An archery club in Surrey has been recognised by the King for the efforts of its volunteers to make a difference in their community through sport.
Guildford Archery Club has received the King’s Award for Voluntary Service (KAVS).
Equivalent to an MBE, KAVS is the highest award given to local voluntary groups in the UK, and they are awarded for life.
The club, which has just over 300 members, is one of only 262 organisations across the UK to receive the honour.
Club chair Stuart Edwards said they have one of the biggest junior sections in the country as well as members in their late 80s.
The club applied for the award a year ago with the chairman at the time, Simon de Kretser, being interviewed and hosting a visit by assessors who wanted to know about the number of volunteers, the number of hours volunteers have given as well as the impact on the local community.
Mr Edwards said: “They were also interested in how inclusive archery is and how it is accessible for different age groups and disabilities. We have members with sight impairments, hearing loss and wheelchair users. We’re also very proud to be Vicky Kingstone’s club and we hope we’ll see her competing in Paris at the Paralympic Games.”
Six representatives of Guildford Archery Club will receive the award crystal and certificate from HM Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey Michael More-Molyneux later this year. In addition, two volunteers from Guildford Archery Club will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May and June 2024, along with other recipients of this year’s award.
Mr Edwards said: “I am absolutely delighted and honoured that our wonderful club has been chosen to receive this extremely prestigious award. As our club comes up to celebrate its 70th anniversary in 2024, it is a perfect recognition of the huge effort put in by generations of volunteers who have all helped to build the club to be the fabulous supportive community of people who all share a love of our sport that it is today.
“Whether members are enjoying their archery as a sport or a recreation, our club volunteers provide the facilities, instruction and support they want, wherever they are in their archery journey and whatever their age, gender or community.”
Mark Briegal, Archery GB chair, said: “On behalf of Archery GB, I want to congratulate Guildford Archery Club on the fantastic achievement of being awarded the King’s Award for Voluntary Service.
“Guildford has been at the forefront of club development and organisation, as evidenced by being one of the few clubs to achieve all three OnTarget awards. They are both a welcoming and inclusive grassroots club and also a high-performance club, developing archers who progress to our Olympic and Paralympic teams.”
Visit the club’s website to find out more:
If you’d like to apply for the King’s Award for Voluntary Service visit the website here.
Interested in volunteering? Speak to your club about what opportunities they have or visit our volunteering page to find out about the different roles you can do in archery.