England Golf Partnership gives moment in the spotlight to golf’s tireless half-dozen
SIX ‘wonderful’ volunteers, who inspire others to take up and enjoy golf, were honoured when they were named England’s Golf ‘Volunteers of the Year’.
The 2013 awards, made by the England Golf Partnership, were presented during a gala dinner at the annual County Golf Development Conference.
The winners were Charlotte Stanton of Staffordshire and Birmingham University, Bev Dodd of Lancashire, Wendy Wootton of Suffolk, Alan Covey of Sussex, Kevin Whalley of Hertfordshire and Nickie Clarke of Norfolk.
They were applauded by a packed conference hall made up of those leading the EGP’s vision to ‘Grow the Game’ through the County Golf Partnership structure.
Phil Beard, the EGP’s Volunteer Manager, said: “These volunteers are wonderful people who give up their time to inspire others to take up and enjoy golf. These awards recognise and underline their importance.”
Charlotte Stanton, 20, was named ‘Young Volunteer of the Year’. A five-handicap county player, who began volunteering by helping at girls’ beginner classes run by the Staffordshire Golf Partnership, Charlotte was soon invited to join the EGP’s National Youth Panel and has been a member for three years, supporting community projects and helping to give young people a voice in the future of golf.
‘Volunteer Coach of the Year’ Bev Dodd switched from hockey to golf less than ten years ago. She is her club’s junior development officer and has trained as a Level 1 Coach, supporting PGA pros Steve Nicholls and Mike Bardi at coaching sessions for the youngsters.
Wendy Wootton won the ‘Club Development Award’. Wendy is both junior organiser and director of marketing and membership at Felixstowe Ferry, and is also secretary of the Suffolk Golf Partnership, which develops the game in the county.
Alan Covey of Ifield Golf Club won the vote of parents and players when the Sussex County Golf Union put him forward for the ‘County Development Award’. He has just completed seven years as the county boys’ manager and his nomination was accompanied by a string of testimonials.
Kevin Whalley was given the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award for Services to Golf’. Kevin, who has been profoundly deaf since birth, receives this award in recognition of his tremendous contribution to deaf golf, both in England and around the world.
He started organised deaf golf in England in the early 1980s and has run more than 100 events over the years. He became a director of the British Deaf Sports Council before becoming closely involved with the English Deaf Golf Association, of which he is currently president and treasurer.
Nickie Clarke also received a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award, having volunteered in golf at every level - club, county and country - for over 30 years.