THE HISTORY OF POLICE SPORT, BY BRIAN ROLLINGS
When setting out to write this brief history of the Police Athletic Association, just before my retirement from administering the affairs of the Association in 2003, I now have to admit to operating on the basis of total ignorance, perhaps making incorrect assumptions that the only information available to me was contained in the paucity of documentation within the PAA archive. At the time, not unnaturally, I formed an opinion that the first initiatives for the formation of the Association were taken in 1927. I now know that to be incorrect, because more recently I chanced to come across Mr Ralph Lindley, The Honorary Curator of the Yorkshire Law and Order Museums. Ralph, a former police officer, is an enthusiastic collector of police history and has kindly sent me information, which disproves my earlier theory and now suggests that the origins of the Association were set in much earlier days. I, therefore, wish to acknowledge with great thanks the information Ralph has so kindly provided for this historical note.
On reflection now at the end of my police career it seems that I have been conducting a small personal crusade since joining the service as a Police Cadet in 1953, whereby I have always tried to link the benefits of police sport to physical fitness, healthy lifestyle and the promotion of good morale in the Service. Having been a young schoolboy sportsman, thinking about following a physical education career, I was encouraged to join the Devon Constabulary by a Plymouth City Police Inspector Albert Riggs, a greatly respected man who later was to become my personal friend. Albert was a notable Rugby Player and had been a Schoolboy International in his day. Albert had rejoined his Force after the World War II when the Government was intent upon restoring Police Forces to their former strengths and efficiencies and in this context it is perhaps now relevant for me to draw attention to what has become known in the Service as “The Oaksey Report”. (The Report of the Committee on Police Conditions of Service, presented to Parliament in November 1949).
EXTRACT “In our view, organised games and athletics are amenities which are good for the health and morale of policemen and which ought to do much to make the police attractive to men of the type that it is desired to recruit. We think that Police Authorities should be encouraged to meet out of the Police Fund the cost of providing sports grounds, pavilions and similar capital charges which would be beyond the men’s means but we do not think it would be right for police authorities to meet the whole cost of organised sport in police forces. The men should be prepared to do their part”.
So it was that I came to police sport. My efforts from an early age were, of course, mainly to play sport for my own pleasure. My view, nevertheless, was that it was necessary not only to encourage sport for elite sportsmen and women who would make the National grade but also to provide opportunities for others of lesser ability who wished to compete at local level. On taking over financial control of my own Force Sports Association in early service it became my personal goal to ensure that all income derived by the Association should be shared equally between sportsmen and women who qualified for support in national sporting competitions and to provide opportunities for personnel of lesser ability to receive their sporting benefits at local level.
In my view there had to be some real purpose in recruiting police staff to Force Sports Associations, other than financial improvement of the Association for the benefit of the elite, and this was perhaps, the influence I was fortunately able to bring to sport in my own force, throughout the whole of my police service. It seems important to me now that this view has greater relevance today in every police force affiliated to Police Sport UK, where it is necessary to keep membership at the highest possible level. I think it has to be realised, especially at the present time, that sports associations have to be built from the bottom upwards rather than the other way around with equal sporting opportunities in mind for all who care to join.
From 1986 I was also able to engage in extensive research with David Mackenzie-Clarke, the Physical Education Officer of the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary where we attempted to establish levels of physical fitness appropriate to the various tasks and positions in the police service. The Home Office later provided grant funding for this research project. At that time the Force was fortunate enough to have as Chief Constable, Sir John Evans, who was later to become Honorary Secretary, Chairman and now Vice President of the Police Athletic Association (Police Sport UK) who accepted the recommendations of the consequent report.
Under Sir John’s influence it was possible for the Force to establish a policy of physical fitness within the force, which played such a great part not only in assisting police officers in their arduous street duties but also in boosting the morale of the Force. The gymnasium facilities provide testimony to what was achieved for the Force in my time.. It now seems unfortunate that at so many levels of responsibility both within and outside the service there seem to be many misconceptions about the purpose of sport in modern day Police Forces, where too much reliance is placed on unreliable evidence which describes the dis-benefits of sport, at the same time trying to argue that sport interferes with service to the public. It also seems to be assumed by many that the only purpose of physical fitness programmes in the police service is to reduce absence through growing sickness levels. Police Sport UK strategy still positively seeks to establish the links between sport, healthy lifestyle and physical fitness. These ideals originally set down for us by the Government in 1928 and refreshed by “Oaksey” in post war years now need revisiting by all who are concerned with the management and morale of the police service.
My purpose, therefore, in attempting to set down such information as I had, was my first endeavour to give greater publicity to the work and play of the Police Athletic Association at a time when others were calling for the Association to find better ways of advertising its presence and the extensive opportunities it was continuing to provide for sports persons in all police forces of the United Kingdom.
I have to admit also that my aim was, perhaps, to defeat pessimistic opinion abroad in higher echelons of some police forces that enthusiasm for Police sport is diminishing. This is unjust comment, because it can be seen today that all Championship events are enthusiastically supported and each year additional sports disciplines are added to the Championship calendar. Today the Police Sport UK Council is seeking better ways of assisting Forces to maintain the sporting spirit at all levels of the organisation but, of course, it must be realised the provision of improved sporting opportunities for all is a joint task to be shared with Force Sports Associations who will require local support and leadership for their organisational efforts.
It is also, perhaps, right for me to suggest, as a former sportsman, that time-off considerations are no longer in the mind of Police Sport UK and I think it can still be successfully argued the majority of police sport is and always has been played in competitors’ own time and it is now clear that athletes wish to continue participation on this very same basis. It is further gratefully acknowledged that the Home Office was involved at the outset of the formation of the Police Athletic Association in 1928 and we still receive Government support to the present day. There is therefore every reason for continuing to pursue police sport as a beneficial welfare adjunct to policing in a modern day society.
At the time of setting out on this most interesting path of research I also foresaw there would be perhaps be an opportunity for the Association, through its Sporting Sections to gather together, in “Wisden” fashion, the records of all sporting Championships which have taken place over the past seventy-five years. We are still in infancy with this project but provision has been made for such information to be gathered together within each sectional folder on the PAA Web-Site. It is now clear to me that there is a wealth of wonderfully detailed sporting information available in many of the historical archives in place throughout the country. Further research is therefore a worthwhile exercise for the future.
I write this short history at a time when I am able to say that the Police Service has provided for me a wonderfully rewarding career. I have always believed in the philosophy of hard work and play in equal measure and in that regard police sport has given me such marvellous opportunities of worldwide friendship, good health, physical fitness, personal satisfaction and confidence, which I hope others will be encouraged to follow.
Brian E Rollings
Honorary Member of Council
A HISTORY OF THE POLICE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION NOW RE-NAMED POLICE SPORT UK
“From Simple Beginnings”
(This brief history has been compiled for the benefit of readers by Brian Rollings, Honorary Member of Council. Brian has been involved as player and organiser of Police Sport since 1953 when he joined the Police Service as a Police Cadet. He was still playing Force Sport in his final year of service, when as a Chief Superintendent he retired from Service in 1991. He is now Honorary Life Member of Police Sport UK Council and Police Sport UK Judo Section, where he serves as National Championship Co-ordinator. It is hoped that others will wish to follow Brian’s path of involvement and enjoyment of Police Sport in the future. The history was first published in printed form for the Annual General Meeting on 12 May 2003 in celebration of 75 years of Sporting activity within the Police Athletic Association. From now on it is intended that through further research more interesting information will be introduced year by year in order that an up to date record of Police Sport UK activity will always be available. Information concerning individual sporting achievements in the various Sections of the Police Athletic Association will ultimately appear in the appropriate Sporting Sectional folder of the Police Sport UK Web Site).
