A group of Hounslow's unsung sporting heroes were rewarded for their efforts in promoting grassroots sport in the borough last Monday.

They were given Hounslow Sports Forum (HSF) Volunteer Awards at the HSF's second annual awards evening at the House of Commons.

The evening was led by Feltham & Heston MP Alan Keen and HSF chair and vice-chair Pete Baveystock and Sheila Collins - who were both presented with volunteers awards plus London Federation of Sport and Recreation 30-year Awards.

The other recipients were:

ANGELA UNDERWOOD (Hounslow Badminton Club)

ANGELA volunteered to look after the Friday shuttles and collect fees when the previous secretary gave up about five or six years ago.

Since then, she's also done the accounts and works out fee levels so the club doesn't go broke, and pays the monthly bill.

She is also one of the last to leave every Friday as she waits until the end of play before putting all the shuttles away - which is not always convenient.

The main thing is, she does all this in such a relaxed, cheerful manner, never loses her cool and very rarely misses a Friday - but if she does, she's very efficient at making sure someone else deputises for her.

It doesn't sound like an enormous load, but it's these responsibilities that club members take for granted and which keep the club running.

ALMA METSON (2000 Club)

ALMA is one of the senior members and, like the chairman, is unsighted.

The club is proud to nominate her for this award, mainly because she continually reminds us that we need to fundraise, but also because of her guts and determination - her escapades on a horse needed to be seen to be believed.

She has gained the admiration of us all by her ability to make us want to do something - we almost expected to find ourselves entered in the London Marathon this year - that's the sort of person she is.


'BAVEY' has been working tire-lessly for Grasshoppers for well over 30 years.

He has been social secretary, coach, club captain and now chairman, and it was as chair he was instrumental in starting up the successful mini and junior rugby section which now has a membership of over 200.

Bavey has also been active in developing links with local charities that have benefited from his fund raising by thousands of pounds.

He also holds the position of chair on the Hounslow Sports Forum and actively champions the cause of all local sports clubs.

THE OUSEPH FAMILY (Hounslow Badminton Association)

IT IS not uncommon for a husband and wife to become involved in helping to run a group, but when the three children are also key volunteers you've almost got a whole committee!

Joe, Aysha, Rajani, Reshmi and Rajiv have badminton in their blood. They can be seen helping with odd job days at the badminton centre, organising refreshments at major events, coaching, making guest appearances and organising the court bookings for the centre.

They also search for sponsors, sitting on various committees doing marketing and promotion.

Without them, Middlesex Badminton would be a run-ofthe-mill county rather than one of the best.

ANNE ROWSOME (Aquathlon and Cycling)

ANNE came along to her first sports development event over 10 years ago to support one of her three children.

She immediately offered her services as a volunteer helper at Hounslow's Mini marathon and London Youth Games events, then took on the role of team manager for cycling and aquathlon.

Anne took to her role with great enthusiasm and good humour and managed to continue to produce successful teams for both sports long after her own children were too old to compete.

She has encouraged her own children to follow in her footsteps, and her daughters - Laura and Keira - have both served as volunteers at several of our events.

Anne has always approached her volunteering with infectious enthusiasm and it is only right she receives a thank you for her hard work over the past 10 year.

SUSANNA GILLETT (Grasshoppers Netball)

SUSANNA has been part of the Grasshoppers Netball Club since it began over 17 years ago.

She is now the only surviving member from those days and has been active and instrumental in it's development on a regular basis.

Susanna is the oldest member (just don't tell anyone!) but still holds her 'A team' place, although every year the youngsters try to take it away from her!

The club has three great courts, four teams and over 40 members, has won leagues in every division and come a long way since its founding by bored rugby widows[2026] all thanks to members like Susanna.

Without her there wouldn't be a Grasshoppers Netball Club.

STEVE ELMHIRST (Woodfield Badminton Club)

STEVE is an enthusiastic team player within the committee and the Woodfield Badminton Club.

As a badminton player, he joined in 1983 and served on the committee soon after.

He then took the position of club treasurer, which he has held for 24 years, and carried out his duties impeccably.

Steve is a very honest and reliable person and a great asset to Woodfield, now in its 34th year.


CHRISTINE is on the staff of Disability Network Hounslow as the information officer, meeting clients on a one-to-one basis.

She has a most kind, helpful, gentle way of helping and her trustworthiness shines out . Her work over the years has brought us many new members.

Christine is not one to hog the limelight, and this occasion will embarrass her no end, but we are pleased to see her receive it anyway!

JANET SIMMONDS (2000 club)

JANET joined the club when it was looking for volunteers with management potential, and they soon discovered that her visual impairment was not going to hold her back.

She showed them how to get on with things without treading on people's toes, and as social secretary, she has kept our group's name in the public eye.

Janet is well worthy of this award.

THE FAMILY ACKERMAN (Hounslow Badminton Association)

YET another family who, once involved, seem never to get away from the whole host of varied jobs required of volunteers.

When you spend so much time at a badminton centre watching your children play, you might as well find something to while away the time - and so it was with parents Ranjit and Graham.

While daughter Chloe has been involved with helping to run tournaments and assist mum in planting and weeding, son Lee has been helping dad with the laminate flooring and grass cutting.

At sometime or another, all the family can be seen doing those little odd-jobs that are so easily left to someone else. Their dedication to making the badminton centre a success is certainly worthy of recognition.

SHEILA COLLINS (Hounslow Badminton Club)

SHEILA has been involved with badminton since becoming a coach 30 years ago, and has been with the Hounslow Badminton Association (HBA) for 25 years.

As chair of the HBA, Sheila has been the liaison between the county association and Badminton England to bring top-class events to the badminton centre, seek funding and develop the centre to performance-class status.

Having set up a volunteers award for the county association, Sheila now organises three award presentations for volunteers in sport - the HSF awards being one of them.

Being retired from full-time work, Sheila is the most likely person to ask to attend daytime meetings, and in this capacity she has represented the Hounslow Sports Forum at the CSPAN meetings, and with CIP to help develop the Hounslow badminton team in the London Youth Games.

It seems fitting that the volunteer who instituted the volunteers award should receive this acknowledgement herself.

The Hounslow Sports Forum is always looking for new members from sports clubs across the area to get involved. The next meeting in on September 24.

Anyone interested should contact Peter Baveystock on 07801 664557 or email peter.baveystock@ntlworld.com