On Tuesday 19 November the sixteenth annual Hertfordshire Service to Sport Awards took place at a packed Weston Auditorium, University of Hertfordshire, celebrating the dedication and selfless efforts of sports volunteers from across the county.
A regular face at the Hertfordshire Service to Sports Awards for many years, Sky Sport’s F1 commentator David Croft compered the prestigious event – organised by the Herts Sports and Physical Activity Partnership (HSP).
In advance of the night, a panel of independent judges considered more than 130 nominations from clubs and individuals, and awards were made to over 50 volunteers in recognition of their massive contribution to sport in Hertfordshire.
In a nod to the forthcoming Herts Year of Culture 2020, proceedings commenced with an explosive opening performance by Shaolin London; a Broxbourne based community group that portrays the culture of Shaolin through martial arts and movement. What followed was an action-packed programme of awards presented by sponsors and civic dignitaries, recognising community projects such as winners Hartham United FC – a football team set up to support the parents of stillborn babies; and coaches including Diane Ratcliffe – a forty-year stalwart of Tring and Dacorum Athletics Club.
Ahead of an inspiring interview panel with two-time Olympian and Team GB sprinter Ashleigh Nelson, Para Swimmer Louise Fiddes and Saracens Ladies flanker Kay Searcy, the SASA School of Performing Arts energised the audience with an incredible display of street and contemporary dance.
Event organiser and External Communications Officer Shelley Woods, said:
“We are always wowed by the level of dedication and commitment demonstrated through the nominations and tonight has brought everyone together to celebrate the success of these individuals and organisations.”
HSP Partnership Director, John O’Callaghan added:
“The event was testament to the large army of volunteers from across the county who give their time so selflessly, in order that the rest of us can enjoy our sport and physical activity. We are very fortunate to have such a vibrant community and school sport and physical activity offer in Hertfordshire, and much of that would not be possible without their efforts. The evening was a salutary reminder of just how much time and effort they put in – often over a lifetime – to not only help produce the champions and sporting role models of the future, but in raising the aspirations and life chances of our young people, and in making our communities safer and better places to live and work.
All in all, the evening was a truly humbling experience, and I am delighted that HSP continues to organise this fantastic annual event.”
For a full list of award recipients, please visit Service to Sport Awards