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Torch trophy for Preston Swimming Club stalwart
A former local swimming club secretary has received a national award for more than three decades of service to sport.
Howard Jones, who was the secretary of Preston Swimming Club between 1980 to 1986, has dedicated more than 30 years to pentathlon events in the North West and across the world.
He was presented with a Torch Trophy Trust award by the Earl of Wessex on Wednesday, last week.
Mr Jones, who now lives in Grimsargh with his wife, Sheila, has been involved in Biathle, creating opportunities for training in the run and swim parts of pentathlon races.
Mr Jones accompanied eight athletes to the Biathle World Championships in Cape Town last month where they won 19 medals, including seven gold medals.
The 63-year-old said: “I have been involved in every role from strategic development, to competition organisation, to standing on cold, windswept beaches, shivering in solidarity with the athletes.
“Great Britain has been the most successful nation in the World Championships and I am very proud to have been part of that.”
He received the honour, given to individuals who have made an outstanding voluntary contribution to a sport, at the Torch Trophy Trust's annual awards ceremony at the Army and Navy Club, in London's Pall Mall.
The trust, which was founded in 1962, has several big names from the sports world, with football legend Sir Bobby Charlton, president of the trust, vice president Christine Truman, a former UK tennis champion, and former England rugby captain Roger Uttley, as chairman.
The grandfather-of-four was joined by 13 other volunteers from around the UK receiving the award for various sports including archery and lacrosse.
He said he spent his time enabling young athletes to fulfil their potential while juggling his responsibilities as a family man and renovating Morgan Cars.
“I’m really honoured that all the time I have spent helping young people to train for pentathlon events has been acknowledged.
“I have had a fantastic time and I felt very proud when I received the trophy,” added the former British Gas operations manager.
While being involved in pentathlon, Mr Jones, has undertaken a number of positions including director and regional secretary of the General Council of the Modern Pentathlon Association, chairman of Biathle Association, and the team manager and organiser of the Biathle World Championships in Salford in 2006.