The Patron's Lunch - A tale of picnics and ponchos

Kate Lawrenson, Membership Manager of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, blogs about the experience had at the Patron's Lunch and celebrating the recognition of other Alliance members. 

The Patron’s Lunch on Sunday 12 June was day three of The Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations and the Sport and Recreation Alliance was pleased to be at the party on The Mall with all the other organisations Her Majesty is the Patron of.

Queen Patrons Lunch ()

The Alliance is proud that Her Majesty The Queen has been our Patron since 1952 when she succeeded her father King George VI as Patron. We were then known as the Central Council of Physical Recreation but our mission has always been the same. We bring together and represent 320 organisations of sport and recreation and on Sunday we were pleased to celebrate this moment in history with several of our members, including those at;

English Petanque AssociationKeep Fit AssociationAssociation for Physical EducationBadminton England
Skateboard EnglandBritish Mountaineering CouncilLondon Sports TrustBritish Table Tennis Association for People with Disabilities
Torch Trophy TrustMargaret Morris MovementExercise Movement and Dance Partnership

Our membership has always been very diverse and the contribution they make up and down the country every day in local communities is really setting sport and recreation as a ‘go to’ solution for tackling some of society’s biggest challenges. 

This special lunch on The Mall was about celebrating The Queen’s ‘community’ - but I think this could equally refer to our sport and recreation sector as we all bonded in the rain wearing our plastic ponchos enjoying our M&S hampers. We discussed and shared the many successes of the organisations around the table and the role that we all play in bringing the sector together.

Patron's Lunch on the Mall ()

Ulick Tarabanov FRSA, Founder and CEO of London Sports Trust enjoyed the experience, saying:

"The London Sports Trust was delighted to be a part of such the unique and wonderful Patron's Lunch as guests of the Sport and Recreation Alliance.

The children and young people who we support across London celebrated the Queens 90th birthday with street parties on their housing estates at which our staff organised fun sports competitions. Our coaches will continue to use the values and commitment of the Royal family to inspire residents to overcome barriers and fulfill their potential."

Mike Crichton, Chair of the National Association for Physical Education, had this to say of the event:

"Yesterday’s Patron’s Lunch provided a grand opportunity to celebrate what is really good about Great British life. The Association for Physical Education (afPE) were proud and privileged to have been invited by the Sport and Recreation Alliance to attend this ‘once in a lifetime event’.

As the only subject association for physical education in the UK, our vision is and will always be ‘PE; at the Heart of School Life’. We recognise the importance of working in partnership with the Sport and Recreation Alliance and all our other national partners. As a membership organisation, we value and recognise the highly significant role of volunteers immensely.

Our Board of Trustees are all volunteers and much of our work across the education sector is based on the expertise and professionalism that is abundant amongst our members who offer so much of their time as volunteers. The Association for Physical Education understands the huge contribution that the Queen and members of the Royal Family make to society and their individual and group recognition of the importance of citizens being involved in sport, physical activity and recreation. As the Association for Physical Education we guide, support and promote the ethos that every child and young person must be given the high quality opportunity to flourish and reach their full potential.

We know that PE, sport and physical activity make a difference to lives and the raised confidence and self-esteem from being active improves spiritual,  moral, social and cultural aspects along with improved physical health and mental well-being. 

Happy 90th Birthday Your Majesty and thank you for your patronage that allows us all to keep determined and supportive in all that we do. The Patron’s Lunch was a special moment; one that myself and Sue Wilkinson (Strategic Lead for The Association for Physical Education) will never forget. Memories for ever! Thank you Sport and Recreation Alliance"

Mike Crichton at the Patron's Lunch ()

The Alliance remains ever grateful and pleased that The Queen is Patron of our organisation and that The Earl of Wessex, as President, will be joining us on 14 July at our Annual General Meeting.  We would like to thank our members for attending on Sunday and join the rest of the nation and Commonwealth in wishing The Queen a Happy 90th Birthday.

We were promised a unique experience on the day and we certainly had it!

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