I open this Police Athletic Association (now Police Sport UK) history with information, which discounts my earlier thoughts that the origins of the Police Athletic Association were set in 1928. This information comes from the book “Bradford’s Police” (1) written by Gordon Smith, an avid collector of Police history. In talking about Mr J Farndale, originally Chief Constable of Margate, later York and also later Bradford, we discover that Mr. Farndale was pursuing sport in his Force long before he become first Chairman of the Police Athletic Association. Also, Mr Smith is able to say that the Bradford Police and later the Bradford Police Athletic club played a substantial role both in setting up sporting opportunities within the force and in the formation of the Police Athletic Association.
“Although, according to the Police Review records, a Police Sports had been held as early as 21 July 1894, the Police Athletic Club held its first official athletic meeting on 10 March 1899. The Police Athletic Club was established prior to Joseph Farndale becoming Chief Constable of Bradford but it was under him that it really grew into maturity.
The Police Athletic Association
It may be surprising to find in the history of a provincial force a section devoted to the establishment of the National Police Athletic Association but it can justly be claimed that it was due to the initiative of the members of the Bradford City Police Athletic Club that the Police Athletic Association of Great Britain came into being. The prime mover in this occurrence was Mr Joseph Farndale, who, as Chief Constable of Bradford and President of the Bradford City Police Athletic Club, first approached the Home Office on 14 January 1925. In his letter he referred to a speech given at Halifax by Major-General Atcherley CMG CVC, calling for an Annual Athletic Meeting for all British Police Forces.
This speech had been enthusiastically discussed at a meeting of the Bradford City Police Athletic Association and on their behalf the suggestion was put forward to the Home Office by Mr Farndale, with the hopeful thought that the first Athletic Championships could be held that year. In fact, over three years were to go before the first National Police Athletic Championships were held on 11 August 1928 at Liverpool.
The Metropolitan Police Athletic Association initially declined to have anything to do with the idea but, despite this early set-back, the Bradford City Police Athletic Club continued to publicise the virtues of the National Police Athletic Association and to press for the formation of such an organisation.
Under pressure from Mr Farndale, it was agreed that this matter should be placed on the agenda for the next Central Conference of Chief Constables. This matter was raised by Mr Farndale at the meeting on 23 July 1925, when it was referred to the District Conferences for consideration.
One year later on 2 July 1926 the Central Conference of Chief Constables decided to go ahead with the idea and to appoint a Joint Committee to prepare the scheme. As a first step, it was decided to collect information from existing Chief Constables as to the existing arrangements for holding Force and Area Police Championships”. (1)
However, the first central initiative for the formation of the Police Athletic Association came from a meeting of the Central Conference of Chief Constables held on 17 March 1927. At the suggestion of Mr J Farndale, OBE Chief Constable of Bradford, it was agreed that a committee be convened to organise police athletics on a national basis. Mr Farndale was later to become Chair of the Committee and Mr Henry Riches, OBE Chief Constable of Middlesbrough, first Honorary Secretary. Mr Riches undertook to approach all Chief Constables with a view to receiving nominations for representatives from Forces within each District and the City of London, in order to form a committee. “Mr Farndale was elected Chairman, the committee consisting of representatives from each of the eight police districts – the Metropolitan Police standing aloof from the scheme” (1)
At the Central Conference of Chief Constables on 25 November 1927, Mr Riches reported the progress of his arrangements and explained that the scope of competitors had been extended to include the Scottish Forces. Later the Forces of Wales and Northern Ireland were added to the Constitution. The first objectives of the Association were deemed to be –
(a) To stimulate growth and development of athletics in the police service.
(b) To arrange Police Individual and Team Championship Competitions and Police team contests.
(c) To generally encourage and assist athletes.
“The first committee meeting was held at the Home Office on 1 June 1927, when it was agreed to form a Police Amateur Athletic Association to be known as the British Police Athletic Association. District representatives were asked to obtain the views of the forces within their district.
A further meeting was held at the Home Office on 28 June 1927, when the word “British” was dropped from the title of the Association and rules drawn up for confirmation. Mr Farndale was elected Chairman of the new Association. At the next meeting of the committee on 18 April 1928 it was decided to hold the first National Police Athletic Association Championships in August subject to the Chief Constable’s approval.
In addition, at this meeting there were three representatives from the Scottish Forces, since they now wished to be associated with the PAA.
The next important matter was finance to start the organisation and it was decided that an application should be made to The National Police Fund for a grant of £1,000 to launch the PAA. By good fortune Mr Farndale was also on the committee of the National Police Fund and the explanation he was able to give to that committee of the aims and objectives of the PAA no doubt helped to impress them that the money would be well spent. The National Police Fund granted the full amount asked for by the PAA.
By the time of the next meeting on 13 July 1928 the Metropolitan Police Athletic Association had a change of heart and now were anxious to join as previously they had been to stay aloof”. (1)
These visionary Chief Constables and Mr Farndale, in particular, had sown the seeds of Police Sporting activity and on 30 June 1928 the Home Office circulated to them what has always been presented as the Charter of the Police Athletic Association. All the hard work and hopes of the Central Conference had thus been realised and Royal Assent was given when His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales graciously consented to become Patron of the Association.
However, the sporting momentum had already gathered pace and one of the earliest reports of unofficial activity records a Police Rugby Football Union Match, Police v the Army taking place at Newport, Gwent on 28 January 1928. Although the committee comprised Lieutenant Colonel J.F. Carter CBE, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police as Honorary Secretary and Lieutenant Colonel H.B. Turnbull, Commissioner of the City of London Police, Wales was very much to the fore in creating the remainder of Committee representation. Glamorgan provided eight players, Monmouth one, Newport five and Gloucestershire one. The trainer, of course, was also Welsh coming from Newport. It was reported the game was hard fought; there were no substitutes in those days; with the Police securing a close win by 13 points to 9. Thus it appears that the Welsh passion for their National Sport was soon abroad in the Police Service and, no doubt, this played a very large part in setting the Police Athletic Association on its future road to success.
In 1928 the first Athletics Championship meeting organised by the Police Athletic Association was held at the Liverpool Police Athletic Ground, Fairfield, Liverpool. There were over 300 entries for 18 sporting events, open to competitors from all of the Police Forces of England, Scotland and Wales. About 20 Forces were represented.
“It is possibly only just that the Bradford City team had some considerable success at this first ever National PAA Meeting.
PC T E Hoyland won the half-mile, PC C Coulson won the two mile walk, PC S W J Hunt came second in the high jump, PC S Green came second in the 440 yards and the force’s mile relay team won that event by a tremendous margin. Alas the force’s athletic team have never achieved as much success since that day. In this matter once more the Bradford City Force demonstrated that not all good ideas originate in the larger forces”. (1) (The Bradford City Police is now amalgamated with the West Yorkshire Police Force).
