Torch Trophy Trust 2012: Winners

This year's 50th Anniversary of the Torch Trophy Trust sees 19 volunteers honoured for their outstanding contribution to grassroots sport.

1. Ian Atkinson
2. Roger Rees-Evans
3. Michael Murphy
4. Denise Hodge
5. Cary Wicks
6. Robyn Wisdom
7. Barry Murray
8. Stephen Spilka
9. Eddie Diplock
10. Lianne Jameson
11. Dave Kaye
12. Andrew Crawford
13. Steven Boyd
14. James Ditchfield
15. Nancy Riach
16. Keith May
17. Mandy Stibbe
18. Abby Kumar
19. Anne Webb


1. Ian Atkinson

Ian has only been volunteering with British Swimming since 2009, but already his passion has shone through and he has proved to be a real ambassador.

His enthusiasm and kind disposition has endeared him to everyone – both within the organisation and across the sport.

During his time with British Swimming, Ian has worked with the synchronised swimming event management team to successfully deliver both national and international events, and was instrumental in helping to shape the new scoring system used within the sport.

Using the knowledge and skills that he has acquired through his day job as an IT manager, he guided the events team and provided them with the technical knowhow to produce excellent events.

Ian was also a Games Maker for the London 2012 Olympics, where he was recognised and rewarded by the team for going above and beyond the call of duty – working extra shifts and providing help to others whenever it was needed.

Now shadowing the current executive director of synchronised swimming events so that one day in the future he can fully adopt the role, his skills and expertise as a motivator and problem solver will no doubt ensure his great success.

2. Roger Rees-Evans

Photo of Roger Rees-Evans with Prince Edward, Duke of KentRoger has been a dedicated volunteer with British Blind Sport for nearly 20 years where he has helped to run the blind and visually impaired archery section.

The archery section runs two major championships each year and Roger is the main driver behind them – helping with the setup, scoring and administration. In addition Roger is the secretary for the section as a whole, collating all the paperwork and accounts.

An unassuming man, Roger is always on hand to support anyone and has great experience as an archer where he excels. Given that Roger is totally blind himself, this is no mean feat.

His impairment does not stop him and he demonstrates to others with disabilities how much is possible.

Roger also plays a vital role in ensuring that all members have access to a British Blind Sport audio magazine.

With the support of his son Graham, Roger painstakingly puts together a CD which informs members of the sporting opportunities available to them – many of whom wouldn’t be able to find out without this specialist communications tool.

British Blind Sport estimates that over the past 20 years, Roger has given over 6,000 hours of his time to the organisation and its members, and they feel truly lucky to have him.

3. Michael Murphy

Michael Murphy with Prince Edward, Duke of KentMick has been coaching at the Metro Judo Club on a weekly basis in east London for 36 years. He has nurtured many national and international medallists there, including two Olympians – most notably Gemma Gibbons, the current Olympic silver medallist.

Mick has been like a father figure to Gemma having helped her to secure a flat and funding after she sadly lost her Mum, and has helped to develop her talent – right the way to the top of the sport.

Not only that, he has inspired countless other pupils to continue on with judo for their whole lives, with many becoming referees and even more following on in his footsteps to become coaches themselves.

Mick continues to help these new coaches by researching all available grants and funding sources and by helping them to keep up-to-date with their awards.

He is always there for them, passing on the wealth of experience he has accumulated over the years.

He has also given up a large part of his time to help his community keep children off the streets and is a shining mentor and role model to all of those involved in the judo community, both young and old alike.

4. Denise Hodge

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent with Denise HodgeDenise has been involved with women and girls rugby union for the past 20 years and has transformed the way it is both played and viewed across Devon, the south west and the country as a whole.

Denise has worked tirelessly across all levels of the game from club to international level and with both junior and senior players.

She has managed junior squads at county level for over ten years, managed the south west junior region for five years and performed the role of team liaison officer for the International Rugby Board’s London Sevens Women’s Challenge Cup.

Even now she is still working with her local club Cullumpron RFC where she is establishing age-grade rugby for girls as young as the under nines .

Everything she has done has required differing roles but to each one she has made a big difference.

Denise gives her time selflessly with no desire for recognition or reward and is always available to listen or offer advice – never considering any job to be too big or small.

Female rugby in the south west has benefitted hugely from her endeavour and it would certainly not be where it is today without her dedication and service.

5. Cary Wicks

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent with Cary WicksSince the Great Britain women’s volleyball team’s funding from UK Sport was withdrawn, Cary Wicks has played an integral role in ensuring that the team continued to pursue their ambitious goal of competing in the London 2012 Olympics and beyond.

