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WGUK inducts 4 new Hall Of Fame members

 

In 2017 Winter Guard United Kingdom introduced its own Hall of Fame as a way of honouring the “legends” of the UK Winter Guard activity ensuring they are remembered for the indelible impressions they have left on the UK activity.  

Candidates were nominated and seconded before being discussed by the Hall of Fame assessment team and we are proud to announce that the four successful candidates for 2019 are Rob Da Costa, Mark Gutteridge, Martin Ibbs and Tony Lees.

Congratulations to all these incredibly worthy “Legends” and they will be formally inducted at the forthcoming WGUK Championships on Saturday 30th March.  

Below are extracts from their nominations...

ROB DA COSTA
Throughout the last four decades Robert Da Costa (better known as Rob) has been at the forefront of developing and supporting change, introducing advances that have shaped the Winter Guard Activity into what we see today. 

From his early beginnings, pulling together a few fellow drum corps friends and putting a Winter Guard into competition in just 3 weeks back in 1980, Rob’s enthusiasm and commitment have been unwavering and constantly striving to new heights.

Due to his Father’s job, Rob spent many of his teen years moving around the country and, where a Winter Guard existed, Rob would inject fresh dynamism as a performer or instructor. If the group had no Winter Guard he would introduce them to it, and where there was no group he started one. 

As a performer, instructor and designer, Rob always strove to set the highest standards, producing an instructional video which was distributed throughout the UK and Europe. Many groups and individuals have benefitted from Robert’s experience, expertise and enthusiasm over the years within the UK and across the Atlantic (including between 1989 and 1991 working with a Californian High School Guard who achieved 3rd Place in the WGI Scholastic A Class in 1991), certainly his contribution to those groups will still be fondly remembered by all the individuals with whom he connected and inspired to reach their potential.

Throughout this extraordinary colour guard career, Rob has assumed all roles; as performer, designer, instructor, guard founder–director, judge, and judging education director for WGUK, all of which he has always executed with utmost commitment and professionalism to benefit the UK Winter Guard Activity.

Rob has either led or supported Mayflower to WGI (2019 marks Mayflower’s 21st year of travelling to the World Championships - 1998 being their first year), persevering to eventually make World Class Finals. This in turn has spurred and developed the UK activity forward, seeing the introduction of a World Class within WGUK in 2013. 

No other person this side of the Atlantic has done more to really put the word ‘International’ into Winter Guard International more so than Rob combined with his passion and commitment to the on-going educational and professional development of educators and performers within Winter Guard United Kingdom.

The Hall of Fame Committee are proud to recognise Rob for his tremendous and remarkable commitment to the Winter Guard Activity within the United Kingdom, especially on this our 40th Championships Anniversary and induct him into the Hall of Fame.


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MARK GUTTERIDGE
Mark’s involvement and passion for the marching and performing arts spans more than four decades through his involvement with Avengers Performing Arts (previously The Blue Avengers Drum & Bugle Corps) as a marching member, instructor, director and chair. 

The Blue Avengers / Avengers Drum & Bugle Corps competed for many years in both BYBA & DCUK as well as fielding competitive units in Winter Guard from the mid 80’s onwards when the national circuit was part of and governed by the DCUK Board.

Over the years Mark has led or been part of various “Task Forces and Working Groups” within DCUK to support the development of the Winter Guard, he was recognised in 1997 for his contribution to the activity by becoming a member of the DCUK Fellowship. 

Upon the formation of the WGUK Board, Mark has held two key roles over the years as the initial Vice Chair before being elected as the WGUK Chair combined with undertaking key roles as a Trustee and senior officer within MPAUK as Vice Chair and recently as Treasurer which he holds today.

Throughout the years Mark has been a major driving force behind the activity at all levels, operational and strategic supporting the development and sustainability of new and existing units, educators and young people throughout the United Kingdom.