Immediately prior to the Sports Meeting an official luncheon was given to mark the opening event of the newly formed Police Athletic Association. An account of the proceedings was reported in the Police Review dated 17 August 1928 Mr J Farndale, Chief Constable of Bradford, Chairman of the Joint Committee, presided over the representative company, which included Mr. A.L.Dixon, Assistant Permanent Secretary at the Home Office, representing the Home Secretary; Major General Sir W.L. Atcherley and Mr C. de Courcey Parry, HM Inspectors of Constabulary and the Chief Constables of Liverpool, Lancashire, Middlesborough, Kent and Perth, together with the Chairman of the Liverpool Watch Committee.
Mr. A.L. Dixon, in proposing a toast to “The Police Athletic Association”, said he welcomed the opportunity at this baptismal ceremony to extend not only his own good wishes to the Association but those of the Government and the Home Secretary, Sir John Anderson and everyone associated with Police matters at the Home Office.
When the question of a National Police Sports Association was first mooted the Home Office was interested but knew that the last thing the organisers wanted was the bugbear of Home Office interference at the outset. However, there came a time when the Home Office wanted to be associated in some tangible form with the movement and it was decided to present a trophy. The lead of the Home Office was followed by the Scottish Office and the Association was asked to accept the handsome trophies before them, given with the warmest good wishes for future success from everyone at the Home Office.
The speaker referred to the tremendous amount of spadework put in by the Chairman and Secretary, Mr. Riches, Chief Constable of Middlesbrough, and said it was a great thing to bring Police Forces together in healthy rivalry on the field of sport, because it would not only do an immense amount of good for the athletic side but would increase the efficiency of the Police Service as a whole and would stimulate the work of the local sports associations and held in those districts where sport was conducted on an individual or casual basis.
Mr. Farndale, replying, thanked their distinguished guest for the generous reference to himself and the work of his colleagues. Their only desire was to see sport prosper in all the Police Forces of Great Britain and provide proof that the Association was filling a great need, which was already forthcoming.
The formation of the parent body had created great interest and enthusiasm in different parts of the country where formerly there had not been even district sports associations. Already fifty-seven local societies were affiliated to the Association and upon the success of their first Athletic Championship meeting depended the future of the Association. He thanked the Liverpool Civic Authorities for making them so welcome and also Chief Constable Everett and his staff for the admirable arrangements they had made to make their first meeting an outstanding success.
In a short time the Constitution of the Police Athletic Association had been formed and Rules set in place, with His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales becoming Patron. On his succession to the Throne His Majesty the King retained his patronage and this has been transferred to successive monarchs since that time. A further degree of responsibility was also given to the Home Office by appointing the following Joint Presidents.
The Right Honourable The Secretary of State for the Home Department,
The Right Honourable The Secretary of State for Scotland.
The Right Honourable The Secretary of State for Wales was later invited to become an additional Vice President and with the subsequent formation of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, now the Police Service of Northern Ireland, The Right Honourable The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland was also appointed Joint President.
The way in which the Home Departments have maintained their degree of control is through the Constitutional rules of the Association, whereby any changes of rules shall not be valid until approved by the Secretaries of State for the four countries. Thus the Police Athletic Association Constitution, firstly drawn in 1928, remains constant to the present day with Her Majesty the Queen exercising power as Patron of the Association, with the Government placing its guiding hand by controlling and approving changes of rules as they occur.
These rules have seen but few tidying up provisions. Since earliest times the first basic objectives have remained constant. It has, therefore, been the task of successive committees, not only to ensure that the annual calendar of events has been fulfilled but to encourage other sports and their followers to join the welcoming family of the Police Athletic Association.
Formality was given to Committee meetings of the Association in Home Office letter 471,706/31 sent to Mr Henry Riches, Chief Constable of Middlesbrough and Honorary Secretary of the Police Athletic Association dated 23 June 1928 which gave approval for payment of Executive Committees (The PAA Council) and their Sub Committees (The General Purposes Committee and the National Sectional Sports Committees) by Police Authorities, such payment ranking for grant if included in the claims of the Forces affected. It was, however, decided that the attendance of representatives of affiliated clubs at the Annual General Meeting should be met from Force Sports funds and not as police expenditure. This letter was also circulated to all Police Forces (This letter is also published in the Document “The Management of Police Athletic Association Approved Sport” in the possession of all Force Sports Associations and Sectional Committees)
The First Annual General Meeting
The first Annual General Meeting of the Police Athletic Association was held in the Sheffield in 1929 and the following is an account of the meeting as reported in the Police Review of 19 April 1929 –
“The Annual General Meeting of the Police Athletic Association was held in the Council Chamber at the Town Hall Sheffield on 10 April 1929, when there was a good attendance of delegates. Mr J Farndale, CBE Chief Constable of Bradford took the Chair with Mr. Henry Riches, OBE, Chief Constable of Middlesbrough, the Honorary Secretary.
There was a civic welcome to the delegates by the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, who was introduced by Captain P J Sillitoe, the Chief Constable of Sheffield. He said it was a great privilege to be able to present representatives of various Police Forces who were able to discuss the Agenda for the Championship meeting, which would be held on the Niagara Grounds at Sheffield this year. As the Lord Mayor probably knew, the Police Athletic Association was a national organisation with the Prince of Wales as Patron and the Secretary of State for Home Affairs and the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Wales as joint presidents.
The Lord Mayor, in welcoming the delegates, said he was delighted that they had chosen Sheffield as the venue for their annual meeting. They, in Sheffield, were noted for sport and especially for football. One of the Sheffield Clubs was at the top of the first Division of the Football League and he reminded the gathering, that this was the club for which he played 45 years ago, paying 5 shillings a year for the privilege of playing. Nowadays players received £9 per week. The man who did not pay his 5 shillings a week was ostracised and left out of the team.
All knew, as well as he, that it was not the individual who made the team but rather it was team-work that spelled success. He hoped that the Association’s deliberations in Sheffield would be of a fruitful character and he recorded a hearty welcome.
The Chairman thanked the Lord Mayor very sincerely for his welcome, which the Committee appreciated very highly. He also welcomed the representatives. The members of the Executive committee, he said, were there to be criticised, but he hoped the criticism would be constructive and not destructive. All were there for the well being of the Association. It had been decided to accept the invitation of the Sheffield Police Recreation Society to hold the next Championship Meeting there on 13 July. They were going to make a very great effort to secure the attendance of the Prince of Wales. If they succeeded he was sure it would be a great honour to the Association and to the City of Sheffield. Failing his Royal Highness it was hoped to secure the attendance of the Home Secretary, whoever he might be. The Sheffield local committee would do everything in their power from the standpoint of preparation of preparing the ground and attracting the public so as to make the event a success. The Sports Committee was rather concerned about securing a very full entry for all the championships. They hoped that every delegate would recommend his club to send plenty of entries. If that were to be done the meeting would be a success from both points of view”.
Following the Annual General Meeting, lunch was taken at the Grand Hotel, Sheffield when the principal guest among many other distinguished guests was The Right Honourable J R Clynes, Secretary of State for Home Affairs.
“The Home Secretary, in proposing the toast, “The Police Athletic Association” said he did so with the greatest pleasure. He found that he was by virtue of his office a Joint President together with the Secretary of State for Scotland. The Association had the honour and distinction of having as their patron the Prince of Wales, whose personal association with sport of every kind in this country was well understood by the millions of our people. The organisation of the sports meeting had thrown upon officials an enormous amount of work and he thought he ought to express to them their sense of gratitude and indebtedness. Mr Farndale, Mr Riches, Sergeant King, Secretary of the Sports Committee and other members of the committee were entitled to thanks for the great work they had put in to make the event a success. To that he would add thanks to the Sheffield Watch Committee for having placed the sports ground at the Association’s disposal for the afternoon’s events.
