Paul Williams from Halton Baseball Club wins Sports Volunteer of the Year award

Mon 26 Sep 2016

The efforts put in over the years by Paul Williams at Halton Baseball Club were recognised on Thursday 22 September when he was presented with the 2016 Sports Volunteer of the Year award by the Mayor of Halton, Councillor Ged Philbin.

Paul was nominated by BSUK for the award early in the summer and was then shortlisted, but the winner was not revealed until the awards ceremony.

Paul said: “Being nominated for Halton Sports Volunteer of the Year Award 2016 was a complete shock -- but actually winning it was even bigger!”

The awards themselves are in their 14th year and winners represent a broad spectrum of sports undertaken throughout the Halton area, from table tennis to American football as well as the more mainstream sports.

“For baseball and softball to be even mentioned at the awards means that I must have been doing something right,” Paul added.  “When I mentioned that Halton Baseball and Softball Club was in its 20th year, you could hear the gasps in the audience – no one could believe it.

“Winning the award means a lot to me, and I really appreciate the support from the people I’ve coached, the teams I’ve managed, the incredible parents I’ve met and the amazing teammates that I’ve played games with over the years,” Paul concluded.  “At the end of the day it’s really nice to win an award, but I don’t need one.  I just hope that I’ve managed to encourage participation throughout Halton and develop the sport in the North West.”


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BSUK North West Coach Linni Mitchell, who has coached with Paul this summer, said: “Paul is so dedicated to his club and will do anything to promote the sport in Halton and beyond.  He has a talent for working with both children and adults, getting them interested in both baseball and softball and ultimately growing the sports.  He is willing to do whatever it takes to get Halton Baseball Club’s name out there, whether that’s taking photos of sessions to post online or traveling round putting up posters and banners to promote the club.

“Paul’s passion for baseball and Halton Baseball Club shines through in everything he does for the club,” Linni added, “and he really deserves to be recognised for his efforts.”

Luis Arrevillagas, BSUK’s North West Develoment Manager, said: “I have known Paul Williams for a number of years and it is incredibly pleasing to see him being recognised for all the work he has done.  I know Paul is not after a plaque, but this award surely reiterates that what he has been doing is appreciated and valued by many.”


Qualifications

Here are just some of the things that Paul Williams has done this year that have led to him winning the Halton Sports Volunteer of the Year award for 2016:

  • Paul went to the first-ever BaseballSoftballUK Coach Summit in Birmingham in January, attending workshops and seminars on baseball and softball coaching to learn how to improve delivery of the sport in the UK.
     
  • In 2016, Paul completed his Level 1 Umpire qualification in baseball and softball.
     
  • Paul is a BSUK licensed coach and has an Activator Course Assistant Tutor qualification.
     
  • Paul has been coaching junior baseball sessions weekly for local kids aged 7-11, to introduce children to baseball and develop their skills.
     
  • Paul has used his contacts to help local coaches go into schools in Halton to promote baseball by delivering assemblies and taster sessions.
     
  • Paul has created and posted online posters to promote Halton Baseball and Softball Club.  He also runs the club’s social media accounts, posting regular updates.
     
  • Paul has helped deliver beginners’ softball sessions for men and women at the club.
     
  • During the winter months, Paul also volunteers to coach at Academy Baseball and has travelled to Manchester, Coventry and London on weekends to assist with coaching for U15 and U18 baseball teams that represent Great Britain in European competitions.

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