that competed in the UK School Games on 9th May.
In addition to her role at the Stevenage and North Herts Althetics Club, Ros also runs the N-Able Herts Disability Sports Association, which includes North Herts Boccia Club, the Hitchin Town Ability Counts Football Team, and the North Herts Disability Swim Squad. Some young members travel for over an hour to attend training sessions with Ros at the Ridlins Stadium in Stevenage.
Upon receiving the award, Ros commented: "I was overwhelmed when I found out I was the winner of the February award, so when I found out I had been awarded the Barclays Community Sports Award for the Season, I couldn’t believe it. Winning this award means so much to me and will really help our club continue to support the kids that put in their time and effort to train with us. It feels great that the efforts and hard work of all the volunteer coaches has been recognised.”
Gareth Southgate, who heads up the judging panel for the award, said: “Ros has encouraged disabled youngsters in her community take part in sport and provided a programme that allows them to reach a very impressive standard. Her dedication and support is evident in the successes of the young athletes she works with and she should be very proud of her work. Ros is a worthy winner of the Barclays Community Sports Award and I hope that others will take her lead and become involved in community sport.”
The Barclays Community Sports Award for March has been awarded to Danny Corr, Leader of the Zanshin Karate-Jutsu club in Newtonabbey, Belfast.
Danny has been involved in martial arts for 30 years, and took up the sport when he was 15. Since then, he has competed in sport karate at national and international level and he now coaches the Irish Team Sport Jujitsu, which under his coaching, won the 2010 world title in Las Vegas, beating England for the first time in 15 years. Danny has also created a wide range of karate programmes for adults with learning difficulties, to programmes tailored for primary schools and local teenagers, all of which have helped hundreds of people take up the sport.
Inspired by his niece who has Down’s syndrome, Danny saw that karate could help improve the coordination and confidence of people with learning difficulties, so developed a dedicated programme, in association with MENCAP, to inspire young adults with learning difficulties to become involved in the sport.
Supported by other volunteers, Danny holds coaching sessions nearly every day of the week where he helps to coach nearly 200 youngsters, as well as members of the national Irish team, adults from the local area and teenagers from mainstream high schools. As well as holding down a full-time job, Danny dedicates all his spare time to helping others achieve their sporting goals and is extremely passionate about making the martial arts as inclusive as possible.
Upon receiving the award, Danny commented: "I love what I do and I was extremely surprised when I found out that I had won the award. This is my passion and inspiring people to become involved in martial arts is what keeps me going.”
Danny Corr celebrates after receiving his Barclays Community Sports Award
The Barclays Community Sports Award for February has been awarded to Ros Cramp, Disability Coordinator at the Stevenage and North Herts Athletics Club. This monthly award recognises the outstanding contributions to grassroots sports that are being made by individuals up and down the country.
Ros has spent the past 12 years developing a fully inclusive club for disabled athletes, four of whom are due to take part in the Paralympics test event on 8th May 2012 and seven will compete in the UK School Games on 9th May.
Supported by volunteer coaches, the entire club trains together on Monday evenings where Ros mentors and encourages the disability squad, the coaches and the wider club. With some young members travelling for an hour to train at the site at Ridlins Stadium in Stevenage, it is clear they value Ros as an important role model who has dedicated her life to helping youngsters achieve their sporting goals.
In addition to her role at Stevenage and North Herts Althetics Club, Ros also runs the N-Able Herts Disability Sports Association, which includes North Herts Boccia Club, the Hitchin Town Ability Counts Football Team, and the North Herts Disability Swim Squad.
Upon receiving the award, Ros commented: "I was overwhelmed when I found out that I had won the Barclays Community Sport Award. To help youngsters take part in sport, no matter what their disability, is so important to me. My work is a passion and I thoroughly enjoy what I do, so to be recognised for that is absolutely amazing”.
Ros Cramp was awarded the Barclays Community Sports Award for her tireless work with disabled athletes
The Barclays Community Sports Award for January has been awarded to Andrew Flower, Chairman of the Spitfire Wheelchair Basketball Club in Staffordshire, by judging panel member and ex-pro footballer Gareth Southgate.
After an initial reluctance to try the sport, Andrew took part in his first wheelchair basketball session ten years ago and became hooked. A vital member of the team, Andrew was the obvious choice to step in to the Chairman position two years ago and negotiated for the team to move into a bigger and more suitable venue.
