Neil nominated for county award

PUBLISHED: 15:43 31 March 2013

Neil Parsons with former boxer Michael Watson at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards.

Neil Parsons with former boxer Michael Watson at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards.

Archant

The driving force behind Lympstone Amateur Boxing Club for more than 40 years has been nominated for yet another award.

Club secretary Neil Parsons, 69, has been nominated in the finals of the prestigious Devon Sports Awards.

It follows Neil being named as BBC South West’s Sporting Unsung Hero of the year in 2012.

He was nominated for the award by Julian Wills of Sported, who recently helped the club secure funds to extend the gym, and his daughter Andre Lambert.

Neil was instrumental in raising the £82,000 needed to extend and refurbish the gym in The Parade, which has doubled the capacity for young boxers.

And he raised the £3,000 needed to enable boxer Matt Mason to fly to Australia last year to successfully defend his world firefighters games championship.

Neil has been nominated in the Volunteer of the Year (senior) category alongside Dave Turner, Exeter Saracens RFC, Exeter, and Sue Whiffin, East Devon County Netball Association, Exeter.

But Neil says that for him, awards mean little compared to the satisfaction he gets from helping young people improve their lives.

Neil, 69, said: “I don’t expect it but it is really nice to be recognised.

“You plod along for 40 years and something big like the extension comes along and people suddenly notice what you are doing.”

During his 44 years at the club, Neil has held positions including chairman, treasurer, coach, competition organiser and fundraiser.

Neil is currently the club’s secretary, and still commits more than 25 hours a week to club activities.

As part of his role, Neil works closely with local schools, and police and fire services to ensure young people with behavioural challenges are signposted to the club.

Neil will now go on to the ceremony and dinner, hosted by Jenny Walrond (BBC Spotlight) at Sandy Park, Exeter, on Friday, May 10, where the winners of each category will be announced.

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