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Service to Sport award

A sporting stalwart has been rewarded for decades of dedication to community sports clubs.

Tony Rudgard, of Church Road, in Bramshott, has been given the Service to Sport award by East Hampshire District Council in recognition of his tireless work for sporting organisations in the area.

Now 89, Tony began his work by joining Petersfield Sports Council in 1987. He served as chairman from 1994 until 1998, during which time he helped to arrange the Hants and Isle of Wight Games in 1996.

After his spell on Petersfield Sports Council he continued to work in the community as Secretary of Alton Sports Council and Treasurer of the Hampshire Association of Local Sports Councils in 1999.

After a quarter of a century’s work on local sports councils he is finally planning to step down this November.

During his time on Alton Sports Council he helped to increase its membership to 90 clubs and around 8,000 club members. He was instrumental in securing grant funding and charter status for the clubs and training and education for the members, as well as arranging matches and competitions.

From 1999 to 2005 he helped arrange the Hampshire and Isle of Wight games with support from East Hants District, Alton Town Council and Hampshire County Council. Most recently he has helped to arrange support for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

His professional life, first with the Fleet Air Arm and then with Shell, saw him travel the world, including spells in Africa and Asia.

But wherever he went he was sure to foment an interest in sport among his peers. Whether it was cricket in Mombasa or tennis in Indonesia, there was always another fixture to look forward to.

Returning to the UK in 1965 he joined Liphook Tennis Club and was elected Hon Secretary in 1969. He then joined Liphook Golf Club in 1970 and served on the Committee as a Director Trustee.

But it is through his work on the sports councils of both Petersfield and Alton that he has had the greatest impact on the lives of so many young people across the district. He has provided opportunities for competition, development and friendship for thousands of local sports players for many years.

He was awarded the Service to Sports Award but was unable to attend February’s ceremony, presented by Fred Dinenage, due to ill health.

Mr Rudgard said: “I have always been interested in sport and I have always thought that sport was a great way to communicate with people and a great way to bring people together.

“I am very proud to have won the Service to Sport Award and that my work has been recognised but I have been happy to do it and I have always seen it as a way to give something back to the community that has given so much to me.”

Article posted on: 02 July 2012

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