The Association was in its infancy but it gave promise of rapid growth almost to manhood. It was formed with the assent, encouragement and co-operation of the Home Office and he, therefore commended it as an enterprise to the cordial of approval of all Chief Constables and of Police Force and in order to show its interest in practical form the Home Office had presented a trophy for that reason. A similar trophy was presented by the Scottish Office and a grant of £1000 for the provision of Championship Trophies, medals and the like had been made from the National Police Fund.
Pointing to the Presidential medal he was wearing, the Home Secretary said, “This medal has passed, I suppose, from all former Presidents to its present holder and will pass from Clynes to another. Presidents change but this Association will go on throughout the life of those very great Constabulary forces in Britain. Mr Clynes said the objects of the Association were to stimulate the growth and development of athletics in the Police Forces, to arrange Police, individual and team championship competitions and team contests and generally to encourage and assist athletics. That was a very fine thing.
In addition to the service the Association rendered to sport another result flowed from its activities, which was perhaps of even greater importance. The Police Force of this country was organised on a local basis. This was not the occasion to argue the merits or demerits of their police system but local rivalries and jealousies, should they exist, might do much to impair the efficiency of the Police Service as a whole. The Association, therefore, encouraged a proper pride in local achievements in the field of sport but by affording common meeting ground for all the Forces in the Country it promoted a spirit of comradeship, which transcended all local barriers. Members of all ranks of Police Forces had an opportunity of getting personally acquainted in the most favourable circumstances and it was therefore difficult to exaggerate the importance of good fellowship accruing from annual gatherings of that kind”.
The Royal Visit
Police Athletic Association Championships have been held in successive years and many distinguished visitors have graced these occasions. Perhaps the most important early highlight was the visit of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Patron of the Association to the third Police Athletic Association Track and Field Championships held at Luton in July 1930. A report was given in the Police Review dated 18 July 1930.
“The Championships were held at the Wardown Park Sports Ground and the excitement of the competitors and spectators alike had been raised to a high pitch by the news that HRH The Prince of Wales intended to fly to the Sports and the contests had not been in progress for more than quarter of an hour when HRH’s tiny monoplane and a pilot biplane were sighted passing over the ground. The Prince’s landing place, about half a mile away, had been kept a close secret and he was able to make a perfect landing unhampered. He was greeted by Mr. Albert Scott, Chief Constable of Luton and Mr Henry Riches, The Honorary Secretary of the Association and presented with his insignia of office as Patron of the Association.
A red, white and blue beribboned gold medal of the design awarded for the Championships. He then drove with Mr Riches in an open touring car to the Sports Ground through an avenue of cars and cheering spectators. His arrival on the Ground was the signal for another outburst of cheering. His Royal Highness was presented by the Home Secretary to the Mayor of Luton and Councillors whilst the band played “God Bless the Prince of Wales.
With the formalities over, the Prince took his seat on a raised platform in the company of many of those presented to him and watched the events for over an hour, whilst he contentedly smoked his pipe and cigarettes. At various intervals he presented trophies and medals to the Championship winners. After retiring for tea he entered the arena to watch the semi finals of the 104 stone Tug of War Championships. He talked to both the Luton Borough and Manchester City teams whilst they were waiting for the final pull. He later presented the cup and medals for this event. HRH later left the Arena to more thunderous cheers whilst the band played the National Anthem”.
The Growth of the Police Athletic Association
From small beginnings in 1928, the Police Athletic Association has grown over the years until today, where it controls the very substantial amount of sport that is organised on behalf of the Police Service. Today, the Association encompasses not only serving Police Officers and Cadets, but also Police Support Staff, Retired Police Officers and retired Police Support Staff, thus extending the happy family of Sport.
Although the Association now boasts 30 sporting sections, supporting over 40 separate sporting disciplines, the PAA is able to maintain its activity at the highest possible level. It is still growing and there are constant demands for new sporting affiliations. Annual Championships are arranged for every sporting discipline and also every sporting Section of PAA is also playing approved fixtures at National level against other service and community based sports clubs. Thus it can be seen that the police service, as part of the wider community is also a community based sports association in its own right.
Until 1932 an Executive Committee controlled the Association but in that year new rules were formulated which created the current Council as the controlling body. The Council, since that day has mainly comprised Chief Officers, appointed by the Regional ACPO Committees of England and Wales. Other representatives, including those from and Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Metropolitan Police are elected to office by Regional Sports Associations. In addition a number of Chief Officers are co-opted to the Council to chair Sporting Sectional Committees.
Although the inaugural rules of the Association were only intended to cover the Athletics Championships, it was not long before many other sporting disciplines were brought under the Police Athletic Association umbrella. Golf Championships were held in 1930 and at the Annual General Meeting in 1931 the rules of the Association were altered to allow the inclusion of many other sports and games.
From 1928 onwards, the City of London staged the PAA Half Mile Running Championships and the Quarter Mile Swimming Championships in conjunction with other sports organised by their own force. This practice continued for a number of years under the fine leadership of the Commissioner who had a keen interest in all sporting activity.
Winter and Summer Rifle Shooting Competitions were commenced in 1932 and trophies for these events were presented to the Metropolitan Police Athletic Association, who prior to their own recognition within the PAA, had organised and staged such events. During the Second World War of 1939 to 1945 the activities of the Police Athletic Association were seriously curtailed but somehow amongst the considerable turmoil and pressure of war time work, Association Football and Rugby Union matches were played from time to time against various Armed Services teams. Although having to field seriously weakened sides with many of our fittest players at war in Europe, sporting activity did much to boost morale and heighten spirit during this most difficult time.
In 1943 a start was made for the Indoor Games Section. Darts Singles Championships were held for the first time. In the following year the Billiards and Snooker Championships were inaugurated and since that time Indoor Games have proved to be highly popular. Table Tennis and Darts have since been included and with considerable increased numbers of Women Police Officers in the Service, Table Tennis and Darts were introduced for Ladies for the first time in 1949 – 1950.
A Bowls (Flat Green) Singles Championships was introduced in 1945. This event became so popular that a Pairs Championships was added to the annual event in 1948. Similarly a Bowls (Crown Green) Singles Championships was introduced in 1945 and now in extended form with a Pairs Championships included. Both events provide highly competitive sport for the supporters of the Northern and Southern games. In 1947, the Government of the day made a most welcome intervention through the publication of a Select Committee Report on Police Conditions of Service (The Oaksey Report), which touched upon the subject of Police Sport.
“392. In our view, organised games and athletics are amenities which are good for the health and morale of policemen, and which ought to do much to make the police service attractive to men of the type that it is desired to recruit. We think that police authorities should be encouraged to meet out of the Police Fund, the cost of providing sports grounds, pavilions and similar capital charges which would be beyond the men’s means, but we do not think it would be right for police authorities to meet the whole cost of organised sport in police forces. The men should be prepared to do their part. We recommend that police authorities should contribute annually towards the cost of sports clubs whose activities are approved a sum equal to the amount of the fixed subscriptions paid by members of the club up to a maximum of 10 shillings a head; and that these funds should be used, inter-alia to help to defray the expenses of members of the force who are chosen to take part in representative games. Where this is done, provision should be made for the police authority, if they wish, to be represented on the committee of management”.
