- Ken James recognised at Torch Trophy Trust awards
- HRH Princess Alexandra presents the awards
Nottinghamshire rugby union volunteer Ken James had a night to remember in London recently when he was presented with a prestigious Torch Trophy Trust award by HRH Princess Alexandra.
James, from Mansfield Woodhouse, is the Club President at Paviors RFC but over the years he has held an exhaustive list of other rugby volunteering responsibilities. These include the Rugby Football Union for Women’s (RFUW) Divisional Programme Under 18s Manager, Constituency Body (CB) Programme Manager and CB U15s Manager. Previously he has also been Paviors RFC Chairman, Chairman of the club’s Women’s and Girls section and Regional Programme Manager.
James’ many years of volunteering have been recognised rightly so by the Torch Trophy Trust, which was established in 1962 to recognise outstanding volunteers in the grassroots of sport in clubs and community initiatives.
This year he was one of 19 volunteers presented with an award – a miniature replica of the Olympic Torch – during an evening of ceremonies in London’s Pall Mall where he also met famous Trustees in football legend Sir Bobby Charlton and former England rugby captain Roger Uttley.
The RFUW’s Women’s Rugby Development Manager for the Midlands, Claire Antcliffe, who nominated James for the award, said: "Ken has been volunteering in the East Midlands area for at least six years. He has always enthusiastic and dedicated in any role he has undertaken.
"Starting out at Paviors RFC, Ken has progressed into roles within the rest of the club and the CB of Notts, Lincs & Derby. Initially as the Women and Girls representative for his club, he progressed to Chairman and is now the whole club President. This is a massive responsibility, and a huge achievement, as he is only the second person from a women and girls section in the country to achieve this honour.
"Ken has been key in increasing playing numbers amongst his club’s junior girls section, including introducing new girls’ specific recruitment schemes and establishing strong links with the local schools network. His recent success is in establishing a brand new ladies side at the club which now enables girls to play rugby from minis and juniors right through to senior level.
"Ken is truly an inspiration and such a hardworking and motivated volunteer, it is difficult to put into words how much he has done for the game in the Midlands. We are unsure how he finds the time to have a full time job and to fulfil all the roles he does to such a high standard, but we are ever grateful that he manages it. Rugby in general and women and girls rugby in particular could not continue without people like Ken to drive it forward."