For the London 2012 Games, Cary arranged and managed a training week in Poole for the whole squad of 16 athletes and two staff – organising the accommodation, court training, medical support, food, matches and more.

Cary is also the sole administrator for the Adopt an Olympian scheme, which now has over 32 schools and over 30,000 pupils involved.

This is helping to create a genuine legacy from the Games in schools, and is positioning women’s volleyball players as role models to aspiring young athletes.

Through the scheme, Cary has also managed to generate £15,000 – funds that are essential to keeping the Great Britain women’s volleyball programme functioning in the future.

The Great Britain Women’s Volleyball Supporter’s bi-monthly newsletter is also written, scheduled and distributed by Cary, providing a regular update for all things volleyball to over 600 supporters and friends.

All of this work has been done in a voluntary capacity alongside her tireless support to the Wessex volleyball community. The dedication which Cary has displayed has been truly admirable.

6. Robyn Wisdom

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent with Robyn WisdomRobyn has volunteered at Ashcombe Volleyball Club since she first joined the club as a junior player in 2008 – and has been a huge help ever since.

Since taking her Young Leaders and Young Referees Award in June 2011 Robyn has progressed through the tournaments, officiating at the national Lets Play Volleyball Tournament in 2011 and 2012 as well as being selected by Volleyball England to be a young referee at the UK School Games during which she completed her grade four referee course.

Robyn is currently also undertaking her level one coaching award and is already leading small groups of young players during training sessions under the supervision of lead coaches at Ashcombe Volleyball club and during the south east region training sessions.

In these sessions and at club events, Robyn also undertakes a significant amount of the administration involved – helping collect training fees, preparing food, selling t-shirts and hoodies and much more.

Robyn has proven herself to be a real example to other junior volunteers.

She loves playing but realises the large amount of work that is needed to make a club thrive and is always willing to take on extra responsibilities to help others enjoy their sport.

7. Barry Murray

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent with Barry MurrayBarry became involved in canoeing some 32 years or so ago when his then ten-year-old son asked if he could take it up.

The Murray family soon became members of the Anker Valley Canoe Club which was then operating from a local pub. Barry, alongside other parents, managed to acquire a piece of land on which to build a club house and since then the club has gone from strength to strength.

During his time at the club Barry became an official at the Nottingham National Regattas when he was asked to help out one year – a role he has continued to do for 28 years, during which he has become a qualified and skilled boat driver.

More recently Barry volunteered to become an official at the London 2012 Olympic Games where he worked as the National Technical Official at the Sprint Canoeing event at Eton Dorney.

The Games may have been the highlight of Barry’s canoeing career so far, but without the Barrys’ of this world, the Games would not have been as spectacular as they were – nor indeed would the British Canoe Union be in such a strong position as they are today.

8. Stephen Spilka

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent with Stephen SpilkaSteve has coached and run a wheelchair basketball club for over 26 years where he has had a hands-on role in growing the sport, before going on to serve as the secretary of the board of British Wheelchair Basketball (BWB).

During his time on the board, Steve was instrumental in securing the world class performance funding and went on to set up the appointment of the first ever officer for the organisation.

British Wheelchair Basketball now has a staff of 20 and has grown to be arguably the biggest disability sport in the country – which Steve has supported admirably.

On the board, Steve currently administers the world class performance budget in excess of £1 million per annum with consummate professionalism and also voluntarily takes on the role of treasurer for the International Federation, ensuring that Great Britain’s voice is heard in an international forum.

A man of ability, talent and untiring devotion, Steve has been a magnificent ambassador for the sport and the BWB are sure he will continue to be so for many years.

9. Eddie Diplock

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Eddie DiplockEddie had a playing career of over 30 years – not once receiving a red card or even a caution, and has extended this same careful approach to his long career in football administration.

Eddie has been a magnificent servant to football in Kent ever since 1953, when he was appointed the secretary of Sevenoaks Town FC, a position he continues to hold to this day.

Eddie has been simply vital to the administration of football competitions in Kent for over 55 years.

He is president of the Sevenoaks Charity Cup Committee, president of the Kent County Football League as well as president of the Sevenoaks and District Football League.

It was during his time as the chair of the Sevenoaks League that he was awarded the Order of Merit for his service to the association in 2006 to add to his 2003 award, the prestigious Football Association Medal for 50 years’ service to football in Sevenoaks and Kent.

But it hasn’t only been in Kent football that Eddie has been so valuable.

In 1996 he was in charge of the media unit during the Euro 96 tournament where he brought his friendly down-to earth and personal approach to make the unit a great success.

10. Lianne Jameson

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Lianne JamesonLianne is the club secretary for West Ham Amateur Boxing Club (ABC) – a role she has undertaken for 15 years.

