Metro Blind Sport receives The King’s Award for Voluntary Service
The London based charity which provides sporting opportunities for blind and partially sighted people receives the highest award for local voluntary groups.
- Metro Blind Sport has been recognised for 50 years of voluntary service by The King.
- The award is the highest recognition for voluntary groups, equivalent to an MBE.
Metro Blind Sport, a London charity which has provided sports and social activities for blind and partially sighted people for the last 50 years, has received The King’s Award for Voluntary Service. Recipients of the award, the highest any local voluntary group can receive in the UK and equivalent to an MBE, was announced on the 14th November, The King’s Birthday.
Created in 2002 and previously known as The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the King’s Award has shone a light on the fantastic work of voluntary groups from all across the UK for many years.
Metro Blind Sport, established in 1973 and now in its 50th year, has been selected as one of 262 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award in 2023. All awardees receive a certificate signed by the King, a domed glass crystal, and are invited to attend a royal garden party.
Often just known as Metro, this charity breaks down barriers to sports for people with vision impairments, by providing a range of sports activities, including bowls, cricket, football, tennis, dance, climbing, swimming and goalball, currently reaching hundreds of people across London. In addition, Metro puts on an annual athletics meeting, the nationally renowned Metro Games, open to vision impaired contestants from all over the UK – and continues to be proud of the healthy social component in everything it offers. It aspires to further grow and broaden its activities and, since most volunteers are also members with sight loss, every developmental step will be guided by those it benefits.
Utilising various small adaptations made to sports for vision impaired people, not to mention wide-ranging support from its many volunteers, Metro caters for people of all ages and abilities who are blind and partially sighted who want to get into sport. Some of the charity’s members also compete in sports at regional, national and international level. Metro tennis players win international tournaments and include a current world number one, while members have been a constant presence in England cricket squads and GB paralympic teams down the years.
Representatives of Metro Blind Sport will receive the award crystal and certificate from Sir Ken Olisa, Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London later this year. In addition, two volunteers from Metro Blind Sport will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May and June 2024.
Metro Blind Sport CEO, Rory Field, said: “We are honoured to have been awarded the King’s Award for Voluntary Service. Being blind or partially sighted need not stop people playing sports or being physically active. Metro has been at the forefront of promoting sport for people with sight loss since it began in the early 70s and has played a pivotal role in the growth, and even the UK introduction, of such pursuits over the decades. Members and volunteers work tirelessly to support participation and give their time to lead inclusion in sport for people with vision impairments. We all know sport delivers many social, physical and mental health benefits, impacting on lives on and off the field of play. We can’t stress enough that our success doesn’t just make our people fitter and better at sport, but has provable, positive effects on employment, mobility, confidence social interaction and more besides”
Media Contacts: For media enquiries and interview requests please contact Rory Field on 07742 323 224.
Notes to Editors:
About Metro Blind Sport
- Metro Blind Sport is a London based charity creating fun, accessible sport and social activity opportunities for people who are blind or partially sighted, of all ages and abilities.
- Now in its 50th year Metro Blind Sport was established in 1973 by a group of passionate blind and partially sighted individuals keen to break down barriers to sports participation, the organisation has a current membership base of approximately 200 and offers opportunities to get involved in a wide variety of sports, primarily located within Greater London.
About The King’s Award for Voluntary Service
- The King’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK.
- The King’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by local volunteer groups to benefit their communities.
- It was created in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee and, following his accession, His Majesty The King emphasised his desire to continue the Award.
- Recipients are announced annually on 14th November, The King’s Birthday.
- This year there are 262 recipients of The King’s Award Voluntary Service from across the UK and Channel Islands.
- More information on the recipients and the Award can be found at https://kavs.dcms.gov.uk/