‘Unsung hero’ admits shock at top award

Roger de Vere

Roger de Vere

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  • Fareham Wheelers secretary earns volunteer gong
  • De Vere is hailed for his ‘tireless’ work
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Roger de Vere has been named Go Ride volunteer of the year for 2014 by British Cycling.

The Fareham Wheelers secretary was presented with the honour at a recent conference.

It was a proud moment. Absolutely. But I certainly hadn’t expected it

Roger de Vere

And he admitted it came out of the blue.

‘I was duped into going to the conference,’ said de Vere, who has been involved at the Wheelers for the past decade.

‘Levienne (Croft, the club’s welfare officer and social secretary) usually goes on our behalf.

‘But she said she couldn’t make it and asked me to go.

‘I didn’t have a clue what was going on but they all knew about it.

‘I went up with Doug Tandy, Henry Newbury and Angus Fileman.

‘At the end of the event they had a series of awards.

‘Henry (Newbury) then nudged me when my picture came up on the screen as a nominee.

‘I only just caught sight of it as it came and went.

‘It was a proud moment. Absolutely.

‘But I certainly hadn’t expected it.’

De Vere, who has been secretary of the Wheelers for the past three years, was nominated for the award by the club’s head coach – Dr Chester Hill.

‘Roger works tirelessly and is open to new ideas and initiatives to progress cycling in the area,’ said Hill.

‘He picks up any slack in any project the club pushes, even putting his own money into the work of the club.

‘This is not someone who puts the odd hour into our sport but somewhere between part-time and full-time work.

‘Roger has been part of a team that has helped increase membership by over 100 since becoming secretary.

‘He has helped develop our youth and junior riders, from getting sponsorship to supporting their coaching and trips to national events.

‘Without his volunteering the 300 to 350 members of our club – plus surrounding community – would not experience the joys of cycling to the same extent.

‘He’s the unsung hero who usually decides who gets the awards but is always overlooked.’

To find your local Go-Ride club or explore volunteering opportunities in your area, visit britishcycling.org.uk/go-ride

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