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Steven Farrell,  who in his 30 years as member of Leighton Hockey club has been a player who “transitioned” to mentor and coach, has been presented with a Service to Sport award in recognition of his distinguished voluntary service to the sport.

Steven, 73, was an outfield player for many years before focusing on goal-keeping. He later became an umpire and coach, helping  young players hone their hockey skills.

Presenting the Service to Sport award to Steven, Planet Ward Town Councillor Sheona Hemmings praised the behind-the-scenes work by people like Steven which went into ensuring a wide range of sporting organisations flourised, raised 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, describing their commitment  as the “heart blood of the community,” encouraging the young and the elderly to be active for their physical and mental well-being.

She also made awards to  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, and to John Cundell, 80, has been a member of Leighton Linslade Croquet club as a player and administrator for over 20 years, 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 to the Sports Council 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 for recognising the work of “behind the scenes” volunteers in sporting organisations and a Sports Achiever of the Year.


PICTURE CAPTION:   Hockey club stalwart Steven Farrell receives his Service to Sport award from  Councillor and Deputy Mayor Sheona Hemmings.