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Jim Cornell, a long serving member of Leighton-Linslade Tennis Club, has been presented with a Service to Sport award in recognition of his distinguished voluntary service.

Jim , 82, who for ten of his 34 years as a member was Chairman of  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,

Presenting the award Jim, Planet Ward Town councillor Sheona Hemmings praised the behind-the-scenes work by volunteers like Jim which went 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 the voluntary work carried out by people like Jim, involved in supporting amateur sport organisations, were the “heart blood of the community, encouraging the young and the elderly to be active for their physical and mental well-being, and  deserved the  thanks of the community for their tireless work in promoting sport in the area.

She also presented Leighton Linslade and District Sports Council  Service to Sport 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, and  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 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:   Tennis Club stalwardt Jim Cornell receives his Service to Sport award from Town Councillor and Deputy Mayor Sheona Hemmings.