I have kept this a secret from you all, until now, hoping it would come as a nice surprise if you won! I tried to get the recognition for your fantastic efforts in building such a great club that has provided so many benefits for so many people.
I submitted the entry on 31st January. I rang the Town Hall yesterday and was told that the award went to Wallingford Volunteers, no doubt a worthy winner.
However, although winning would have been great, not winning does not diminish your achievements and the appreciation of all members of these achievements.
High Steward of Wallingford's Community Award – Call for nominations
The High Steward of Wallingford, Ken Lester, is delighted to announce the launch of this new award to recognise the outstanding contribution made by an individual or an organisation in establishing, maintaining and promoting the highest standards of community service in Wallingford.
The individual or organisation must able to demonstrate that they have made an outstanding contribution which benefits residents and the community of Wallingford. They needn't themselves live or be based in Wallingford, but the benefit from their work should be shown for a sustained period in the town. Nominations should describe how the nominee has addressed values such as (but not exclusively), helping the disadvantaged, promoting inclusivity and participation in community life, and supporting Wallingford as a town which encourages vibrant community activities. Nominations should, as far as possible be from a member of the public independent of the person/organisation being nominated, but where this is not practicable, the person making the nomination must make clear the relationship to the nominee. Self-nomination is not allowed. A nomination statement should be no longer than 500 words and may contain referees. Where referees are included it is the responsibility of the person making the nomination to ensure that permission has been obtained from the referees for them to be contacted by the High Steward.
I would like to nominate Petanque Wallingford for the High Steward of Wallingford’s Community Award.
Started in 2012 on a space in the car park at the Wallingford Sports Park, Petanque Wallingford is now a thriving progressive club, that boasts one of the best Petanque terrains in the country.
In the light of the current Government initiatives to change the future direction of healthcare in the country, clubs such as ours are already offering the benefits of mental and physical wellbeing to our members and visitors. (See a picture below of the piste in use!)
Anyone and everyone is welcome to come along to one or all of the 5 weekly sessions where helpful coaching is often available or to join in the games.
Members pay £60 per annum for unlimited access and visitors pay £2 per visit, however, under a proposed system of social/community prescribing a club like ours has a lot to offer.
In addition to the regular sessions, the club has a busy programme of social and match-play activities. The club is active in the Thames Valley Petanque League, which provides many opportunities for inter-club and individual competition. There are also member competitions and melees (where members change partners for each game in friendly competition) often followed by a shared lunch in the Sports Park Pavillion.
Our facilities are available to other local organisations, these have included local companies, Style Acre and the U3A.
The combination of all these activities make the Petanque Wallingford club probably the most accessible and busiest club on the Wallingford Sports Park.
Almost everyone who joins the club is a novice. The game has a low threshold of skill enabling players to gain significant enjoyment at an early stage of their development with no outlay on equipment as boules are always at hand. However, as with any sport those who wish to invest their time and energy can reach high levels of play – we have a dedicated member who having started playing only three years ago has now played for England! We also have the Petanque Captain of the World Transplant Games as a member.
Our members range in age from 9 to 90 with the majority in the 50 to 75 age range, increasing the number of members in younger age brackets is an aim of the club.
The friendly, welcoming ethos of the club has provided an important social support to many local people.
The club would not exist today without the exhaustive efforts of the three founding members – Loren, Therese and Gerry. These three with the help of other members have transformed what was a car park piste into a magnificent 11 piste club on two separate surfaces complete with a superb shelter and floodlights for evening play. (See a picture of our shelter below).
I wholeheartedly commend the club and its leading members for building and maintaining a wonderful facility available for the people of Wallingford and surrounding areas.
The club is deserving of recognition for past achievements and a very bright future.
Petanque Wallingford Member
John Atkins, Chairman of The Wallingford Sports Trust