Since that time the Government has continued to show support to sporting activity organised within the framework of the Police Athletic Association. The Oaksey Grant to Police Forces has been increased on two separate occasions to the current figure of £1 per capita, although this has not been updated since 1978.
Since the Second World War, the game of Association Football has continued to flourish. The National Police Football Competition was started in 1947 – 1948 with entries from some 100 Police Forces. With later amalgamations of Police Forces, the competition is now open to all 52 Police Forces in the United Kingdom. This competition is still, today, firmly established and creates great interest and rivalry in all parts of the Country.
In the 1949 – 1950 Cup final of this competition there was an attendance of almost 14,000 when Southampton defeated Grimsby. Each year the final of this competition is a great attraction. In 1948 – 1949 the first Home Countries International Football Tournament took place. After two seasons, this was reduced, to an annual match between England and Scotland for the Chapman Trophy. Today with Wales included once again, these matches have become the highlights of the annual Soccer calendar.
Swimming was introduced into the PAA calendar in 1947 and a very good standard has been maintained since that time. Today each annual championships attracts up to 400 competitors from all over the country. Although swimming in the Police Service had begun in the early history of the Police Athletic Association the sport did not come to fruition as a specific Police Athletic Association sporting discipline until after the war years. In early days it was customary to farm out Championships to various Forces at their own meetings. In fact as far as swimming was concerned the Half-Mile Relay and the Quarter-Mile Relay were allotted to the City of London in 1929. This club successfully organised these events until 1931 after which no further competitions were held. A move was made in 1938 to organise a swimming Championship, by which time the Police Athletic Association had gained sufficient strength to organise its own meetings. However, arrangements being made to organise this meeting when the European crisis arose were held in abeyance. However, immediately after the war years the Section gained new impetus and the first successful Annual Swimming Championships were held at Blackpool on 10 September 1947 when a large number of competitors from England, Wales and Scotland attended. This championship is somewhat unique for we see, perhaps, for the first and only time in the history of the Police Athletic Association, a Chief Constable entering the event as a competitor, Lieutenant Colonel J C T Rivett-Carnac, Chief Constable of Huntingdonshire taking part in the High Diving Championship Final. A report on these Championships, supplied by my dear friend Glynn Pockett MBE, Honorary Member of PAA, a former International Swimmer representing his country of Wales, and to whom I am most grateful, is contained on the Police Athletic Association Web-Sitewww.policesportuk.com Glynn still our longest serving Honorary Member, interestingly was a competitor at this first event and is named in the programme.
A strong Police Athletic Association Rugby Union XV was formed in 1948 and since that time the team has played very successfully against many top class clubs and Armed Services teams in England and Wales. For a number of years the highlight of the season was an annual match against the French Police played on a home and away basis. All games have been tremendously hard fought. In earlier years many of the players have come from Wales and the West Country and later good players have been found from all countries and many have been awarded full international caps for their respective countries. Police Rugby has a long history being the first section playing before the formation of the Police Athletic Association in 1928.
The Section has a wonderful record of producing players of International class in all four constituent countries. Our first International was Arthur Rees who represented Wales on many occasions. Arthur was a tremendous influence within the Police Athletic Association and later as Chief Constable of Staffordshire, he became Chairman of The Association and President of The Union Sportive des Polices d’Europe.
Arthur’s influence has continued up until the present day with many Rugby Section players playing on the International stage, at the same time as representing their Forces and other outside top class Rugby Clubs. Many have been involved and continue to be involved in the National coaching scene and one such person is Derek Turnbull of the Lothian and Borders, a player with a phenomenal number of representative appearances on behalf of Scotland. For many years Derek has been a coach in Premier Rugby in Scotland and truly deserves the Police Athletic Award of Excellence which will be bestowed on him at the 2003 Annual General Meeting. Once more a demonstration that police officers in the affiliated clubs of the Police Athletic Association are playing sport in the community, with the community and for the community.
Road Walking and Cross Country Championships were first held in 1948 and have been staged continuously since that time. The success of these events can be judged from the large number of entries received at Championships during each year. Whilst endeavouring to set down thoughts about the activities of the of the Cross Country Section it is fitting to remember Gilbert Kelland, Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, who was later to become Chairman of the Association between 1977 and 1984. I am most grateful to my dear friend Derek Alldridge, MBE, Honorary Member of the Police Athletic Association and former Secretary of the Metropolitan Police Athletic Association who has so kindly given me the following information.
“Gilbert Kelland joined the Metropolitan Police on 1 July 1946, after four years war time service in the Royal Navy. As an athlete Gilbert represented the Training School, A District and subsequently the MPAA in the one mile and three mile events. It was however, his interest in the long distance events that later turned him towards cross-country running and he was an active cross country runner right up to 1964 when he took part, as a Chief Inspector, in his last MPAA Cross-Country Championships at The Warren Sports Club. He was awarded his colours in September 1949. In addition to being a participant, Gilbert was showing in those early days that he was an able sporting organiser and administrator. He held many offices and served on many committees, as well as being Secretary of the Cross-Country Section, before becoming Vice-Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Athletic Club in 1964, taking over from Arthur Townsend as Chairman in 1966.
Gilbert was always interested in all sports and in addition to his vast involvement with athletics he was also Vice Chairman and later Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Wrestling Club, as well as being a Vice Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Cricket Club. He was appointed Vice Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Athletic Association in 1969 and Chairman on 1 January 1977. Gilbert was appointed to the Police Athletic Association Council in March 1970, where he served as a member and Chairman of many Sub Committees until May 1977, when he became the first Metropolitan Officer to be appointed Chairman of the Police Athletic Association. Gilbert was always able to find time to be associated with sport and on retirement his tremendous enthusiasm, support encouragement and promotion of sport not only within the Metropolitan Police but within the Police Service as a whole, won him a well deserved Vice Presidency of the Police Athletic Association at the end of his distinguished career. (2)
The first Badminton Championships were staged in 1952 and the Section suitably celebrated its Silver Jubilee in 1977 when the annual event was organised by the Northamptonshire Constabulary. From the start Ladies have played an equal part, both in the organisation and playing of their sport and from the start they have shown great enthusiasm.
Wrestling was another early starter and formed part of the original Athletic Championships taking place at Fairfield Sports Ground, Liverpool in 1928. In 1953 the wrestlers were given independence by the formation of their own section. However, in 1961 the Judo Section staged its first Championships and Weightlifting gained recognition a few years later. Now one committee controls the three Sections of Judo, Weightlifting (including Powerlifting) and Wrestling. although separate Championships are always organised as part of the Police Athletic Association calendar.
Judo, as started in early days has now been a dominant force in the Association for a number of years with many Athletes reaching International standard, either competing for their country or Great Britain. Matthew Clempner, Greater Manchester Police brought honour to the Association by competing for his country at the Moscow Olympic Games.
At the Annual General Meeting of the Association in Sheffield on 12 May 2003, the Council presented an Award of Excellence to Detective Constable Christopher Hunt of the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary for his outstanding work in connection with his beloved sport of Judo. Christopher 6th Dan, a former National Champion is now a member of the Board of Governors of the British Judo Association, in charge of training and grading all BJA coaches. To date Chris has trained over 500 BJA coaches, and with Olympic funding assistance he has lectured on coaching overseas and has pioneered coaching for children in Barbados. In 2003 Chris will return with a PAA team to Barbados to continue his coaching with children. Chris’ efforts in the community are also outstanding. He has formed a PAA Judo Club in Bristol involving not only members of affiliated Police Sports Clubs but also Inner City children and youths who need a sporting outlet to their, otherwise, socially restricted lives. This outstanding initiative by Chris will now be followed in other parts of the country and perhaps it will be a fine example to other sporting sections within the Association, who will follow Chris’ by extending Police Sport even further into the wider community.
