Sporting Heroes - Motor Sport, Boxing and Other Disciplines
Lewis Hamilton was born in Tewin in 1985 and attended Tewin Cooper School. He began karting in 1993 at the age of eight and progressed to Formula Renault and Formula Three. He won the Formula 1 World Championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2008, becoming F1's youngest ever champion. Hamilton was awarded an MBE for services to Motor Sport in 2009. He currently races in the McLaren Mercedes F1 Team alongside Jenson Button.
Fred Verlander was born in 1915 and became a boy soldier in the Royal Corps of Signals in 1929. He married a girl from Welwyn Garden City in 1939 at Hatfield Registry Office. In 1947, he became chief coach of the Army Boxing Association and was one of the coaches to the British boxing team for the 1948 Olympics held in London. After his stint in the army he moved to Welwyn Garden City, but continued to be involved, coaching professional boxers including Jack London, Joe Erskine and Henry Cooper. He was a boxing commentator for ITV, before he passed away in 2009. More recently, Hatfield Boxer Billy Joe Saunders competed at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and Welwyn Garden City Boxing Club member 18-year old Mitchell Smith though a new recruit to the town's boxing club but he is already impressing commentators by winning a senior title at the prestigious 2011 ABAE Ellite Championship. In June 2011 he represented England against Ireland at Selhurst Park and hopes to have caught the eye of the London 2012 selectors.
Other Sports and Disciplines
The Howard Bowmen archery club was founded in 1961 and in 1975 moved to a field on the Brocket estate in Lemsford. The club gradually increased its standing and in the late 1970s was considered one of the top clubs in Hertfordshire. Adrian Blewitt and Lynne Wells won the Hertfordshire Individual Junior Championships for the second year running in June 1977. Paul Brown competed in the Beijing Paralympics representing the UK in Archery.
Although, Paul Browne lives outside the district in Bramfield, he undertook much of his early training with the Kestrel Club in Welwyn Garden City. He competed in Beijing in 2008 and hopes to represent Team GB at the London Paralympic Games in 2012.
Susan Reeve-Smith from Mill Green Stable finished third in the National One Day Event Championship in 1976.
Ron Kirby of the Candlestick at Essendon was the Darts Eastern Counties Champion in 1977.
Welwyn Garden City Rifle and Pistol Club competed in the National, Regional and County competitions in the late 1970s and at one time was one of the top clubs in Great Britain. The club pistol team won Division 1 of the National league and the local rifle and pistol shooters are currently in the National squad with Andy Gibson (Pistol) and Laura Brownsell (Rifle) being British Team members.
Several county champions belonged to the Welwyn Garden City Fencing Club in the late 70s and several of the younger members of the club trained with the National Under 20 Team.
This page was last updated on 10/07/2012