Winners of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s Sport & Culture Passport were announced at a ceremony in the Assembly Hall Theatre on Friday 19 October.
Introduced by Councillor John Cunningham, the winners were presented with their prizes by Paralympian and table tennis champion, Will Bayley, a silver medal winner at the 2012 Games.
The Sport & Culture Passport’s top awards were very much a family affair. The Overall Champion was 7-year-old Luke Forte of Royal Tunbridge Wells. Luke’s mum, Anne Forte, took the award for Cultural Champion and his sister Rebecca, who is 9, got the family’s hat trick by winning Young Persons’ Cultural Champion. After the family received their awards Anne said; ‘We thought it was a fantastic scheme – it’s just a shame we can’t do it every year!’
It was a family affair too for the Sporting Champion award which was won jointly by Glenn and Katherine Hougham of Royal Tunbridge Wells. In commenting on the passport competition Glenn said: ‘It has really opened my eyes to not only new events and activities but also to parts of the town I would never have otherwise seen. I love Tunbridge Wells, it’s projects like this that remind me how great this wonderful town is.’
Young Persons’ Sporting Champion was 7-year-old Archie Bunch who lives in Benenden. Archie described all the new activities he took part in as ‘like a mini Olympics’.
The Sport & Culture Passport was launched in January as part of the council’s 2012 Year of Celebrations. The passport gave residents of the borough the opportunity to try out 21 sporting and 21 cultural activities, free of charge.
The passport was also a competition, with people trying to attend as many activities as possible. Natalie Coode the council’s 2012 and sports lead officer said: ‘Throughout the project we received very positive feedback. Tunbridge Wells Fencing Club started a new class as there was so much interest generated through the passport. Some people attended all 21 cultural activities – an amazing achievement!
Activities on offer included sailing, canoeing, crafts, dance, literature, music, curling and athletics.
Prizes for the Sport & Culture Passport were kindly donated Asda Tunbridge Wells, Cotswold Outdoor, Fusion Lifestyle, Redbox Cameras, Running Free magazine, Friends of Tunbridge Wells Museum, Library & Art Gallery, Assembly Hall Theatre and Trinity Theatre.