Lawn Tennis was first recognised as a PAA section in 1961 when the first Championships were organised in that year. One of the early highlights of Sectional activities was in 1976 when the Championships were organised at the Mecca of Lawn Tennis since 1877, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon.
The Fresh Water Angling Championships were also added to the annual calendar of events in 1961 and this has proved to be a continuing event of great popularity with no fewer than 270 competitors taking part at the annual Championships in 1977. Clay Pigeon Shooting was recognised, staging its first Championships at Darlington in 1970, and since that time this has developed into a very popular and specialised event.
Squash, which for many years had not been so easily available for all enthusiasts, seemed to mushroom in popularity and in 1972 the Police Athletic Association staged its first ever Championships, organised by the Warwickshire and Coventry Constabulary. Initially the event was combined with Badminton Sectional activities but from the outset Squash players were anxious to go it alone and soon formed their own section.
The Ten Mile Road Race, considered by many to be the most arduous event in the PAA calendar, and first run in 1972, was organised by the West Riding Constabulary at Wakefield. The standard of middle distance and long distance running in the Police Service has always been high and the popularity of this event is reflected in the number of competitors who turn out each year to take part in this gruelling race, many of whom, having no hope of winning but only the determination to run and complete the course. Most are anxious to improve their own personal best performances.
In 1973 first moves were made to get Cricket well and truly on the map when three young Special Course Sergeants on their course at the Police College decided to form a British Police Cricket Section. They were Hugh Blenkin, who later retired as Commander of the Metropolitan Police and Peter Anderson, who later retired from his secondment to the I.C.A.C in Hong Kong, as Chief Inspector. Peter immediately became the Chief Executive of the Somerset County Cricket Club. Peter Sharpe, the third cricket enthusiast, later became Chief Constable of Hertfordshire, retaining his interest throughout his service and before retirement becoming Chairman of the Cricket Section. Sadly Peter, a wonderful sporting stalwart within the Association died shortly after retiring from service.
The first match played against MCC at The Police College, Bramshill, Hampshire was a resounding success, with the Police side setting what seemed to be an easy target of 157 runs for 9 wickets declared for MCC to beat. However, they were bowled out for 60 runs. During their service in the police both Hugh and Peter had been very fine cricketers responsible for establishing a strong National side capable of competing on equal terms at County level. A British Police Cricket Tour is now staged annually and the team has recorded many wins against fine County standard opposition and has constantly enhanced its own reputation. It was rather surprising, therefore, that Cricket was not truly recognised by the Police Athletic Association until 1975 and it was during that year that the first PAA Cricket Knockout Championships were organised. Prior to that time all competition had been organised on a Regional basis only. However, the first final between Cleveland and Sussex was played at Tally Ho! Sports Club, in Birmingham. Cleveland Police were the eventual winners following a very good and close game of cricket. They were the first team to have their name inscribed on the City of London Trophy.
Sailing was officially launched in 1976 and the first Championships were organised by the Northumbria Police. 52 entries came in from 19 competing Forces. The Section has gone from strength to strength since that time and the Section now boasts Offshore, Dinghy and Laser Championships.
In these intervening years and now in more recent times, as a result of changes in the length of time Chief Officers of Police Forces may serve, the Association has seen more frequent changes of Chairmen. Alan Goodson Chief Constable of the Leicestershire Constabulary came to office as Council Member and finally Chairman of PAA on the retirement of Gilbert Kelland, serving in this position from 1984 – 1985. Throughout his service Alan had been a wonderful sporting stalwart giving great support in his Force and to the Police Athletic Association in pursuance of sport for all officers. On Alan’s retirement, David East, Chief Constable of South Wales came to the office of Chairman and served between the years 1985 – 1988. In his time David had been an outstanding sportsman, playing as his principal games Cricket and Football in earlier years, when he played for Reading AFC as a very good goalkeeper. In later years David developed a passion for Rugby Union, a sport that he follows enthusiastically to this day.It is the very great pleasure of the author at this time to describe his earliest meetings and his subsequent renewal of contact with David from 1979. I first met David on a cricket tour he arranged in the Metropolitan Police area. At the time David was a busy Chief Inspector working in A10 Department at New Scotland Yard. Very soon he was appointed Assistant Chief Constable in the Avon and Somerset Constabulary and shortly after was appointed Deputy Chief Constable of the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary. David immediately became Chairman of his Force Sports Association, Chairman of South West Region and member of Council. His influence on police sport at Force, Regional and Council was outstanding. As a player of many sports at this time I am able to recount the benefits that he and other members of the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary Sports Association derived from David who never missed an opportunity to be with sportsmen. I also remember with great pride being selected on several occasions for David East’s Cricket XI who travelled annually to Windsor Great Park for his matches with The Royal Household XI. On retirement in 1988, David deservedly was awarded Honorary Life Membership.
Later additions in more recent years to the list of affiliated sports have been Orienteering, Distance Walking, Curling and Triathlon, Ladies Rugby Union, with Ten-pin Bowling being included in the Indoor Games Calendar. Ladies and Veterans Football was introduced into the Football Section 2002 and plans are afoot to extend the activities of the Skiing Section by including other Snow Sports disciplines such as the very popular sport of Snow Boarding. All of the Sporting Disciplines of the Police Athletic Association now boast successful annual Championships with record numbers of athletes attending, which belies pessimistic opinion in some quarters that interest in PAA sport is dwindling. The attitude of the Police Athletic Association remains that sport within the police service is a worthwhile and beneficial practice, which should always be sustained in order to make police officers and police support staff, not only fit for themselves and but also fit for the job. This is an important message, which should be recognised by all.
The Royal Ulster Constabulary
The Royal Ulster Constabulary (now the Police Service of Northern Ireland) Athletic Association has been a most welcome member of the happy family of the Police Athletic Association since earliest days and they have always played a prominent part both in sports participation and organisation of events within their province. All will remember the splendid efficiency of the RUC AA and the wonderful occasions they have always provided for athletes and committees over the years. A prime mover in the progress that the RUC have made over the years was Sir Jamie Flanagan, former Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. Jamie as the enthusiastic driving force in police sport in Northern Ireland was a member of the PAA Council for many years. He was Chairman of the Association between 1975 and 1976 and on retirement Jamie was deservedly awarded a Life Vice Presidency of the Association. He was well loved by us all and will be remembered for never missing a meeting or an opportunity of being with sportspersons.
Since earlier days numbers of PAA Lady participants have increased considerably and their involvement in Police Athletic Association has been encouraged. Our Ladies compete at Badminton, Indoor Games, Lawn Tennis, Squash, Swimming and Judo and, for the first time in 1977, they successfully made application to the PAA Council for affiliation of Hockey and Netball. Since that time the disciplines of Weightlifting, Badminton, Curling and Rugby Union and Association Football have been added to their list of Sports. In 2003 Golf will also be added.
