Princess Royal visits Yate Outdoor Sports Complex
THE Princess Royal has visited the Yate Outdoor Sports Complex to celebrate the dedication of the volunteers who saved the facility from closure and now run it day to day.
YOSC chair Jeremy Dale, a volunteer himself, escorted Princess Anne on a tour of the running track, which is currently being refurbished. The final phase of work starts in April when the top surface will be laid.
The Princess watched and chatted to local athletes who participated in track and field events, as well as target sprint competitors who showcased their sport.
At the clubhouse, the Princess unveiled a plaque to officially open the Jefferies Arena, named after Tony and Pat Jefferies.
They started out as supportive parents but went on to volunteer as club officers, coaches and judges.
In her speech she acknowledged the work of all the volunteers who have given their time to the sports facility.
Adam Brookes, David Thomas, ex-England Rugby international Phil Vickery, YOSC chair Jeremy Dale and the Princess Royal.
Also attending was former England Rugby international Phil Vickery, in his capacity as Deputy Lieutenant of Gloucestershire.
In his welcome address, councillor Chris Willmore said: “YOSC and this new athletics arena only exists because of volunteers.
“In using the Jefferies name for the athletics arena, it will stand as a permanent reminder to us all of the central role volunteers play in all the sports at YOSC and the importance for us all to continue to volunteer to keep facilities like this open.”
The Princess met local dignitaries, YOSC volunteers, supporters and Yate Town Council staff.
The town council has been involved with the refurbishment of the track and its estates team helped prepare for the royal visit.
South Gloucestershire Council vice-chair Brian Allinson said: “The facilities at YOSC are tremendous and a credit both to Yate Town Council and the management and trustees of the complex.”
Complex anager Andy Lathall said: “YOSC would like to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers that keep the complex running, along with all the work that Yate Town Council are putting in to keep the facility up to date and open for the local community.”
Top picture shows Jeremy Dale and hammer throwers James Viner, Toby Conibear, Karen Jones and Matt Spicer talk to the Princess.
Photos by Rich McD and Sue Swanborough