Special Award 2012
Cyril and Joan Villiers
Presented by Sir Rodney Walker, Chairman of the Yorkshire Awards Committee
Cyril Villiers MBE
Cyril entered National Service at age 19 and then became a teacher in 1956 in Leeds and in 1960 he became Director of Solihull Athletic Stadium, returning to Yorkshire in 1965 as Youth Community Officer for West Riding Education Authority and then in 1967 he moved to the CCPR & Sports Council.
In 1976 he co-founded what was then called Sports Aid Foundation to help British athletes meet the cost of their sports career by raising funds from the private sector but is now called SportsAid Yorkshire & Humberside. When lottery funding became available in 1997 the role changed to helping young athletes and it also manages the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) which supports aspiring athletes in higher and further education with grants.
Cyril is currently the Voluntary Chief Executive Officer of SportsAid Y & H and in 2007 was awarded the MBE for services to Sport and many of the participants in this year’s Olympics have been helped by SportsAid.
Joan has given a lifetime of service to the development of young people in the areas of youth work, education, charity, health research & sport. Her fundraising for SportsAid working alongside Cyril for over 30 years has contributed to an overall figure raised of £2.6 million. Her fundraising alone has allowed the charity to support over 250 of Yorkshires talented athletes.