The fifteenth annual Hertfordshire Service to Sport Awards took place on 27th November at a packed Weston Auditorium, University of Hertfordshire, and celebrated the dedication and selfless efforts of sports volunteers from across the county.
Sky Sport’s F1 commentator David Croft compered the prestigious event just days after returning from Abu Dhabi and the final race of the 2018 F1 season.
In advance of the event, a panel of independent judges considered more than 100 nominations from projects, clubs and individuals, and awards were made to over 40 volunteers in recognition of their massive contribution to sport in Hertfordshire.
The event commenced with a glorious welcome by the Welwyn Garden City Male Voice Choir singing ‘Bread of Heaven’, and for the first time the programme featured categories recognising contributions to This Girl Can in Herts – the county’s localised activation of the national campaign, and the Hertfordshire Year of Physical Activity 2018. After presenting his awards alongside Cllr. Richard Roberts, YOPA the Stag mascot brought the crowd to their feet in a rousing rendition of the campaign’s signature dance, to music performed by young artists from the Herts Music Service.
Event Organiser and Project Officer Matt Hughes-Short, said:
“We are always wowed by the level of dedication and commitment demonstrated through the nominations, but by introducing new categories this year we have been further astounded. In every nook and cranny of Hertfordshire lie people who are inextricably woven into the fabric of sport and physical activity, living and breathing it for others.
“Our fourteen Lifetime Achievement winners especially, have given an overwhelming amount of time to aiding participation at a variety of levels, and in a range of capacities. The efforts made in the world of boxing were highly celebrated, and we are humbled to have been granted permission to highlight the career of Cheshunt Boxing Club coach Les Willicombe, who sadly recently passed away.”
Special guests included squash pro and double medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Alison Waters; former England U20 Rugby star Scarlett Cooper-Wall, British Taekwando National Champion Hannah Johnson, and boxing legend John Conteh.