WHY BE A VOLUNTEER?
It’s not for the money, it’s not for fame.
It’s not for any personal gain.
It’s just for love of fellowman.
It’s just to send a helping hand.
It’s just to give a tithe of self.
That’s something you can’t buy with wealth.
It’s not medals won with pride.
It’s for that feeling deep inside.
It’s that reward down in your heart.
It’s that feeling that you’ve been a part.
Of helping others far and near,
that makes you be a volunteer.
Louise Stephens wins the 2021 Volunteer of the Year award.
Each of the nominees received a lot of votes but Louise was the clear winner. Louise was presented with a framed print of the Volunteer of the Year word art, generously created and donated by Nicola Wood. Flowers were also presented. Congratulations to Louise. Thank you to all the nominees. We will open up nominations for the 2022 Volunteer of the Year 2022 later this year.
Shortlist for 2021 Volunteer of the Year
Thank you for all 75 of the nominations received. It shows that people do appreciate the people that invest their time growing pickleball. We have reviewed the nominations and have a short list of 6 for you, the players to choose from. We will send you the details of how to vote soon!
Alan Coley - North West Region
Alan Coley has contributed incredibly to the growth of pickleball within his local area, county, region, and country, and always with a smile and great sense of humour! His encouragement of new players and devotion to growing the game has seen pickleball become more established in areas such as Clayton Green and Chorley. He has also donated his time to helping Elaine Shallcross on the regional front with coaching sessions and events, as well as being a great point person for pbE whilst working on the Nationals in 2021. What is most notable across all of Alan’s nominations for Volunteer Of The Year is his patience and never-ending passion for putting on sessions to allow for play, coach beginners and allow people to enjoy the sport that we all know and love!
Carol Lamb - South East Region
Carol’s work in developing the Arun District Pickleball Club on the south coast is nothing short of an amazing achievement! From running 5 sessions a week, to sourcing new and alternative venues for play and negotiating the pandemic, Carol shows tireless commitment to her club and the sport of pickleball! Affectionately known as “Mother Pickleball”, and with an email address starting “carol4pickleball”, it is clear to see the impact she is having in her area! Her dedication to making her sessions inclusive and her enthusiasm for making sure everybody has a fantastic time at club sessions make her a fantastic candidate for Volunteer Of The Year!
Ian Kingsbury - South West Region
Known as “Mr Pickleball” (alongside his wife Pauline, “Mrs Pickleball”), Ian Kingsbury has made a tremendous splash with pickleball in Gosport! Ian has utilised prior experience from his holidays in Florida to make sure pickleball is here to stay in Gosport and has built up a thriving group of players! One of his most notable achievements was having the BBC South Today team down on World Pickleball Day in 2021, resulting in a doubling of the club’s membership! Ian now serves as chairperson of his club and spends a lot of his own time coaching new and beginner players ever since discovering his passion for teaching pickleball!
Giuseppe (Pep) Giuliano - East Midlands Region
Pep’s boundless enthusiasm and unending positivity have not gone unnoticed in Peterborough and the wider pickleball community! Having started playing in Peterborough with just 6 players a couple of years ago, Pep has provided free coaching, taster sessions and more to ensure that pickleball grows in his area, all whilst juggling running a restaurant and looking after his young family! By connecting his players to the wider world of pickleball via social media, external coaching sessions and events, Pep has created an incredibly enthusiastic group of players who love playing with him at every opportunity!
Kath Knowles - Wales
Kath is described by her local players as being “worth her weight in gold” due to her achievements in bringing pickleball to Anglesey and developing it to have over 100 players across the island now playing! She (literally) talks about pickleball to everybody she meets and is tireless in her efforts to grow pickleball not just in Anglesey but across the entire North West! Her passion for the sport has led to her organising a multitude of events for local players such as guest coaching sessions, special events and introduction to pickleball sessions. Kath’s unbounding energy for pickleball is certainly something to be admired!
Louise Stephens - South East Region
Louise Stephens, otherwise known as “Miss Pickleball”, is a superb advocate of the sport. From setting up London Pickleball in 2019, to now running at least 6 sessions a week with over 100 people, Louise practically has a full-time job volunteering pickleball hours! Her ability to engage and encourage people to try, learn, and develop in pickleball is phenomenal, and she will more often than not give up her place to play so that she can help someone else learn more about pickleball! She also runs multiple events across the calendar year in order to raise money either for pickleballEngland or most recently to send to a pickleball family in Ukraine.