On Monday evening, at the Hertfordshire Sports Partnership annual “Service to Sports 2011” award ceremony, Chiltern Canoe Club were nominated in the “Best Newcomer Club” category and walked away with the first place trophy. Jerry Walker, our Junior Coaching Co-ordinator, was honoured to represent the club and thrilled to receive the first prize as it was by no means a foregone conclusion, fighting off competition from numerous other nominees, including Herts Girls Rugby Club (2nd) and Stevenage Triathlon Club (3rd).

Jerry who was presented the Trophy by Councillor Allan, Mayor of Tring, commented

It was an absolute honour to receive the award on behalf of all the members of the club as well as the parents, volunteers and committee, who have been so supportive of us over the past months. We hope to build on this success in the coming months and years and for the Chiltern Canoe Club to become an even better club by actively serving members, local schools and community while simultaneously representing the BCU and promoting Paddlesport as a fantastic activity and past-time open to everyone.

The venue for the ceremony was the Weston Auditorium at the University of Hertfordshire, and was packed to bursting when the 122 nominated volunteers and their guests attended the prestigious Hertfordshire Service to Sport Awards 2011.

The dynamic evening was superbly hosted by BBC commentator David Croft who welcomed the guests and applauded the efforts of all those who give up their time selflessly so that others can discover and enjoy their chosen sport. He acknowledged the vital contribution they make to the spirit and health of their communities and that without this dedicated team more than 2,500 Hertfordshire based community sports clubs could not exist.

David Croft (Crofty) was joined by local dignitaries, sponsor representatives and a number of special guests that included players and coaches from the Saracens RFC, Arsenal Ladies FC, Stevenage FC and Mavericks Netball Club. They were proud to celebrate their recent successes, showing off the impressive haul of silver-wear won this year. An inspirational interview with Nicolas Hamilton, Renault Clio Cup racing driver gave an inspiring insight into the world of motor racing and overcoming the potential limitations of Cerebral Palsy.

The real stars of the evening were the forty or so successful award winners. Nominations were received from all ten Hertfordshire local authority areas and from over twenty different sports that included boxing and basketball; sailing and swimming; rugby, running and paddlesport.

Chiltern Canoe Club, nominated by Cathy Court, Club Development & Liaison Officer, said;

In the last few months we have consolidated a group of enthusiastic paddlers and created a fully affiliated BCU club, that is able to introduce many children and adults safely and cheaply into paddlesports over the coming years. This enthusiasm has filtered through to the members who are very keen to progress with different forms of paddlesport and are passing on the word throughout the local community.

Adrian Titley, Club Secretary, quoted;

Its just fantastic to be recognised by our peers, for all the hard work everyone here at the Chiltern Canoe Club has invested in setting up and now successfully running, what we all hope will be a great canoe club and local resource for introducing people to Paddlesport and developing their skills individually and as a group
Brian Hicken, Head of Coaching, added;

It is such an honour for Chiltern Canoe Club to already have been recognised and awarded ‘Best Newcomer Club’ in Hertfordshire for 2011. It is a solid recognition and reward for the effort, commitment and enthusiasm required and demonstrated from all those involved in establishing the club during its initial months. With the assistance of all the members and especially the support of the parents and a fantastic group of enthusiastic, talented and energetic youngsters, this club will thrive and go from strength to strength and introduce the community to the fun and benefits associated with Paddlesports.

Steve Rolfe, Chiltern Canoe Club Chairman concluded;

Chiltern Canoe Club was born out of a desire of some local people to enjoy canoeing in a sociable group and to introduce the sport to young people as a fun and exciting activity. This has been possible due to a dedicated committee, an enthusiastic membership and great support from parents. This award for best new club in Herts is a fantastic public recognition of the contribution of all involved and I am delighted that we have received it.