Whilst committed to both WGUK and MPAUK, Mark is the Chairman of the Avengers Performing Arts, working with his trustees and staff to grow the organisation to what it is today, that fields three competitive units within Cadet, Junior & “A” Class. He remains a champion of young people supporting a positive inclusive ethos and approach, retaining contact with many of these former members, as their children are now becoming part of the Avengers family. 

The Hall of Fame Committee are proud to recognise Mark for his remarkable commitment to the Winter Guard Activity within the United Kingdom, especially on this our 40th Championships Anniversary and induct him into the Hall of Fame.

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MARTIN IBBS
For more than 40 years Martin has been involved within the marching and performing arts, with the majority of those years being directly involved within the Winter Guard Activity as a performer, instructor, designer, director, judge, judging co-ordinator and a member of the WGUK Board.

His love and passion for driving the WGUK environment forward has seen him introduce legislation recommendations for the benefit of all organisations taking part even ahead of WGI, who have latterly adopted similar approaches, such as “The introduction of the pre-show element to programs”.

In the mid 80’s Martin embarked upon his involvement with the Winter Guard Activity, fielding his first Winter Guard Unit in 1988 under the name of “Guarde Nouveau” resulting in them being crowned British A Class Champions.

Martin was a proud marching member of Trilogy Guard in 1991, teaching weapons in 1992 securing two back to back Bronze Medals in Open Class and was selected to be an integral part of the Winter Guard Working Party in 1993 whose efforts eventually lead to the WGUK Board being established some years later. During this period Martin formed another Winter Guard, Liberty Colour Guard, and drove the design stages and the teaching staff through four years of successful achievement including a Bronze in Open Class in 1997.

Martin’s expertise and passion for WGUK lead him right into the Judging seat, where he flourished on Equipment and in within Design Analysis, during this time he was also employed to teach dance at the Jill Clewes Dance School, a skill that he continues to this day to put back into the activity and for each generation that emerges.

Over the years Martin has been integral in developing the judging community within the United Kingdom serving for a number of years as Judging Co-ordinator as well as being an active member of the WGUK Board.

There are countless additions and improvements to the WGUK environment that Martin has been influential in pushing forward and is one of the very few individuals accredited in all judging captions at all competitive levels.

Martin’s passion for educational and performance development has seen him work with units, educators and performers throughout the UK. 

From 2009, he has been part of Avengers Performing Arts, developing the educational growth of the organisation, its educators and performers, designing competitive programs for their units for the past ten years.

The Hall of Fame Committee are proud to recognise Martin for his remarkable commitment to the Winter Guard Activity within the United Kingdom, especially on this our 40th Championships Anniversary and induct him into the Hall of Fame.

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TONY LEES
For nearly 30 years Tony has been involved within the marching and performing arts, with the majority of those years being directly involved within the Winter Guard Activity as a performer, instructor, designer, director and judge.

Tony started his colour guard career through involvement with his local marching band/drum corps “The Anchormen Drum & Bugle Corps” initially as a brass player before moving onto guard. From those early days in the 90’s, Tony had the vision and determination as a performer, instructor and designer to embrace continual educational development in relation to equipment, movement and design learning from and working with recognised international designers and educators from both DCI & WGI to develop and implement a strong educational program for the units, educators and performers that he worked with in both the UK and Ireland.

His list of achievements in regard to designing championship winning programs is well known combined with his tireless energy and support for developing many young performers, instructors and designers within the specialised art of colour guard in producing creative and innovative productions.

Over the years, Tony has been a constant pillar of our colour guard community working with many units at all level of competition as an instructor, designer, director and judge within UK & Europe, always there to provide a welcomed and valued opinion and willingness to share his knowledge and experience.

The Hall of Fame Committee are proud to recognise Tony for his remarkable commitment to the Winter Guard Activity within the United Kingdom, especially on this our 40th Championships Anniversary and induct him into the Hall of Fame.


More information regarding the WGUK Hall of Fame can be found at http://www.wguk.org.uk/about/wghof.html 

26th March 2019