Andrew has ploughed his energies into revitalising the team, making the decision to pull out of the official wheelchair basketball league to concentrate on growing membership and improving the weekly team training sessions. The Spitfires now have twelve members but are keen to raise awareness throughout Staffordshire, and to create an additional junior team. Andrew spends his free time applying for grants that are used for regional advertising or to supply new wheelchairs and equipment, as well as organising fund-raising events to secure the team’s financial future.
Upon receiving the award, Andrew commented: "I couldn’t believe it when I found out I had won a Barclays Community Sports Award. Wheelchair Basketball is a fantastic sport, not just for the health benefits it gives the team but for the social element it involves. We all love being part of the team and only hope that our membership continues to grow”.
Gareth Southgate, a judge on the Barclays Community Sports Award panel, said: “It was a real honour for me to meet Andy and the rest of the Spitfire Wheelchair Basketball Team. Andy works tirelessly to raise awareness of what the sport can offer to those in his area, and it was an easy choice for Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Football Foundation and the Premier League’s Creating Chances programme to reward him this month”.
Barclays Community Sports Award winner Andy Flowers receives his award from ex-England defender, Gareth Southgate
The Barclays Community Sports Award for December has been awarded to Patrick Forest, a 62-year-old volunteer football secretary in the North West.
Patrick has been organising charity football matches and tournaments for 25 years, after setting up a league to accommodate older players who still wanted to take part in regular football competitions. The players aim to raise money and support for a large number of charities on Merseyside, and Pat estimates that up to £75,000 has been raised for local causes so far.
As well as organising the players, matches, pitches and referees, Patrick also hosts post-game activities like raffles and auctions, to raise further funds. The teams are open to players of all ages, integrating the young and old in the local community and putting their spare time to good use.
Patrick commented: "I couldn’t believe it when I found out I had won a Barclays Community Sports Award. All of our players contribute to the success of the charity matches, I just organise them! We’re proud that we’ve been able to raise a large amount of money for worthy causes in the area”.
Gareth Southgate, a judge on the Barclays Community Sports Award panel, commented: “Not only does Patrick contribute to grassroots sport in his community by encouraging people of all ages to play regular football, he does so to the benefit of charities and local causes. The sum of money Patrick and his players have raised is astounding, and it’s fantastic to see football being used to give back something back to the area. It was an easy decision to give him this month’s Barclays Community Sports Award.”
Pat Forest with his exclusive Barclays Community Award Trophy
Colin Lee, a 72-year-old retiree and the oldest registered amateur football player in Northamptonshire, has been awarded the Barclays Community Sports Award for November.
Colin has been involved with grassroots football in Northamptonshire for over 30 years, after leaving the RAF in 1974. Having formed a Sunday League club with workmates, Colin went on to establish three additional adult teams and three youth teams all of which now train and play weekly at the Northampton Academy. Colin also established an RAF veterans’ team, to enable the players to keep exercising and socialising on a regular basis.
While continuing to play with the veterans’ team, Colin is General Secretary of all eight teams and is responsible for organising all training sessions and weekly matches for around 140 members. He also hopes to establish a girls’ team, along with a second veterans’ team early next year.
Upon receiving the award, Colin Lee said: "I was so shocked and pleased when I heard I had won a Barclays Community Sports Award. Funding is always an issue for us and the prize money will go a long way in providing kit and helping me expand our existing teams. None of our teams would exist without the committee so I’d like to thank them for their continued support”.
Gareth Southgate, a judge on the Barclays Community Sports Award panel, commented: “It’s volunteers like Colin that keep grass roots sport thriving, and its fantastic to hear about the many players across all generations playing weekly football thanks to Colin’s hard work and dedication over three decades.
"We need people like Colin to continue his great work in his community over the coming years, and I would encourage people to nominate deserving candidates for the Barclays Community Sports Award so they to can share a bit of recognition for outstanding work that is being done up and down the country.”
Gerry Lavelle, a former boxer for England who turned his hand to coaching around twenty years ago, has been awarded the Barclays Community Sports Award for October for his fantastic work supporting amateur boxers in West Sussex.
Having coached at three separate boxing clubs in South East London, Lavelle offered his expertise to amateur boxers in Bognor Regis and Chichester after accepting a full time job at a local estate.
Drumming up interest from local residents, Lavelle attracted the attention of Sussex Police who donated £1,000 to get the St Gerards Amateur Boxing Club started. Ten years later, the club has around 35 full time members and has dramatically reduced anti-social behaviour in the area.
