The hunt is again on to find the Borough's top sporting stars plus stalwart officials and helpers. It's time for nominations and, as always, there are 8 categories with something for everyone. Awards are to be made at a Presentation Buffet in Upminster Golf Club on Monday 7th February, sponsored by B.A.T.S. of Ilford, which will be attended by dignitaries & sponsors' representatives - and is the highlight of the Borough's sporting year.
Awards are :
Junior Sports Competitor-of-the-Year (sponsored by West & Coe Funeral Directors)
Sports Competitor-of-the-Year (sponsored by MDS Printers Ltd of Upminster)
. Disability Sports Competitor-of-the-Year (sponsored by the Beadle Family)
. Sports Volunteer-of-the-Year (sponsored By Cllr.John Mylod)
. Senior School Team-of-the-Year (sponsored by Brentwood M&E Services Ltd)
Primary School Team of the Year (sponsored by Cllr Melvin Wallace)
Sports Club of-the-Year (sponsored by Moments of Memory Photography)
. Doug Riden Lifetime Achievement Award (sponsored by McDonalds Restaurants of Romford) - this awarded to a Havering resident who has given 15 years or more committed and dedicated service to sport in any capacity.
All categories bar the last will see a winner-and-runner-up announced on the night. The Lifetime Achievement Award is a one-off with a recipient declared on the night. In addition winners of the top 3 listed awards (as above) will be presented with £200 cheques donated by Lodge Farm Tennis Club.
Rise Park resident Stan Smith is to celebrate his 100th birthday on Tuesday 21st September.  Mr.Smith was a long-serving football referee who after hanging up his whistle put much back into the game by becoming an assessor and mentor to up-and-coming referees.  He was a dedicated committeeman at a now defunct Romford Referees' Association.  In 2005 he received a 50 years' meritorious service award from the Referees' Association, which was presented to him by former top international referee Keith Hackett, at a packed Association meeting in the Ford Sports Club (now West Ham United's training ground) in Rush Green.   He still looks fit and only recently ceased driving.
Former Royal Air Force serviceman Mr.Smith entered refereeing late in life, having spent years helping to run a team - LESSA Sports - in local football.   He passed a referees' course in Ilford going to complete over 30 years active service as an official, serving in local football and also the Essex Senior League.  He reached Class 2 status.  Stan continued his involvement by assessing and mentoring up-and-coming referees and also as a diligent Committeemen with the now defunct Romford Referees' Association - an organisation in which he was a Vice-President.  In his entire period of service he only ever sent 1 player off.  In 2005 he was runner-up in the Havering Sports Council's annual Sports Volunteer-of-the-year awards.


Eviction of SYM Sailing Club from Stubbers Activity Centre


SYM Sailing Club (Stubbers Young Mariners) is facing eviction from Stubbers Activity Centre, its home since 1982.        

SYM is a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) recognised training centre which teaches people of all ages and abilities to sail safely and affordably. The Club is unique as it is managed by volunteers, has its own fleet of 35 boats and all the instructors are RYA qualified.

As a community based club SYM has helped Cubs, Scouts, Guides, an Autistic Society group, GCSE students, Duke of Edinburgh candidates and even trained young sailors to represent Havering in the London Youth Games. The family friendly atmosphere builds personal confidence, independence, diverse thinking and supports good mental health all whilst being an environmentally friendly sport. 

The club is actively fighting this eviction, engaging local MPs and councillors, and launching a legal challenge to preserve this valuable resource for Havering and Essex. 


Tribute to Peter Bruce


Peter Bruce was 87 years old and well known in the area for his long standing work as President of  Havering Sports Council.

Peter was a founder member of Havering Sports Council when it first formed in 1967 and had been an enthusiastic activist ever since.  For decades he organised their annual Sports Awards, the highlight of the Borough’s sporting year, and also the Sports Council’s annual dinner.  Peter was Head Coach at Everyone Active Havering Tennis Club and was also a skillful and talented player.

The onset of age failed to dent his impact as a competitor and he could give a good account of himself, often at the expense of players many years’ younger!  In the Masters’ ranks he successfully played in quality tournaments around the world.  He was both well connected and highly thought of in the tennis world and often attended Wimbledon. In earlier times he’d coached gymnastics and for many years had served local football as a referee. Football was in his blood as he was a devoted West Ham United season ticket holder and always present – when crowds were admitted! 

Peter’s sporting interests were spread across the board as he was seen so often throughout Havering.   When attending professional boxing shows he was knowledgeable when following the “noble art”  and took his own scorecard along to score each round. 

Peter was a natural communicator once having regular sports spots on two local radio stations, Active FM and Link FM, during which he gave listeners tips as to which players they should place wagers on during Wimbledon. 

Peter died in post as Havering Sports Council President, and had only another month to serve before completing his term of office. He was a most active man until a recent illness affected him, and when told his age for a first time, few believed it as his lifestyle was nothing like that expected from an octogenarian.

Dave Ainsworth


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