Volunteer wins national award for exceptional service to sport
A former Berwick woman has received a prestigious national award for her contribution to British sport.
Edna Beveridge received her honour from the Torch Trophy Trust, a charity which supports and recognises sports volunteers across the UK.
She was nominated by the English Schools Athletics Association for her exceptional service to sport and the local community, which has included 50 years of service, with 30 years of organising the English Schools Athletics Association Track and Field Cup, working with 800 schools to involve 25,000 children in sport.
A former England cross country team manager, she even took Mo Farah under her wing when he attended his first major championships when he was only 17.
Edna, a former Berwick Grammar School pupil, has lived away from the town for more than 30 years, but still makes regular visits to see friends. She now lives in Cramlington.
She said: “I didn’t know anything about the award so it was a lovely surprise.”
Ashington-born football legend Sir Bobby Charlton CBE, president of the trust, was also on hand at the ceremony at the Army and Navy Club in London.
He said: “Without people like Edna, sport simply wouldn’t exist. We’re very lucky in this country to have an army of volunteers but these awards are given to only a handful of people each year. They are in recognition of being one of our most devoted sports volunteers, so each of our winners has my personal thanks and my appreciation.”
The Duke of Gloucester, who presented the awards, said he believed that award-winners were also role-models for those around them.
He said: “Volunteering is the lifeblood of the United Kingdom and it’s an honour to reward people who give up so much of their time and their energy for others. I hope they act as an inspiration to the people around them.”
The Torch Trophy Trust was founded in 1962 by the late Commander Bill Collins RN, then honorary secretary of the Amateur Athletic Association. It exists to encourage, reward and recognise the UK’s three million sports volunteers. The trust’s awards are unique in acknowledging the breadth of the contribution of volunteers in sport, something which has been at the heart of its mission since it was founded 56 years ago. The Trust is supported by Daks of London.