Teenager Jake Conroy, who champions junior and disability golf, has won England Golf’s Young Volunteer of the Year award.
Jake, from Little Hay Golf Club, was presented with his award by Golf Foundation chief executive Brendon Pyle at the England Golf annual conference.
“I didn’t ever expect to get anything for volunteering,” said Jake. “I enjoy doing it, I get a massive buzz from it, and it’s good to see people with smiles on their faces!”
Jake, who has cerebral palsy, spends much of his time volunteering and passing on his pleasure in golf.
He has played since he was eight and says: “I love golf and the best thing about it is that anyone can play it.”
Talking about his volunteering experience, Jake added: “I’ve met different people from different backgrounds of life, it’s improved my communication skills and made me more confident.”
Jake has volunteered at his club since he was 14; two years ago he began coaching primary school children and he is currently volunteering with The Golf Trust – a Hertfordshire and London-based charity which delivers inclusive golf sessions in schools.
Jake has been a member of the England Golf Youth Panel for the past 18 months, helping to shape England Golf’s strategy by providing youth insight.
He said: “I’ve been able to influence the game of golf, not just from the junior point of view but from the disabled point of view as well.”
Jake’s volunteering led to his selection for the National Youth Sport Trust’s ‘Step into Sport Camp 2012’ and to becoming a sports ambassador for the Hertfordshire – acting as a role model for competing athletes. He recently opened the Hertfordshire School Games.