Well-known former PE teacher in Milton Keynes is awarded British Empire Medal

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It’s for his services to sport and the community over the decades

A former city PE teacher has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours for his services to sport and the local community.

Rick Townsend taught children at Leon School for 32 years and currently teaches PE to special needs youngsters at Slated Row school in Wolverton.

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He has coached hundreds of young people in football, rugby and athletics and has himself played for Milton Keynes and Bletchley Rugby Clubs, Bletchley and Wolverton Cricket Clubs, Wolverton Town and Stony Stratford Football Cubs as well as competing for Milton Keynes Athletics Club in the past.

Milton Keynes athletics coach and PE teacher Rick Townsend has been awarded a BEM for his services to sport and the communityMilton Keynes athletics coach and PE teacher Rick Townsend has been awarded a BEM for his services to sport and the community
Milton Keynes athletics coach and PE teacher Rick Townsend has been awarded a BEM for his services to sport and the community

He was appointed Community Coach at Marshall Milton Keynes AC in 2005 and enjoyed over 10 years of introducing children and young people to the sport.

Rick also organised cross country, indoor athletics and track and field for over 70 primary and 14 secondary schools in Milton Keynes.

In 2011 he was awarded an England Athletics volunteer award for Disability Coach of the Year.

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"I get great joy from helping special needs and disabled youngsters,” he said.

"I feel honoured and privileged to receive the BEM in the New Year Honours list and really appreciate the nomination by the community of Milton Keynes. I have been involved in athletics and other sport, through participation, coaching or officiating for over 60 years and feel that this award is a recognition for my involvement."

Rick was Vice Chairman of Sport MK for five years and also Chair of the Sports Achiever Panel and President of Bucks Schools Athletic Association.

He is still part of the English Schools' Athletics Association, previously supporting Buckinghamshire and now representing South Yorkshire. He is heavily involved in ESAA Combined Events as Midlands coordinator and a Team Manager.

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He is an active Technical Official for both track and field and cross country and regularly officiates as a timekeeper for City of Sheffield and Dearne AC.

"I thank all the people in athletics who have supported me and I look forward to continuing for years to come," he said.

Rick was awarded the BEM for services to sport and the communities both in Milton Keynes and South Yorkshire.