Mr Athletics wins volunteer of year award

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Wetherby-based Dave Paver was named winner of the Volunteer of the Year award at the 2019 England Athletics Regional Volunteer Awards for Yorkshire and Humberside last night.

Mr Paver, 66, a driving force at City of York Athletics Club, was presented with his award at a special event held at the Holiday Inn Wakefield to celebrate and reward volunteers who have made outstanding contributions to athletics and running in Yorkshire and Humberside.

A spokesman for England Athletics awards said: “Dave is invaluable. He serves his club as an athlete, coach, official, organiser and promoter – he is Mr Athletics for York Schools. Without him the sport simply wouldn’t be what and where it is in Yorkshire and Humberside.”

They added: “Volunteering is his full-time job; he juggles his time and is super-efficient in all that he does.

“He is the man that thinks and covers every eventuality, always prepared (at the ESAA Champs he has a box that can provide everything a team manager might need).

“His enthusiasm and positivity is infectious, he has a can do attitude to everything, there is always a way.

“He’s innovative and forward thinking, always looking for the best format for athletic competition and new opportunities for young athletes, and most importantly has an all-inclusive approach in everything.”

His club were determined Dave should be recognised for his unstinting years of service to club and school athletics.

“At the East Riding v York Schools cross country in the early 80’s, he organised the event, built the course, team managed and produced the results, all with very little help, remaining calm and collected.”

His dedication, vision and ambition has continued and Dave still operates in the same manner now but has the support of a team who appreciate his dedication explained the spokesman.

“Our sport is volunteer centred and Dave’s contribution makes it happen, within our club and countrywide as he has many roles in ESAA.

“It’s time to give him the accolade he deserves for his exceptional enthusiasm and commitment, his ability to make others feel appreciated and the innovations he brings. There isn’t a more deserving winner of Volunteer of the Year.”

Every winner of the nine Regional Volunteer Awards is then put forward to an external panel who will select the finalists for the prestigious National Volunteer Awards at Birmingham on Saturday October 12.