Lianne has been a wonderful servant to the club and the sport and has thrived in what used to be, and still can be, a male dominated sport.

At London 2012 Lianne was tasked with looking after a team of ‘Young Games Makers’ – Olympic volunteers aged 16 and under – where she gave the youngsters from West Ham ABC the opportunity to lead Olympic athletes to the boxing ring at the start of every round.

As well as her work for her club, Lianne has been a great help to the Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABAE).

Her knowledge is unrivalled and the ABAE has often called her for advice.

She also often helps the operations and logistics executive with the England team and international competitions going far beyond the call of duty.

Whether it be travelling long distances or sitting in passport offices, she’s done it all.

Lianne has also been a constant presence at the national championships, providing friendly reassurance to the nervous athletes.

Well liked, hard-working and passionate – she really is an asset to amateur boxing.

11. Dave Kaye

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and David KayeDavid caught the weightlifting bug whilst still at school – joining the Gifford Weightlifting Club run by the late Hymie Binder.

After a period in the Army in 1969, David founded the Wood Green Weightlifting Club where he had the dual role of keeping people fit as gym instructor and serving as a coach and regional/national officer for the sport of weightlifting.

Over his 40 years of involvement in weightlifting, David, is a level four status coach and British Weight lifting course tutor.

He has developed many national champions in both weightlifting and Paralympic powerlifiting with notable pupils being Commonwealth gold medallist Giles Greenwood and Ali Jawad, who came fourth place place at the London 2012 Paralympic games.

In the 1990’s David became the national disability officer for the British Amateur Weight Lifters’ Association which was the precursor for the British Disabled Lifting Association and was instrumental in uniting all the separate organisations.

David has been a magnificent servant to British weight lifting and his work in developing youngsters right the way through to elite athletes both within the London area and nationally has been greatly appreciated.

12. Andrew Crawford

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Andrew CrawfordAndy is one of the unsung heroes of rowing. His voluntary work for the sport started in 1972 when at the tender age of 16 he became a qualified coach.

He then went on to coach in schools taking up various officer posts, and joined Staines Boat Club where, besides coaching club juniors and the under 23’s, he performed a significant amount of the admin involved in running the club.

An outstanding member of the British Rowing Council and the Thames Regional Rowing Council, Andy, has always had a real passion for coaching young people’s rowing – and he has been a driving force behind getting rowing into more schools across the country.

As a qualified umpire, Andy has been integral to events up and down the country for many years, provided a helping hand to schools when they wanted to organise events.

In 2011, Andy became deputy chair of the World Rowing Junior Championships where he was responsible for planning, licensing and project management.

He has also performed the role of deputy chair of the Diamond Jubilee Rowing Championships and national technical officer at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

13. Steven Boyd

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent with Steven BoydSteven has been a ball boy for Manchester United Football Club for the past two years, during which time he has transformed himself into a role model in his school and local community.

At the time of his appointment Steven was having some trouble at school but the hard work and dedication he displayed at Manchester United quickly transferred to school, where he has now been selected to be a prefect.

Because of Steven’s endeavours in his first year at the club, Steven was the only ball boy selected from the previous season to return and he has been promoted to the position of head ball boy.

In this role Steven has a mentoring role for 13 new ball boys and so far Steven has been an excellent guiding hand.

Outside of the club Steven has started volunteering at the Premier League 4 Sport Badminton and Basketball satellite clubs in his school and has been nominated to complete a Young Officials and Leadership course in the near future.

Steven is an inspiration to other youngsters around him and is a brilliant example of what hard work and dedication can achieve.

14. James Ditchfield

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent with James DitchfieldJames has been a key member of the Everton in the Community (EitC)’s award-winning disability programme since 1999 and has volunteered for the past six years within the organisation.

James, who has cerebral palsy, works across a range of EITC departments, but it is James’s work as a volunteer coach which has made a huge difference to people living with disability across the region.

During his time with EITC the department has grown to become one of the largest disability departments in the world – engaging 17,000 disabled participants with 26 disability teams and winning the ’Sporting Oscar‘ Sports Industry Award.

A successful player himself, James has captained Everton’s C band squad for over five years winning various awards and also proved himself to be a wonderful coach – helping three of the squad’s players compete in the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

In 2012, after giving up 882 hours of his time to work on EitC projects James was awarded Everton’s Volunteer of the Year.

In total James has given over 5,000 hours of his time to EitC for which the EitC will be eternally grateful. James is undoubtedly a positive role model and aspirational person for all he meets.

15. Nancy Riach

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Nancy RiachNancy has been a dedicated volunteer for over 50 years and at the age of 75 will retire from the committee at Huntingdon Tennis Club later this year.

