Volunteer of the Year Awards 2010

Image of Volunteers of the Year

At a lunch hosted at the Watermen’s Hall in London on Saturday 11th September, British Rowing paid tribute to its volunteers.   The Chairman, Di Ellis CBE, said she was delighted that so many of the regional winners had been able to attend. She said she could see that the future success of the sport was in safe hands with so many committed young volunteers nominated alongside those with decades of experience and service. 

Before presenting the awards, Guin Batten, Silver medallist at the 2000 Olympics, explained it was only after she finished her Olympic rowing career that she had really appreciated how much went on behind the scenes to make the sport happen.  Having now both rowed and volunteered at Olympic games she saw how the power of rowing and sport touched so many people, drawing on their time, commitment and expertise.  “A rower’s dream of winning a medal at a National Championships, or rowing across an ocean or winning an Olympic medal is only possible because of the people here today.  You are the dream-makers, and on behalf of all the rowers who don’t have the opportunity to say this, thank you so much for all that you do to make their dreams happen.”

Gary Harris, Deputy Chairman of British Rowing, read excerpts from the citations which demonstrated how much the efforts of the region’s winners were valued by their clubs and the people they served.  “The importance of what you do is reflected by the words  in your nominations; sheet anchor, turning clubs around, building events from scratch, founding clubs, cleaning toilets to chairing committees, fund-raising, loading trailers, resourceful, persistent, custodians of standards.  What is written shows that you are the life-blood of our sport, serial givers and the people who really make things happen”.

The British Rowing Medal of Honour (2009) was presented by the Chairman to Simon Goodey and Peter Smith for their outstanding contribution to rowing.  Di Ellis thanked Peter Smith for over 50 years of dedication both at the Globe RC and Trafalgar Rowing Centre and Simon Goodey for his work with Adaptive rowing and the young people of East London at the Royal Docks RC.

VOTY Award Winners

National Volunteer of the Year – Andrew Bryant, North Region
National Volunteer of the Year U18 – Grant Phillips, West Region

Colin Bullock  – East Open 
Derek Pickersgill – East Administrative
John Ash – East Midlands Open
Andrew Bryant – North Administrative
Colin Percy – North Open
Caroline Dangerfield – North West Higher Education
Dickon Poole – Thames Open
Ben Thurston – Thames Higher Education
Robin Leach – WAGS Open
Sue Southcott – Wessex Open
Toby Budd – West Open
Luke Dillon – West Higher Education
Felix Badcock – West Midlands Open
Mandy Crossman – West Midlands Higher Education
David Saul – Yorkshire Open
Stuart Beards – Yorkshire Higher Education
Stuart Ward – Yorkshire Administrative

Guin Batten was a member of the crew that brought home the first ever Olympic medal for women’s rowing in Great Britain when she won Silver at Sydney 2000 in the quad.  Guin is a pioneer in extreme rowing and works with FISA and the Youth Sport Trust to develop the sport overseas as well as at home.  She talked about her life after the Olympics, about her record-breaking row across the English Channel, her gold medal at the World Coastal Championships in 2009 and, in March 2010, her solo crossing of the Zero Degree Channel in the Maldives.  Guin is currently supporting the Maldives people to acquire funding to ensure their young people maintain the traditional ways of their forbearers on the water and possibly one day follow in her footsteps in winning an Olympic medal.