Long service awards for three of Leighton Buzzard's dedicated volunteers

A leading Leighton Buzzard councillor has described the voluntary work carried out by people supporting amateur sport organisations in the area as the “heart blood of the community, encouraging the young and the elderly to be active for their physical and mental well-being” – writes Stuart Oliver.

By Zoe Ashton
Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 6:29 pm
Gordon Fletcher (Co-Chair), John Cundell  (Croquet), Steven Farrell (Hockey), Town Councillor Sheona Hemmings, Jim Cornell  (Tennis) and Cyd Smith (Co-Chair).
Gordon Fletcher (Co-Chair), John Cundell (Croquet), Steven Farrell (Hockey), Town Councillor Sheona Hemmings, Jim Cornell (Tennis) and Cyd Smith (Co-Chair).

Presenting Service to Sport awards to long serving members of Leighton hockey, tennis and croquet clubs, Planet Ward Town councillor Sheona Hemmings praised the work which goes into ensuring a wide range of sporting organisations flourished, raising standards and developed confidence, particularly amongst young people.

Ms Hemmings, who is the Town’s Deputy Mayor and Chair of the Grants and Awards committee, told members and guests at the presentation evening at Leighton Buzzard rugby club that they deserved the thanks of the community for their tireless work in promoting sport in the area.

She presented awards to:

* Steven Farrell, 73, who in his 30 years as member of Leighton Hockey club has been a player who transitioned to mentor and coach.

* Jim Cornell, 82, who for ten of his 34 years as a member was Chairman of the Leighton-Linslade Tennis club, promoted twin-town exchanges with tennis clubs in France and Germany, helped secure lottery funding for court flood-lighting, is the club maintenance director – and still plays tennis twice a week.

* John Cundell, 80, for 20 years a member of Leighton Linslade Croquet club as a player and administrator, organising and managing fixtures and recording results and handicaps.

The Leighton-Linslade Sports Council, a grass-roots organisation which for over 50 years has helped a wide variety of sporting activities in the community to grow, develop and flourish, is funded by the Town Council. Seventeen amateur sport organisations are currently affiliated and more are being encouraged to join to have their voice heard.

As well as making grants for equipment, coaching and other sporting needs, the Sports Council is the ears and eyes of the town’s sporting community, helping influence the decision makers to ensure Leighton, Linslade and neighbouring villages and communities get the support needed from advice given by people with hands-on experience.

It also sponsors awards recognising volunteers in sporting organisations and a Sports Achiever of the Year.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​