David Rutley, the MP for Macclesfield, has been named as a Sport and Recreation Alliance Sports Parliamentarian of the Year for 2012. Co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Mountaineering Group, David Rutley has committed immense time and energy into giving climbing and hill walking a voice in parliament.
Rutley was awarded the bronze medal for finishing third out of eleven nominated MPs and peers at an awards ceremony in the House of Commons.
The award was established by the Alliance to recognise the efforts of those parliamentarians who have worked tirelessly with local people, clubs, organisations and governing bodies to promote and protect the interests of sport and recreation and get it higher up the government agenda.
David Rutley was nominated by the BMC in recognition of his efforts to advance mountaineering, hillwalking and other outdoor pursuits over the last twelve months.
Dave Turnbull, CEO of the BMC, said: “David has been an exceptional advocate for climbing and mountaineering. He has made a genuine and significant contribution. His efforts have raised awareness of the benefits that mountain-related activities bring to the well-being of the nation and to local economies.”
Throughout 2012, Rutley tabled a number of parliamentary questions on climbing and hill walking and participated in the debate on coastal access in England in support of a wider margin to allow climbing on sea cliffs. During the recent debate on forestry, he asked the secretary of state for assurances on access.
The chair of the awarding panel, Brigid Simmonds OBE, said:
“The panel was extremely impressed by David’s work to promote outdoor recreation. We awarded David the bronze medal in recognition of his energetic efforts to champion the cause of climbers, walkers and mountaineers, which have clearly been highly appreciated by the outdoor pursuits sector.
“David has been especially effective at engaging government ministers, and has even successfully encouraged his colleagues to put their walking boots on.”
Climbing and walking are important to David Rutley. His constituency is Macclesfield, gateway to the western Peak District, and he has supported local projects including disabled climbing and local fell races – as well as supporting the local mountain rescue teams.
Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew MBE, who presented the award, said:
“Political support for the sport and recreation sector is essential to the delivery of a long-term legacy from London 2012, and I hope that committed and hardworking parliamentarians like David will be an inspiration to their colleagues.”