Services to sport honoured

Community Project of the Year winners.

Community Project of the Year winners.

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Hard-working groups and individuals in Dacorum were honoured at the Herts Service to Sport Awards.

Trophies were awarded to 45 sports volunteers from all over the county in front of an audience of around 450 guests at the University of Hertfordshire.

Claire Thornton with her award.

Claire Thornton with her award.

This event, hosted by Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft, is one of the most prestigious in the Herts Sports Partnership (HSP) calendar.

Get Set Go Dacorum were the winners of the Community Project of the Year.

In the past year they have provided funding to almost 30 different activities across Dacorum with more than 11,000 participants.

The large range of activities include Let’s Dance, which is aimed at over 55s, helping to develop physical improvements as well as having social benefits, and also sessions that are dedicated to providing fitness sessions aimed at BME females that are unwilling to exercise in a public place with males.

By providing these engaging activities, they are reaching out to those individuals who are least active and further improving on their personal experiences.

Sportspace Hemel Triathlon finished third in the same category.

Claire Thornton of Berkhamsted Gymnastics Club was named Female Community Coach of the Year.

Claire has been described as ‘the foundation’ of the club, addressing all of the needs of the individuals that she coaches.

She dedicates countless hours to find ways to improve and expand on development of the club to provide enjoyable and rewarding gymnastics sessions to participants of all ages.

This can be seen through innovative classes such as freegym which is aimed at the slightly older age groups who may wish to take part in gymnastics but without the formality that can be involved in a structured gym session.

The experience levels that Claire coaches range from toddlers sessions, aimed at introducing them to the sport, to an elite squad with some of the participants competing at regional as well as at a national level.

Rush Judo Club won the Paul Pearce Award for a Contribution to Disability Sport.

There were several other groups highly placed. Berkhamsted Raiders were second in the Community Club of the Year category,

In the Nadine Mehta Award section for Unsung Hero, Brian Harding of Hemel Hempstead Town FC was second and Paul Thomson of Hemel Cycling Club third.

Organised by the Herts Sports Partnership to acknowledge and celebrate these fantastic volunteers, lead organiser Shelley Woods was delighted with the success of the evening. She said: “This event is all about celebrating the contribution that volunteers make to sport in the county. There were some really inspirational and popular winners on Thursday night and we salute them all. It was fantastic to celebrate and congratulate such a vast range of roles, sports and clubs.”