Vanessa Brown Volunteer Awards 2022

By Sported |  6th June 2022

Every year, we recognise and celebrate Sported volunteers with the Vanessa Brown Awards. Now in its seventh year, we’re excited to share the winners of the 2021 awards and show how much of a difference they make to grassroots sports groups in the Sported network.


Our 273-strong volunteer team are situated across the UK and come with a wealth of professional experience and knowledge, dedicating their time, energy and passion to help groups. Their support allows many groups to grow, become more sustainable, gain funding, and more, helping them continue to support as many young people as they can in their local area through sport. 

The awards are in remembrance of a passionate and much-loved colleague at Sported, Vanessa Brown, whose infectious enthusiasm for community sport and volunteering make her a fitting individual to name these awards after.  

The winners were selected by a judging panel including Vanessa’s partner Rachel, Olympian Dave Moorcroft, the first Sported CEO Jo Stocks, and current trustee Louise Dier.

Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees. We want to thank all of our Sported volunteers whose support to group leaders means that almost half a million young people can experience the benefits of sport through grassroots community groups. 

Pauline Weddell - Vanessa Brown Award for Outstanding Achievement

A woman in a blue striped top stands holding her Sported volunteer award in her garden


Pauline has volunteered at Sported since 2018, helping group leaders through leadership coaching, a service free to individuals in the Sported network to help them become more effective leaders, supporting with confidence, time-keeping, prioritisation and more. Throughout her time as a Sported volunteer, she’s supported 10 groups in a 1:1 capacity, as well as run webinars and training for the wider membership.

Don Wilkinson - Big Impact

A man in a checkered shirt sits in front of a desk with his Sported volunteer award behind him

Don has been a Sported volunteer since 2017 and has helped countless groups with strategic and business planning, as well as marketing.

The Big Impact award is to recognise individuals who have been impactful during the Covid-19 pandemic, and Don’s support helped groups from all over the UK stay afloat during these difficult times.

Keith Pollard – Celebrating Diversity

Keith wins the award for Celebrating Diversity, which recognizes individuals who have helped groups in the Sported network become more inclusive.

We are passionate about ensuring that sport at a grassroots level is available and open to all, and Keith has helped groups in this area, using his expertise to help them put together action plans and create connections to achieve this goal.

Jon Williams - Sported Champion

A male in a fleece jumper stands with his glass Sported volunteer award

A volunteer since 2013, Jon has experience in strategic and business planning and helps develop committees or boards for not-for-profit organisations. 

Jon helped develop our Sported Leadership Coaching programme and has seen it flourish. He is a perfect candidate for this award which recognises those who have had an impact on Sported as a growing charity. 

Holly Govey - Sported Newcomer

A woman in a grey hoodie stands inside with her glass Sported volunteer award

Holly joined the Sported volunteer team in 2021 and has got stuck straight in with supporting group leaders. A PR and social media professional, her support has been particularly helpful as groups continue to recover and reengage participants after the pandemic.

Holly also supports with Kickstart calls, a service for groups to identify what areas they may need support with to ensure their group can be sustainable.

Gemma Lumsdaine - Young Volunteer

A young woman sits in her wheelchair holding a glass Sported volunteer award

Gemma is a member of the Dundee Dragons, a wheelchair basketball group in Dundee. 

She has helped drive Sported’s disability inclusion work and has been involved in Project 21, our pilot project in Dundee to help groups support more young people with disabilities. This project has now expanded to Glasgow and in Northern Ireland.


Amira Graham – Sported Newcomer
David Hoey – Vanessa Brown Award
Derek May – Big Impact
Dannielle Roberts – Sported Champion
David Sharman – Big Impact
David Shelton -Vanessa Brown Award
Eilish Ward – Big Impact
Graham French – Big Impact
John Macdonald – Big Impact
Kerry Feather – Sported Champion
Lisa Jagger – Vanessa Brown Award
Matt Tavare – Sported Newcomer
Neil Brimer – Big Impact
Nick Cummins – Big Impact
Neil Yeomans – Big Impact
Oliver Carrington – Sported Newcomer
Paul Bayman – Big Impact
Steven Gooch – Vanessa Brown Award


Find out more about becoming a Sported volunteer