Having brought exceptional honour to the county of Yorkshire, the Charles Arthur Rhodes Memorial Award was recently presented by members of the Board to Hull’s Mike Williams at the Yorkshire Cycling Federation Annual Luncheon and Prize Presentation at Scarthingwell Golf Club near Tadcaster. The function was fully booked before the deadline, such was the popularity of Mike and fellow Guest of Honour Baz Breedon, a prolific cyclist from the 1960s and a previous holder of the C.A. Rhodes Memorial Award in 1965. Cyclists and supporters came from all over the county and beyond to applaud the achievements of Mike and all the cyclists who were there to receive their trophies for their efforts in the 2017 racing season.
The award is in memory of Charles Arthur Rhodes (1895-1961) of the Yorkshire Road Club and co-founder of the Yorkshire Cycling Federation in 1932 and is made to such person or persons that have shown themselves worthy of special recognition of attaining outstanding accomplishments in the realm of Yorkshire cycling, whether by contributing in the furtherance of the sport or by bringing exceptional honour to the County.
In the case of Mike Williams, he is one of the most hard-working administrators and prolific event organisers in the sport in the county and it is fitting that he has this highest honour bestowed upon him. Mike, a member of Team Swift, felt honoured to be recognised in this way and stated how he enjoyed organising as well as competing. Mike modestly admitted that his forte was in organisation and administration and although he had not achieved the dizzy heights of some of the champions at the prize presentation, he had always enjoyed his cycling, having started out as a teenager with Hull Thursday Road Club where he remained a member for about 40 years, serving in various official positions including eight years as President.
As time passed by into Mike’s retirement, he undertook additional cycling administrative and organisational duties, proving to be an invaluable volunteer. He joined Cycling Time Trials (CTT) Yorkshire committee and soon became District Secretary; a position recently relinquished after nine years.
During recent years Mike has organised, on average, eight time trial events per year - under the guise of Team Swift, Veterans Time Trials Association (VTTA) and Yorkshire Cycling Federation (YCF). He has also organised several National Championships and safeguarded the future of some classic events. His well-regarded annual promotion has been the hugely popular Team Swift Charity 10 miles event near Hull. Over its seven years this event has generated over £20,000 for the Macmillan Nurses charity.
Cycling Time Trials recently awarded Mike their Gold Badge of Honour for services to the sport which he treasures greatly alongside the CA Rhodes award. After some health concerns and a period of enforced recuperation and time off two wheels, 2017 ended up not such a bad year for Mike after all. Yorkshire cyclists owe a lot to Mike for his dedication to the sport and now that appreciation has finally been recognised officially with honours of the highest order.
Further background information on the Award (selection criteria, previous Award winners and a profile of Charles Arthur Rhodes) can be found at www.carhodesaward.org.uk.
With the compliments of the Clerk to the C.A.Rhodes Memorial Board of Trustees: