50 Years – Not Out

The SWVA are celebrating the UNIQUE contribution that Ron Richards has made to our Association and our sport within the Region during the last 51 years. Ron has also served as SW Secretary without a break for 50 years but that is just one of his many activities that has shaped the sport that we all enjoy today.

Highlights include:

  • Helped to set up the SWVA in 1969 while a student at Exeter University.
  • Started and still running the Whitefield tournament since 1974 (47 Years)
  • Ran the Priory outdoor Tournament, a regular fixture in September for many years
  • The SW Timeout Newsletter, which ran during this period until recently, distributed to all clubs and SW Players
  • Involved in the running of Speedwell, Bristol, and Priory Volleyball Clubs plus the SW Junior grand prix program
  • Represents the SW clubs and local VA’s on the Regional Commission and has stepped in as SW Treasurer when required (1972, 1977 & 2020).
  • Recognised by Volleyball England in 2000 with the presentation of the “Peter Wardale Memorial” Award.
  • Contributed many of the photo’s documenting volleyball in the South West in our 50th anniversary photo albums (available on the web site).

Many of our older players will be familiar with the above list and would have started their volleyball at these events, newer members may not be familiar with Ron but will hopefully appreciate the setup of the sport they see around them in the SW region today.

To mark this outstanding service, a collection was arranged through SW clubs and the amount collected exceeded our expectations, many thanks to everyone for their generosity.

Clubs were also asked what they thought would be appropriate gifts, which included a  Presentation Award, Magnum, 6 Counties SW Hamper (with a selection of Ron’s prefered cheeses) and several Red Letter days packages.

The presentation took place during this weekends SW Vets Tournament together with other invited guests at the Exeter Riverside LC.

I would like to also thank Roy and Ann Pankhurst for arranging all the presentation gifts, which started with an autumn themed bouquet for Jan Richards.

Following the presentation, Ron addressed theose present and thanked all SW members for their generosity.

“I would like to thank everyone who made the presentation to myself and my wife Jan at the SW Vets Tournament possible.  While I knew a presentation was to be made, the scale of your generosity was amazing. 

My fifty years involvement has been a real pleasure. It has been great working with some wonderful people who have led the Association and its member clubs and all those who have contributed as administrators, coaches and referees. It has been particularly pleasing to see so many who have developed through the fantastic SW junior development programmes and squads go on to become senior players, administrators, coaches and referees. 

We can never have enough volunteers in the game and I would encourage players to get involved as volunteers in their clubs, local / regional associations and nationally. It can be very rewarding and as I said above – you get to meet some wonderful people and make lifelong friends. 

Thank you again for the kind words and gifts. 

Ron

 

Dave Reece
SWVA Chairman

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