Northamptonshire Sport celebrated the one year anniversary of the Olympic torch passing through the county on Saturday 6th July, honouring a Northamptonshire ‘Shining Light’ sporting volunteer – at the Community Games Sports Zone within the ‘On the Waterfront Festival’ in Becket’s Park Northampton.

Celebrating the Olympic Torch Relay one year on, Community Games are honouring people who have helped bring the Olympic Spirit to life in their local communities. Mirroring the Olympic Torch Relay route, an event is being held every day during the 70 day Community Games Relay in England, (Northamptonshire’s Day fell on Day 49) with each one putting a spotlight on a local volunteer – ‘Shining Light’.

At the presentation Chris Holmes Director of Northamptonshire Sport explained the ” ‘Shining Light’ was someone who, through their dedication, enthusiasm and selfless commitment, has transformed sport within their community – giving new participants a chance to take part, encouraging youngsters to give the sport a go and helping those who want to become even better performers” and added ‘this person is recognised as making a massive contribution towards an Olympic Legacy”.

Michael Ellis MP (Northampton North) announced the recipient of the award as “Kevin Bird from Wellingborough” and highlighted why Kevin had been nominated for the award. He said ‘”Kevin has been absolutely instrumental in the success of Westfield Table Tennis Club in Wellingborough, having been chairman for the last 4 years. There is no part of the club he does not get involved with. As well as the chairman’s role he acts as Secretary for the club in addition to co-ordinating all the league teams, which is no mean feat with over 150 club members and 6 leagues being played in.

Without Kevin doing so much volunteering as he does much of the clubs work wouldn’t be possible and there wouldn’t be as many young people and adults benefiting from being a part of such a strong club.¬†All of the above reasons are why Kevin Bird has been selected as Northamptonshire’s ‘Shining Light’ ”

Kevin was presented with a commemorative jersey and certificate by The Worshipful The Mayor of Northampton, Cllr Les Marriott, and Michael Ellis MP.

On day 70 (the anniversary of the start of London 2012) each county’s ‘Shining Light’ and their guest are invited to attend the official opening of the Copper Box Arena at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and will be received by Lord Coe at a special ceremony on Saturday July 27.

Written by John Alsop (July 18, 2013)