Gerry dedicates around five evenings a week to coaching his members, who range from nine to 40 years of age, as well as accompanying them to amateur boxing tournaments at weekends and organising an annual exhibition in Chichester to attract new members and investors. Gerry has recruited four more fully qualified coaches to expand the club and hopes to gain the space to admit more members in the future.
Gerry Lavelle said on receiving the award: "Without organisations like Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Football Foundation and Premier League Creating Chances supporting grassroots sport, clubs like ours would not be able to survive. The prize money will go a long way in supplying our members with new equipment, and allow us to redeem our affiliation with the Amateur Boxing Association”.
Gareth Southgate, a judge on the Barclays Community Sports Award panel, said, “Clubs like St Gerards are known to reduce anti-social behaviour in local communities, while providing amateur sportsmen and women access to professional coaching staff and facilities, something I’d like to see more of all over the UK.
I was extremely happy to be involved in choosing Gerry for this month’s award, alongside Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Football Foundation and Premier League Creating Chances.”
Gerry Lavelle in the ring with his Barclays Community Sports Award
The winner of the Barclays Community Sports Award for September was John Gurd, Chairman of Manchester mencap, for his work developing a partnership with the Manchester United Foundation that has massively improved sports participation and health awareness for people with learning difficulties in the city.
Manchester mencap represents the rights and interests of people with learning disabilities and works with over 300 families in Greater Manchester, providing free advice, facilities and activities to all members.
John Gurd began volunteering for Manchester mencap in 2006. Backed by 17 years worth of experience in working with those with learning disabilities, John consulted members on the gaps they felt existed within the organisation and addressed them. Members overwhelmingly wanted more sporting activities that were professional, well organised and competitive. John saw this opportunity and created a partnership between Manchester mencap and the Manchester United Foundation, setting up weekly football sessions that were run by professional coaches.
The football sessions have grown from having just six participants to 35 players, and John plans to expand to a second weekly session. As well as training, the participants receive health checks as part of the scheme, improving their knowledge of health and well-being. Manchester mencap also organises weekly sessions in yoga, cookery and drama, providing members with a packed schedule through which they can socialise and develop key skills. The organisation also provides a place for parents and carers of those with learning disabilities to take a break and share their experiences.
John Gurd commented: "I'm over the moon to be awarded the Barclays Community Sports Award by Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Football Foundation and Premier League Creating Chances. The fact our work has been recognised inspires us to keep going, and gives us the incentive to expand. We couldn’t exist or succeed without our fantastic and enthusiastic members, so thank you to them.”
Gareth Southgate, a judge on the Barclays Community Sports Award panel, said, “It’s fantastic to see organisations like Manchester mencap reaching out and providing sport and other activities for members of society who might have previously been excluded. The sheer volume of members is testament to the terrific work John does in the community. I’m delighted he’s been recognised by Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Football Foundation and Premier League Creating Chances this month.”
John Gurd receives his BCSA award for September from Danny Welbeck, Mame Diouf & Tom Cleverley
The first winner of the August Barclays Community Sports Award, and the first of the 2011/12 season was Otis Roberts, Chief Executive of the Jason Roberts Foundation, based in London. The Foundation, created by Blackburn striker Jason Roberts, aims to provide opportunities for young people in the UK and the Caribbean to participate in structured sporting activity - to improve health and fitness, self esteem, confidence and social inclusion.
Otis Roberts is the driving force behind the Jason Roberts Foundation, giving up his time and dedicating his energy over the last four years into engaging the youngsters in London with training and volunteering schemes. Roberts’ energy and enthusiasm has created an environment where young people in the area can thrive through sport. Recent initiatives have included the Respect Brent Programme and the Jason Roberts Football Club where youngsters between 5 and 14 are able to get free football training, and become part of football teams during the summer holidays and at weekends to give them productive activities to do in their spare time. .
Otis Roberts said: "I'm so pleased to be awarded the Barclays Community Sports Award by Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Football Foundation and Premier League Creating Chances. The work that we do in the community for our young members is vital and it's fantastic to have our work recognised in this way. I’d like to thank our partners and all the people who have got involved over the years for their continued support”
Gareth Southgate said, “I’m delighted to be back on the judging panel for the Barclays Community Sports Award, and to announce Otis Roberts as the first winner of this season. What Otis has created in his community is a safe-haven for young people who are at risk of suffering from social exclusion or crime. His achievements are an inspiration to us all.”
Otis Roberts Receives August BCSA