Think High Sheriff and I bet you think of Robin Hood? Well I was personally held up by the High Sheriff of Surrey recently, so here is my merry tale…

‘Our’ Sheriff is not at all evil and nasty. In fact he is rather a nice chap. Peter Lee was installed in the role at the start of April. There are 55 High Sheriffs in the UK. So how does one become High Sheriff and what does one do? The criteria for the job is a background in the judicial (magistrate, police etc) and ideally experience in the voluntary sector. It is a non-political and independent position.

The role is by invitation only and is an appointment by the Queen for a term of one year only. Whereas the High Sheriff used to be the King’s enforcer and tax collector, used to raising armies it is somewhat different today. There is no job description. Indeed there is no salary and he certainly will not be raising armies! The position is however an immense honour and a chance to leave a lasting legacy for a community.

Peter Lee has plans to use the influence of the position to get young people into sport following from the legacy of the Olympics. Our children today are the least active children ever, with obesity a major problem and the sedentary lifestyle which goes with social media and games consoles has created a very different generation. Peter Lee wants to get our children on their feet again. Sport creates a discipline, grows confidence and self- awareness.

It is proven to cut crime and anti-social behaviour and the team building inherent in Sport helps develop social skills. The plan is to invest in facilities and equipment, grow the number of volunteers helping with sports and create links between schools and sports clubs. Peter Lee plans to work with Active Surrey to get things moving and has high hopes to leave a legacy of fitter and happier children in the county. So not such a mean ol’ Sheriff after all! We wish him well in the year ahead.