Following our online award ceremony last night, we are delighted to announce the winners of our 16th Lincolnshire Sport & Physical Activity Awards.
Owing to the coronavirus pandemic and the latest restrictions, this year’s Lincolnshire Sport & Physical Activity Awards took place virtually on our Youtube Channel. We were pleased to welcome back last year’s popular award’s ceremony host former Olympian and Commonwealth Games Champion Craig Heap to present the online awards.
The awards video is available to watch here.
This year’s awards were a chance for the local community to recognise and celebrate the efforts of groups and individuals who have helped to keep Lincolnshire active, healthy and motivated despite the challenges many have faced this year.
Within 11 categories, 33 finalists were put forward to receive an award for their efforts and contributions to the community.
The winners for each category are as follows:
Active Community Award, sponsored by Let’s Move Lincolnshire
North Thoresby Community Support Group based in East Lindsey took home the Active Community Award for the support provided to their local community. Volunteers paired up with vulnerable members of the community to provide individuals with a point of contact, assistance with shopping and the collection and delivery of prescriptions.
Contribution to Sport & Physical Activity Award sponsored by Bishop Grosseteste University
The Manor Rise Fitness Group, based in Reepham in West Lindsey, won the Contribution to Sport & Physical Activity Award for their dedication to the people in their local area. Owners of the group organised socially distanced fitness classes and physical activities for residents to get involved in. The impact of these classes bought the local community closer allowing group members to develop new friendships and support each other through the challenging months of lockdown.
Volunteer Commitment Award
Matthew Mansey from Louth was presented with the Volunteer Commitment Award for his dedicated role as coach for Louth Town Under 9s football team. Throughout lockdown, Matthew encouraged his young team to complete regular tasks from home to continue to support and develop their football skills.
To further support the team’s mental wellbeing and to keep them connected, Matthew organised Zoom quizzes and socials for the team to take part in. His enthusiasm and positivity had a significant impact on team morale and has encouraged his young team members to remain positive and motivated outside of training sessions.
Inspirational Sportsperson Award, sponsored by SCS Technology Solutions
Nesta Baxter from Boston took home the Inspirational Sportsperson Award. Nesta, a medical student at Newcastle University and a coach for Evolution Martial Arts in Boston, has continued to teach students from her martial arts group via Zoom throughout the lockdown period.
While continuing her teaching and studies virtually, Nesta has also been training with coaches from around the world to complete a 200-mile challenge in aid of pancreatic cancer. To further assist the local community, she has also been working at her local doctors’ surgery to provide additional support during the pandemic.
Workplace Wellbeing Award
Lincolnshire NHS won the Workplace Wellbeing Award for the innovative and extensive health and wellbeing package three providers and a commissioner in the county put together to support 14,000 NHS staff at the height of the pandemic.
The package included significant emotional wellbeing measures ranging from a confidential staff helpline to counselling services. As a result, the sickness rates at Lincolnshire NHS remained amongst the lowest in the country throughout the peak of the pandemic.
Steve Norton from Lincoln received the Fundraising Award for his outstanding efforts raising money for St Barnabas Hospice during the pandemic.
After receiving end-of-life care at the hospice she volunteered at for 25 years, Steve’s mother sadly passed away earlier this year. With the goal to give something back to the hospice who cared for both his mother and father previously, Steve set himself a challenge to run 5km a day for 50 consecutive days to raise a target of £1,500 for the hospice.
Steve completed these runs in fancy dress while wearing a St Barnabas vest to draw attention and raise awareness of the charity. He finished his challenge outside the Inpatient Unit where both of his parents passed away and celebrated exceeding his fundraising target with an end total of £4000 raised for the hospice.
Active Change Award, sponsored by Let’s Move Lincolnshire
Lucy Dawson from Lincoln was presented the Active Change Award at Thursday’s ceremony. In 2016 Lucy was diagnosed with a rare brain condition called encephalitis. During a three-month stay in hospital, Lucy suffered from a fall which caused her to lose all use of her left leg. This had a massively detrimental impact on Lucy’s mental health, particularly as she struggled to exercise causing her to gain weight.
Now 24 years old, at the start of this year Lucy decided it was time to make a positive change in her life and live on her own. She set up an exercise bike in her living room and drastically changed her diet. Because of her disability using an exercise bike can be challenging, but Lucy used this as motivation to succeed and has now lost three stone.
To raise awareness of both her rare diagnosis and her disability Lucy set up an Instagram account, alongside a blog which has almost 30,000 hits. She now has 25,000 followers on Instagram and has been signed to a disabilities modelling agency.
Active Club Award, sponsored by Bluecube Telecommunications
Skegness & District Running Club won the Active Club Award for their dedication to their members during lockdown.
The club organised online quizzes for their members and kept in regular contact with those who found the uncertainty of the pandemic especially difficult, offering a support system through new friendships and online social groups. Once restrictions lifted the club organised virtual runs for smaller groups and weekly activities for all to participate in, ensuring that their members were keeping active and promoting positive mental wellbeing through their activities.
Active School Award, sponsored by the One Network
Queen Elizabeth’s High School PE Department in Gainsborough was presented with the Active School Award, sponsored by the One Network, for the support and motivational activities set for their students during lockdown.
The PE Department provided a wide range of virtual activities and challenges during the lockdown period at the start of the year that engaged almost 90% of its students while at home. This included daily fitness bingo challenges, online PE lessons and a distance challenge. Over the course of two weeks staff, students and their parents were challenged to reach a distance of 2,000km while taking part in a physical activity. The department and school community exceeded this target and achieved a distance of 9,550km.
Social Media Influencer Award, sponsored by Root Studio
Inspire+ in Grantham took home the Social Media Influencer Award for its determination to make the 2020 Inspire+ Mini Olympics a reality for local primary school children.
Over 2,500 children in schools and at home took part in virtual videos of sporting activities from a range of Olympic and Paralympic sports. Their YouTube channel reached 11,000 impressions throughout the day with a total of 56 hours of active watching time.
Community Champion Award
Debbie Bollard from East Lindsey was presented with the Community Champion Award for her tireless efforts throughout the pandemic working with Woodhall Spa & Kirkby on Bain Coronavirus Community Support Group.
Debbie was recognised for her proactiveness during the first stages of lockdown seeking funding for the group, overseeing the development of a community befriending service, recruiting a team of nearly 40 volunteers and leading the support for over 200 households in need in the area.
Debbie also oversaw the development of the Woodhall Food Bank which has delivered 30 food parcels to the local community and has expanded its services to include additional local areas.
Key Worker Thank You
The Key Worker Thank You was a special recognition to all key workers in Lincolnshire for their dedicated and selfless service to the county during the pandemic.
This special celebration gave thanks to Lincolnshire’s NHS staff and care workers, emergency services, essential retail staff, Royal Mail staff, teachers, local authority staff and those redeployed in the fight against the virus.
Donna Sutton, Project Lead at Active Lincolnshire, said: “We’ve been really lucky that we were able to find a way to celebrate these community heroes this year despite the restrictions in place.
“I want to say congratulations again to all of our finalists and winners, they were all deserving of an award and have had a hugely positive impact on the lives of many throughout the challenging months we’ve all faced.
“I also want to thank all of our sponsors who have supported and helped to make this year’s awards possible. We look forward to hosting our awards again next year and celebrating the sport and physical activity success stories in the county once again!”