Shortlist unveiled for Community Sport & Recreation Awards

The finalists have been announced for the 2021 Community Sport and Recreation Awards.

The annual awards, co-ordinated by the Sport and Recreation Alliance, will take place online on Thursday 11th March (1700-1800). You can book your free tickets to the event here.

The ceremony will see category winners announced from the shortlisted organisations below.

Resilience in Adversity

Despite being closed between March and October 2020 due a lack of funding, City of Sheffield Diving Club kept members active with free online activities including daily work-outs and weekly diver challenges. ‘Move it or Lose it’ aims to improve the fitness of people in later life, with a network of instructors delivering exercise classes to thousands of older people across the country. With the help of funding from Sport England’s Tackling Inequalities Fund, it was able to launch ‘The Move it or Lose it Club’ during the pandemic. The Nottingham School of Boxing responded by setting up six daily boxing sessions per week on social media that were accessible and inclusive for all. All known vulnerable members were contacted directly within the first week of lockdown and assigned coach and mentor contact numbers to help guide them through the pandemic.

Diversity and Inclusion

With 89% of the blind and partially sighted community classed as inactive in the UK, Goalball UK has created opportunities for these people to be active. During lockdown, the team also undertook Mental Health First Aid training to allow delivery staff to provide support to vulnerable members of the community. British Canoeing runs a free initiative called #ShePaddles which has been opened up to women without any previous experience. The #ShePaddles Club Champion scheme aims to develop 100 women and girls, specifically from low socio-economic backgrounds, in clubs as Paddlesport Instructors. Finally Synergy Dance Outreach aims to positively engage those who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) with sport and physical activity through accessible and innovative dance, fitness and yoga-related activities.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Active Cheshire and Age UK Cheshire recently developed a project called ‘Walkeez’ to reduce loneliness and anxiety through the introduction of regular, tailored walks and talks with a dog. Their aim is to help vulnerable and isolated individuals who have been severely impacted by Covid-19. Moving Forces provides free sport and physical activity sessions for military veterans, serving personnel and military families. They aim to improve physical health and fitness, but also mental wellbeing and social connectivity. Exim Dance Company provides high-quality dance and wellbeing opportunities to ‘at risk’ young people. It has been able to continue its work throughout the pandemic, with the charity delivering more than 210 live and pre-recorded sessions.

Youth Development

Over the past 12 months, the British Esports Association has provided opportunities for young people to engage with sport in the digital world. In May 2020, a competition for schools and colleges called the ‘All-Star Showdown for Rocket League’ was organised by students, providing valuable work experience and a space for young people to express their creativity. Greenhouse Sports works with schools in 17 London boroughs and each partner school has a permanent coach to teach either table tennis, basketball, volleyball, tennis or multisport for SEND. One-to-one mentoring sessions are available for particularly vulnerable children. Freestyle Urban Soccer provide free drop-in sessions using Multi-Use Game Areas and portable inflatable arenas to ensure that they can offer a range of sporting doorstep activities to community members at all levels and standards.

Book your free tickets to the event here.