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, Lincolnshire, 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. Di was instrumental in the development of the Wiltshire County Golf Partnership and was Chair for the first two years of the Partnership.
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.
Services to Golf (Male): Jim Pocknell, Kent
This outstanding achievement award recognises an extraordinary contribution to golf volunteering over a substantial period of time. Jim has been involved in club and County Golf in Kent for more than 24 years. He served on the Kent County Union for 21 years including running the junior and Colts sections. He was appointed County Development Officer (volunteer post) in 2005 and in 2006 was appointed Chair of the Kent County Golf Partnership. He has held numerous volunteering roles at Royal Blackheath Golf Club and Gillingham Golf Club.
Services to Golf (Female): Angela Caton, Pleasington Golf Club, Lancashire This outstanding achievement award recognises an extraordinary contribution to golf volunteering over a substantial period of time. Angela has been involved with Lancashire Ladies golf for more than 20 years. In 1988 she was first appointed County Girls Junior organiser and has been actively involved with junior golf ever since, culminating in a three year role as County Junior Organiser 2005-2008. In 1996 she served on the Girls County and Schools Committee for Lancashire, Cumbria and Cheshire. She was Lancashire Ladies County Golf Association Captain in 1997. She served as the County Training Officer 2000-2004. At national level she was Captain of the European Lady Juniors Team Championship in 1998 and England Team Captain of the Girls Home Internationals in 1996 and 2003.
Services to County Golf Development: Di Gritt, Wiltshire
Di has been involved in all aspects of Wiltshire and Ladies Girls golf for more than a decade. She was County Captain in 2003-4 and then junior organiser for Wiltshire County Ladies Golf Association 2005-7. In that period she set up a girls‘ golf development programme which has produced a steady stream of excellent young players. She has ensured that every club in Wiltshire has a girls‘ junior organiser. She has represented the county on the EWGA SW and Regional Committee and was England team Manager for the Home Internationals in 2006. She played an important role in the formation of the Wiltshire County Golf Partnership which she has chaired for the past two years.
Golf Development Award- Dave Manson, Boston Golf Club, Lincolnshire
Dave first got involved with the junior section at Boston Golf Club in 2006 which has now risen to more than 50 members. During this period he has ensured the club achieved GolfMark status, including writing the Child Protection policy and a junior handbook. He has introduced a junior handicap scheme, a junior club championship and junior matches. He has trained as a level 1 PGA coach and now with the Club professional regularly helps out at club coaching sessions every weekend. He has also worked at getting golf into local schools by introducing Tri Golf programmes and tournaments.
Volunteer Coach of the Year: Kim Brusadelli, Aquarius Golf Club, Kent
Kim started coaching at local schools netball in 2002 and after attending a Golf Foundation Leaders Workshop decided to start coaching golf within primary and now secondary schools. She also works with local community groups such as Millwall Football Club, Brownie packs and disability groups. She coordinates the Golf Foundation Inner City golf programme for South London. Kim continues to run the junior section at the Aquarius Golf Club which has also been awarded Golf Mark and supports her father, the professional at the club, in weekend coaching sessions. She was instrumental in preparing and winning an Awards for all Bid to introduce a 12 week ‘Get into Golf’ course aimed at girls in secondary schools. Kim has been credited with raising the profile of golf throughout schools in her area so that is now one of the best promoted sports.
U18 Volunteer of the year: Danielle Kay, Tapton Park Golf Club, Derbyshire
Danielle, aged 14 years, took on responsibility for the juniors girls at Tapton Park last year. There are now more than 20 girls in the section coming from as far afield as Sheffield and Derby. Danielle plays an active part in helping at Golf Festivals organised by the club and to supporting sessions at primary and secondary schools to encourage youngsters to take up the game. She was the first winner of the Tapton Park Young Leader Award in 2008. As well as supporting the girls golf programme, she finds time to play top level golf and has been named as Captain of the Derbyshire County Girls Team for 2009.
18-25 Volunteer of the year: Robyn Furze, Bolsover and District School Sports Partnership
Robyn, aged 19 years, was honoured for her work in supporting the Bolsover partnership in schools ands clubs. Her role has taken her into seven schools and to helping organise golf festivals attracting more than 500 children. She helps deliver Tri golf within primary schools and has also worked at Golf Extreme Festivals for children at secondary school.