The charity was established by Trust Deed dated 24th October 1991 and is registered with the Charity Commission,
Objects and Activities
The charity was founded in memory of Ron Pickering OBE, a teacher, athletics coach and television commentator. Above all, he stood for the ethics of sport, the aspirations of the young and for the belief that sport could enhance lives in more ways than just physically.
The main purpose of his Memorial Fund is to give financial support to talented young athletes between the ages of 15 and 23, with grants to athletes over 23 being made in exceptional circumstances.
The grants are designed to make a difference and range in value depending on the athlete’s age, ability and personal circumstance but have always had an impact on the athlete’s ability to develop and helping recipients make the difficult transition from junior to senior level through support for equipment, specialist coaching or travel and importantly help build the athlete’s confidence and self esteem through recognition.
It is hoped that with this encouragement, the youngsters will continue taking part in sport, reaching their potential, and learning from the ethic of fair play.
The charity also assists coaches, athletic clubs and the Schools Athletics Associations and in the past has supported the development of Sportshall Athletics around the UK in order to introduce more young children to the fun of athletics.
Structure and management
The trustees’ main duty is to ensure the fund fulfils its role, raises money to achieve its goals and establishes criteria to select the young athletes and their coaches as recipients of the financial aid. All trustee positions are voluntary.
The charity currently has a Working Committee which manages the day to day affairs of the charity and an Awards Committee which meets to allocate the charity’s funds within preset guidelines. Both committees operate within the overarching supervision of the Board of Trustees.
The Board of Trustees meets annually to oversee the policies, plans and finances of the charity.
Public benefit statement
When planning the Funds activities for the year, the trustees have considered the Charity Commission’s guidance on public benefit.
The RPMF grants cover the whole of the UK and are decided on the basis of talent, performance and need in the hope that young athletes will remain in the sport and reach their potential. They should ideally be in some form of education and the grants are used to cover the cost of travel to training, provision of equipment (e.g. javelins, vaulting poles), and physiotherapy or contribute towards warm weather training during the winter months. Not only is the money useful to them but there is also a psychological effect knowing that their talents are being recognised. Hardship is taken into account with disadvantaged youngsters.
Several of the early recipients of RPMF grants are now coaches and mentors to a new generation of young athletes. A few of our gold medallists have made careers in the media and help encourage and motivate others to follow in their footsteps; other hold responsible posts in sport related organisations and businesses.
Taking part in sport is character building. It teaches the young the difference between aggression and assertion and to abide by the rules of the game. RPMF helps athletes to achieve and creates models for others to follow.
The benefits of a healthy lifestyle extend not only to the athletes and coaches supported by the grants made, but also to the fun runners who make up our team in the TCS London Marathon and other events each year and have raised most of the money that has been given out in grants.