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Town Mayor Councillor David Bowater has presented awards to local sport enthusiasts to acknowledge their individual achievements or voluntary contribution made over the years to help and coach others to improve their sporting skills.
Cllr Bowater presented the awards on behalf of 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, funded by the Town Council.
Congratulating them on their awards and wishing them continued success, Cllr Bowater presented Service to Sport awards to:
* David Sweetnam, the Leighton-based Secretary of the Bedfordshire Schools Golf Association, whose team beat more than 30 other county squads to win the English Schools team championship. A former physical education teacher, David has been involved in schools golf for around 40 years and for three years, was Managing Secretary of Caddington golf club, and
* Arthur Giltrow, a significant figure in the Leighton Buzzard Hockey club with which he has been involved for over 40 years as a player and administrator. Attaining County standard as a player, Arthur went on to umpire and coach, but had to retire due to a work-related injury, since which time he has been a major driving force behind the development of new clubhouse facilities.
Kari Martin, a coach at Leighton Buzzard Canoe club for over 20 years, lead coach for the past decade, and a British Canoeing Regatta official for the past 12 years, was awarded the Ladies Service to Sport prize, but was unable to attend the presentation evening.  .
The Sports Council has for the first time recognised individual Achievement in Sport, with Cllr Bowater presenting the award to:
* Ed Stephenson, reigning club and junior champion at Leighton Buzzard golf club. Ed, 17, was a member of the three-strong team of Vandyke students who won the English Schools team championship beating more than 30 other counties for the national title. On his way to retaining the Club championship last August, Ed set a course record for the current 18 holes, completing his second round in 64 shots. He’s also the current Captain of the Junior section of the Plantation Road club.
Sporting groups in the area are being encouraged to join the Sports Council to “have their voice heard” . 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 get the support needed from advice given by people with hands-on experience.
PICTURE CAPTION:  Award winners (front) David Sweetnam, Ed Stephenson and Arthur Giltrow; (back)  Town Mayor David Bowater with  Cyd Smith and Gordon Fletcher.