The Ladies Rugby Union Section was formed in 1994 when it was apparent that a number of ladies throughout UK were interested in playing Rugby Union at a high standard including National and International status. An approach to the PAA Council to gain recognition was eventually successful after the Section had shown its keenness by organising Ladies Rugby Union unofficially. A nucleus of committed players was established and in May 1997 Avon and Somerset Constabulary hosted a 7 a side Tournament, culminating in a full 15 a side contest Northern Area v. Southern Area Forces. A second fixture North v. South staged later in the year was to become the forerunner of the now successful National PAA Cup Competition. This Ladies’ Section is now a dominant force within the Association having already travelled abroad in their own time and at their own expense to compete against Continental Ladies Teams. The Ladies’ Association Football Section was affiliated late in 2002 and will go forward into the Football Association structure for their first games during the next football season.
Competition in all PAA Championships is remarkably keen and the spirit of true sportsmanship is always evident amongst the competitors. Prior to 1939 the winner of any Championship received a gold medal, with second and third fighting for silver
and bronze. From 1945 Individual trophies and plaques have been added to the awards and the Association now has a vast number of splendid trophies in all sections, which are competed for in each year. Championship badges are also presented. In 1978, the Association celebrated its 50th Jubilee Year, when a special silver goblet on a commemorative Mount was awarded to the winners only.
The Union Sportive des Police d’Europe (European Police Sports Union)
In November 1950, the Chairman of the Police Athletic Association, Sir William B.R. Morren, CBE MVO, Chief Constable of the Edinburgh Police and A.F. Plume Esq. Honorary Secretary of the Association and Chief Constable of Norwich attended the first Congress of the Union, comprising high ranking Police Officers from five other European Countries. It was agreed to form the Union under the title “Union Sportive des Police d’Europe”.
Constitutional rules were drawn up to govern the sporting activity of the Union and it was decided that championships would be staged for Athletics, Association Football, Shooting, Fencing, Swimming, Handball and Wrestling. Each sport would be arranged in different countries on a four- year cycle. Other sporting activities introduced since that time have been Volleyball, Basketball, Judo, Wrestling, Orienteering, Marathon, Cross Country, Cycling, Skiing, Table Tennis, Tennis and Weightlifting, although more recently Fencing, Orienteering and Weightlifting have been discontinued.
The PAA Council unanimously agreed to affiliate to the Union and in April 1951, Sir William Morren at the time Chairman of the Association was elected first President of the Union. Due mainly to the enthusiasm of Sir William, the first USPE Association Football Championships were staged in this Country in April, 1952.
This event was enthusiastically organised with great skill and as a result all countries participating considered the event hugely successful. Not only did Great Britain win but the Association was honoured by the presence of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh who most graciously consented to present the Trophy to our winning team.
Since 1950 Police Athletic Association Teams have taken part in all relevant European Championships. The Association, over the years, has been particularly successful in the Swimming Championships and in 1957 and again in 1970 the European Championships were staged at the Derby Baths, Blackpool. The standard of the Great Britain swimmers has constantly flourished and when our team visited Holland to compete in the 1978 USPE Championships, they excelled by winning six gold, three silver, and four bronze medals from nine events, an outstanding achievement.
Over the years The Police Athletic Association has staged a number of USPE Championships in this country as follows –
- USPE Swimming Championships 1957.
- USPE Judo Championships 1964.
- USPE Swimming Championships 1970.
- USPE Shooting Championships 1979.
- USPE Cross Country Championships 1983.
- USPE Football Championships 1989.
- USPE Cross Country Championships 1992.
- USPE Athletics and Pentathlon Championships 1994.
- Also a number of USPE preliminary Championships have been organised in this country since 1994.
- Police Sport UK will be host to the USPE Table Tennis Championships in 2007 and a committee has already been formed to organise that event.
The present member countries of USPE are Great Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, France, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Netherlands, The Principality of Monaco, Italy, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Greece, Romania, Turkey, Latvia, Russia, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Albania, Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Cyprus, Ukraine, Estonia, Portugal, Armenia and Croatia.
Most of the competitors representing their countries within the Union are of Olympic standard and the competition is therefore extremely keen and competitive. In this area valuable work is constantly undertaken by our athletes to improve and enhance the British Police reputation, which on the European continent, remains as high as ever. Our reputation was also reflected through Arthur Rees, Esq. CBE, QPM, MA, DL, Chief Constable of Staffordshire, who as our well loved Chairman was elected President of USPE in 1976. Arthur was, of course, a man of tremendous sporting stature, being capped with full International Honours whilst playing for the Welsh Rugby Team.
During his time as Council Member and later as Chairman of the Association between 1984 and 1985, Alan Goodson OBE QPM LLB, Chief Constable of the Leicestershire Constabulary gave distinguished service as General Secretary of USPE.
Between 1984 and 1986 Superintendent Graham Heeley, formerly of the West Midlands Police, served on the Technical Committee of the Union, bringing to bear his specialist knowledge in Athletics. When Graham retired from service Graham was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Police Athletic Association for his past distinguished service and later in UK Athletics Graham was appointed Chairman of the Cross Country Commission and UK Cross Country Representative in Europe, bringing further honour to himself and the Association.
Later Sir Brian Hayes, now a former Chief Constable of the Surrey Constabulary, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary and Deputy Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, former Chairman and Honorary Secretary of the Police Athletic Association became President of USPE, a position held with distinction for a two-year period.
In 1992 John Evans, O St J QPM DL LLB, Chief Constable of the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, Honorary Secretary of the Police Athletic Association became General Secretary of USPE and served with distinction for a two year period. During his period of office John was able to bring to bear his influence on USPE affairs by arranging USPE Executive and Technical committee meetings in this country also insisting that matters should be dealt with democratically through discussion.
On giving up the post of General Secretary of USPE, John was appointed Chairman of the Police Athletic Association and in 2000 he was Knighted in Her Majesty The Queen’s Birthday Honours List for service in the Police and to the Police Athletic Association. On retirement John was appointed Vice President.
After I retired as a Chief Superintendent of the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary I was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Police Athletic Association in 1992 also becoming Assistant General Secretary of USPE and organising the administration of The Union from Police Headquarters in Exeter for the same period of two years.
As a life long sportsman and now enthusiastic sports supporter I became Assistant Secretary and first full time paid employee of the PAA in 1991. I retired at the Annual General Meeting in Sheffield on 12 May 2003 having enjoyed fifty years of involvement in police sport. I have been granted Honorary Life membership of the Association and also the Judo Section, which I consider to be wonderful privileges.
In 1996 Constable Neil Braithwaite was appointed to the USPE Technical Committee bringing to bear his specialist knowledge in Tennis Neil served USPE with distinction and relinquished his post in 2004. On my retirement in 2003 Neil was appointed Finance and Administration Officer of Police Sport UK.
In 2004 Peter Zsigmund of the Lancashire Constabulary was appointed to the USPE Technical Committee.
In 2002, the Honorary Secretary of the Association, Sir Anthony Burden QPM BSc was Knighted in Her Majesty the Queen’s New Years Honours List and later in the year was appointed Chairman of the Association on the retirement of Sir John Evans OStJ QPM DL LL.B. Throughout his service Sir Anthony was an enthusiastic supporter of sport both in his forces and in the Welsh Region and during his time as Honorary Secretary showed great wisdom through the introduction of many sports management policies. During his period of office Sir Anthony was First Delegate in USPE affairs, promoting the view that the only aim of USPE must be the improvement of sporting opportunities for police sportsmen and sportswomen; the further guiding principle being that the Union should develop through friendship and only under a democratic process involving full consultation between member countries on all matters of debate. On his retirement Sir Anthony was appointed Vice President.
