June Hutt (Ayres), Sportswoman

June Hutt

June Hutt (née Ayres) has the gift of unusually good hand-eye coordination; she sees the ball before other people. She also plays the piano and draws (and her grandfather, Arthur, was a concert pianist, music teacher and composer). 

As far as June knows, her sporting talent was not inherited from a particular family member. Her list of sporting achievements is remarkable and long. June was born in Scarborough in 1948, but moved to York at the age of 7. Her father’s family had York roots (her great-grandfather was a tea merchant in Low Petergate). June first attended Carr Lane Junior School. She passed the ‘11+’ and started at Mill Mount Grammar School for Girls, one of the two state single-sex grammar schools of that era. She was a pupil there during the time of Miss Willoughby, another of our highlighted women. 

At Mill Mount, she was given coaching in numerous (ball) sports – hockey, tennis, netball, rounders and cricket – and she excelled at them all. Captain of the school hockey, rounders and cricket teams, she was also school tennis champion for three years 1964-1966. Whilst still at Mill Mount, she played hockey for the Railway Institute, Yorkshire Junior and North of England Junior Hockey teams. Moreover, June still holds the record for winning the most titles in the Municipal Tennis Tournament in one year: she won the Girls’ Singles, the Ladies’ Singles, the Ladies’ Doubles and the Mixed Doubles in 1965. In the same year, she played at Junior Wimbledon and won the Yorkshire under-18 singles, mixed and girls’ doubles titles. She even practised fencing, a non-ball sport, with success, representing the York Fencing Club.

In 1966, after passing her A-levels, June went on to Reading University, where she read geography, and played for the university hockey and tennis teams, plus hockey for the Southern and English Universities teams, for Berkshire, for South of England and for the England under-23s. After graduating, she trained as a hospital administrator and continued to play hockey at a high level for Wallington Ladies (Surrey), Berkshire, South of England and All England Women’s. 

A different direction in her studies brought her to Chelsea PE College to train as a geography and PE teacher. No surprise that June played in the hockey and tennis teams of the college and in the England B hockey team. She was also involved in sport as Chair of the Development Committee of the All-England Women’s Hockey Association for two years. For a year, 1971-1972, she taught geography and PE in Sheffield, where she played for the Sheffield Ladies’ Hockey Club and the Yorkshire and Northern-B teams. 

In 1972 June returned to our fair city of York, initially continuing playing hockey for Sheffield, then transferring to York Women’s Hockey Club. Squash players were not safe from June either; she played for York. Nor did she neglect her tennis. She played for York Tennis Club ladies’ and mixed doubles teams and won more Municipal Titles.

When not on the court or on the pitch, June was significantly involved in sports administration/management as President of Yorkshire Women’s Hockey Association for three years and Yorkshire Match Secretary for a number of years. At St Peter’s School, where June’s husband – they married in 1974 – was Games Master, she coached both hockey and tennis teams, umpired both sports and coached adults in tennis at the Priory Street Centre. 

In 1978 June gave birth to the first of her three children and, understandably, had less time for sport. Since 1993 June has played golf with Fulford Golf Club and represented them at tournaments. I warned that the list of her sporting achievements would be long, as indeed is the list of those who have benefitted from her skills. 

Rose Berl

Sources: Conversations with June Hutt

Image courtesy of June Hutt