In the 1950’s Nancy qualified as a PE teacher and took a post at Huntingdon Grammar School, where she quickly rose to the position of head of PE.

Later Nancy became the first primary PE specialist teacher in the county at Huntingdon Junior School and it was here that she developed a pathway so that talented pupils could reach their full sporting potential.

At the time, the importance of junior development was not widely recognised so this was truly an innovative and inspirational programme.

Nancy also spent countless hours voluntarily coaching juniors during her weekends and was subsequently the driving force in establishing a tennis club on the grounds of the grammar school.

Nancy also formed the Hunts and Peterborough Association and organised both the junior and adult tournaments – the first in the area.

Nancy’s drive and commitment to tennis has seen Huntingdon Tennis club grow to become a fabulous tennis centre with both outdoor and indoor courts and a thriving membership.

It is clear that Nancy has nurtured a wonderful atmosphere at the club and left a true legacy for the area.

16. Keith May

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Keith MayKeith is a totally committed and enthusiastic driver of athletics in Sussex, the South East and nationally.

Keith has been a member of the Horsham Blue Star Harriers for over 50 years during which time he has been the organiser of countless club activities and performed the role of secretary and now, chair.

He has also been ever-present at Sussex county events and meetings where he has performed both the role of administrator and chair – proving an invaluable source of knowledge and guidance.

Keith has made major contributions to athletics competitions in Sussex: the formation of an under 13 league in 1990, principle organiser of the Sussex Track and Field Championship, helping to run the Sussex Cross Country league and championships and many more.

Whilst Keith has been invaluably involved in strategic meetings, he is also just as likely to be found timekeeping or moving the hurdles and is always willing to go the extra mile.

Keith’s involvement and enthusiasm embraces all aspects of athletics from the youngest juniors to the oldest seniors in both track and cross country and his boundless energy over the years has helped ensure that athletics is alive and well in his community.

17. Mandy Stibbe

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Mandy StibbeMandy has been involved with eventing both as a successful rider and as a ‘behind the scenes’ force, developing British teams and the organisation itself over many years.

Mandy’s involvement with the sport started aged seven when she joined her local pony club but it was only during her final years at school that she decided to focus on riding as a job – and she hasn’t looked back since.

She represented Britain on many occasions before marrying Dutchman Eddie Stibbe and going on to represent Holland, becoming Dutch national champion.

However after a number of injuries Mandy decided to retire and it was from here that her second career in eventing started.

Mandy has been a selector for both the junior and senior national teams and served on the board of British eventing for a number of years – performing these voluntary roles with dedication and commitment.

Mandy also became chair of the British Eventing board in 2003 before ill health intervened and she was forced to retire.

However, after her recovery she was re-elected in 2009 and once again served as chairman.

In the role, Mandy has led her team of selectors brilliantly and successfully – culminating in winning the team silver at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Mandy has been a great servant to British eventing and her long and outstanding contribution is cherished by everyone who works with her.

18. Abby Kumar

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Abby KumarAbby has been a line judge for over 40 years and was a referee for over 18, serving not only at the English Nationals but also at world championships, commonwealth games and the London 2012 Olympic Games.

In 2007, Abby joined the committee of the Badminton Line Judges Association of England and was asked to become its national training coordinator with the aim of setting up a line judges training scheme.

With this, Abby has been tremendously successful with over half of the English line judges that officiated at the world championships and Olympics having undergone his training programme – the standard of which Torsten Berg (Olympic referee) commented in his final briefing that they were the best to ever.

Abby has also been instrumental in raising the standards of line judging in the UK as well as lowering the average age of the volunteer pool in England – mentoring young officials to become fully qualified line judges.

Badminton England owes a great debt to his devotion to the sport.

19. Ann Webb

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent of Anne WebbAnn has been a vital cog in the running of Archery GB for a number of years, performing great deeds in regards to disability sport.

She has been involved with Paralympic archery since 1985 and was instrumental in overseeing the transition of Para Archery from under the remit of the International Paralympic committee where she had performed the role of chairperson, to the International Archery Federation.

Upon completion of the changeover Ann then went on to became the first honorary chairperson of Para Archery.

Currently Ann can still be found playing a vital contribution to Paralympic archery in her local community, where she is treasurer and coach at her local club.

On a national perspective, Ann is currently treasurer of the British Wheelchair Archery Association and is also active in helping to run and organise events held all over the UK.

Ann is a true ambassador for disabled and Paralympic archery in this country and throughout the world.

Archery GB would like to thank her for all of the hard work and enthusiasm she has brought to the sport and the archery community.


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