In 2003 David Stevens QPM, Chief Constable of Essex was appointed Chairman and during his time was responsible for introducing a new Sports Strategy in the new banner of the Police Athletic Association “Police Sport UK”. On his retirement in 2005 David was appointed Vice President.
At the Annual General Meeting in 2005, Andrew Cameron, Chief Constable of the Central Scotland Police, was appointed Chairman.
Celebration of the Golden Jubilee
As a fitting finale to the first 50 years of sporting activity by the Police Athletic Association, a reception was arranged to celebrate the Golden Jubilee on 22 September 1978 by the Mayor and Corporation of the City of London at Guildhall, These splendid surroundings have been the centre of civic government for more than 1000 years. They have witnessed the trials of traitors and the remonstrances to Kings and Parliament, clamours to reform and other brilliant receptions to Emperors, Presidents and other Royal personages.
The Police Athletic Association guests were received by Alderman Sir Edward Howard, Bart, GBE, DSc. and Lady Howard, who were escorted by a guard of honour provided by City of London Police Officers in ceremonial uniform. The band of the Metropolitan Police played background music. By this time the Police Athletic Association had celebrated its Golden Jubilee on a number of sporting occasions but, undoubtedly, the reception was the highlight of the year. This was a glittering occasion and the hospitality was overwhelming, bringing together representatives, both past and present, from Police Forces throughout the United Kingdom and from all the Sporting Sections of Police Sport UK.
Celebration of the Diamond Jubilee
The Association celebrated its Diamond Jubilee on 17 May 1988 to mark 60 years of sporting activity at a Celebration Luncheon preceding the Annual General Meeting to be held the following day at the Royal Hotel, Nottingham.
The Association, whose patron is now Her Majesty the Queen was honoured for the second time in its history by the presence of a member of the Royal family, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal. Two memorable days were provided for the Association with Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne, herself a world class sportswoman, as guest of honour at our celebration luncheon, showing how keenly interested she was in all police sporting activity.
The Central Council for Physical Education
Police Sport UK has enjoyed membership of the Central Council for Physical Recreation, the central body charged with the responsibility for co-ordinating and advising on all UK Sports for many years. The Association now proudly sitting within the Division of Interested Organisations has always regarded CCPR as The Governing Body of all UK Sports Governing Bodies and our working relationship with CCPR has always been excellent. Police Sport UK is, therefore, somewhat unique because of its continuing massive effort to arrange every sport encompassed in the Governing Body Structure. At the present time Police Sport UK is arranging separate championships and approved fixtures for 41 disciplines promoted by the various Governing Bodies of UK Sport.
Therefore, the Association quite rightly believes it shares responsibilities, which are equal to any other Governing Body. In effect the Police Sport UK Council is the Governing Body of Sport within the Police Service charged with arranging a massive amount of sport, which is also controlled by all Other Governing Bodies through their sporting rules. Few people, outside the Police Service know the extent of activity conducted within the Service, which is funded solely by the voluntary contribution of all the affiliated Force Clubs throughout UK.
The following Sports are affiliated to the Police Sport UK.
Angling (Coarse), Association Football, Athletics (Track and Field), Badminton, Bowls (Crown Green),Bowls (Flat) Green, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Cricket, Cross Country, Curling, Cycling, Distance Walking, Diving, Fly Fishing, Golf Men, Golf Ladies, Hockey Ladies, Hockey Men, Indoor Games, Judo, Lawn Tennis, Long Distance Walking, Marathon, Netball, Orienteering, Powerlifting, Race Walking, Road Running, Rugby Union Ladies, Rugby Union Men,Rugby League, Sailing, Sea Angling, Squash, Snowsports, Swimming, Triathlon, Tug of War, Volleyball, Water Polo, Weightlifting, Wrestling,
Police Sport UK Today
With the growth of sporting activity over the years, the administration of the Association and now Police Sport UK has become substantial. The organisation has no official Headquarters but has always been fortunate enough to have the ready co-operation of the forces in which of successive administrators have served. In more recent times, however, the office of the Honorary Secretary has been made more professional and much work has been carried out to bring about better policies for the management of all aspects of sport. Uniquely in 2000 the Police Athletic Association Council decided to adopt a better means of communication of its business through the various levels of the organisation.
I was instrumental in pioneering a successful yet vast project to computerise the whole of the Association’s administrative functions, at the same time setting up the Police Athletic Association Web-Site, now transferred to www.policesportuk.com
This project is still being developed but already has produced a site displaying a massive amount of text information on all aspects of sport and sports business. This material is now available for all persons, throughout the world to see and the size and value of the site grows day by day.
Annual Championships are staged by mutual agreement by all Forces throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland and their success relies very heavily on the goodwill and hospitality of Chief Constables and officers of those Forces, whose committees are prepared to undertake the arduous task of organisation. The composition of the Council of the Police Sport UK provides a constantly changing management team. It is, however, a representative body of officers of all ranks drawn from all parts of the Police Service, who oversee the organisation and financial control of the sporting activity, taking place under its wing.
The objectives of the Association have changed very little since its inception and today they are –
(a) to encourage all forms of amateur sport throughout the Police Forces of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and in Europe;
(b) to promote and control, subject to the rules and regulations of the various governing organisations and societies, suitable sporting competitions and championships within the Police Service.
Thus the Association now sees as its main task the organisation of successful annual championships for all affiliated Sports Sections and the successful completion of all International Approved fixtures in every year.
Celebration of 75 years of Police Athletic Association Activity.
It is relevant to note that the 2003 Annual General Meeting was held in Sheffield and organised once more by the Sheffield Police Sports Association knowing that the present Minister of Sport, The Right Honourable Richard Caborn MP and the Lord Mayor of Sheffield would attend the meeting, a notable repeat of Government and Local Authority attendance after 75 years.
Sheffield was the place of the first Annual General Meeting in 1929, the Association having been formed at the time of the first Athletics Championships, held at Fairfield, Sports Club, Liverpool, during the previous summer.
It was, therefore, also fitting that the Association should chose to celebrate 75 years of sporting activity by once more organising the Athletics Championships at the Meadowbank Stadium, Edinburgh on Wednesday 2 July 2003, as the central feature of this important year in our long history, where there was opportunity once again to celebrate all that Police Sport UK has achieved over so many years.
POLICE SPORT UK
Police Sport UK was established at the Annual General Meeting at Sheffield in 2003 following extensive research, which sought to revitalise sporting effort throughout all affiliated forces in UK by setting out a new Sporting Strategy.
The Police Sport UK Council currently meets twice per year to control and organise the activities of the Association and the Management Committee meets on more frequent occasions to deal with policy matters. Other ad hoc committees sit as and when required and Neil Braithwaite was appointed Finance and Administration Officer on my retirement, dealing with all day – to – day matters.
The various sporting committees, made up of a nucleus of full Council members, Co-opted members and representatives appointed from all Forces continue to be responsible for the efficient running of their Sections.
The Association has, therefore played and continues to play a prominent part in the encouragement and furtherance of police sport over a period of 77 years. The Police Service has produced many International sportsmen who have also excelled well outside of the Police Service. It is, perhaps, these two elements including talent working within an organised and regulated framework, which has, over the years, produced individual and continued team success in Police Sport. Collectively, this has reflected to the benefit of the Police Service and there is now every indication that the sporting activity of the Police Sport UK will go from strength to strength over the years. I wish the Association well in its future.