Softball featured at Bucks and Milton Keynes Sports Awards

Thu 29 Nov 2012

Chalfont LogoSoftball was featured during the 2012 Bucks and Milton Keynes Sports Awards held on Tuesday evening, 27 November at the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury, as Chalfont Softball Club was shortlisted for two awards.

The event not only celebrated the achievements of community sports clubs throughout the county but also featured the exploits of its Olympic and Paralympics GB athletes at London 2012.  The evening included a truly inspiring speech from Sophie Christiansen, triple Gold Medal winner in Equestrianism at the Paralympics.

Volunteer of the Year

After a drinks reception, entertainment and dinner, awards were given in eight categories, and Chalfont Softball Club had been nominated in two of them.

First up was Neil Turner, President of Chalfont Softball Club, who made the shortlist of three for the Volunteer of the Year award.  The nomination, submitted by Stan Doney from BSUK, was to recognise the hard work that Neil has put into coaching this year, not only within the club but also in local schools, at university taster sessions and for the GB Under-17 Fastpitch League.

Additionally, Neil is overseeing the development of the club’s coaches and is helping ensure that Chalfont will have six Level 2 coaches in 2013.

However, the award went to Martin Lawrence of Redway Runners, founder of a running club based in Milton Keynes, who has been instrumental in encouraging over 90 people to take up running in 2012.

Club of the Year

Chalfont Softball ClubChalfont team with awards itself was shortlisted for the Club of the Year Award, along with Redway Runners and High Wycombe Hockey Club (a local rival to many of Chalfont’s hockey-playing members).

Chalfont’s nomination recognised the fantastic year the club has had on and off the pitch.  The greatest achievement was in winning the Windsor and Maidenhead Softball League title for the first time in its history but there many others.

Highlights were exposing over 240 people in the local area to softball (including six weeks of sessions for a learning disability school), Emma Allen winning BSUK's Softball Volunteer of the Year award, forming links with three district councils, involvement in programmes to start softball in Aylesbury and Marlow, having 17 active volunteers throughout the club and forming a large proportion of the Windsor League Committee.

Again, Chalfont fell short on the night and again missed out on the prize to Redway Runners.

Great night

“It was great just being there”, said Neil Turner, “and it’s fantastic that we made the shortlist for two awards so that we could see our club’s name in lights tonight.  What our club has achieved this year is amazing and every member of our club should feel proud that we have been honoured in this way.

“It would have been nice to walk away with one of the awards,” Neil added, “but each category had very strong contenders so we were pleased to just be part of this wonderful celebration of sport”.

Later, Louie Pereria, one of the club’s coaches, said, “It just makes me want to do even better next year.”

The recognition the club has gained will undoubtedly drive Chalfont to try to accomplish even more on and off the pitch in 2013.

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