An incredible evening was had at the virtual Essex Activity Awards, to celebrate the outstanding contributions to physical activity and sport on Wednesday 1st December, with the winners announced during an inspirational live-streamed ceremony at Chelmsford City Racecourse.
The event was held by Active Essex and hosted by Dr Zoe Williams, GP and TV Presenter, alongside Danny Crates, Paralympic Gold Medallist. Achievements from elite athletes and grassroot clubs, to community groups and those who have recently found their active, were showcased. The awards shined a light on the many ways people can be active, and highlighted triumphs, no matter how big or small to show the real impact physical activity and sport can make on the lives of our residents.
BMX Olympic Gold Medallist, Bethany Shriever was crowned Sports Personality of the Year by public vote, following an impressive year at Tokyo 2020 and the World Championships. Upon receiving her award, Bethany said; “It’s definitely been a long and hard journey, but I look to inspire more women and girls to get involved in BMX, as it’s such an amazing sport. It’s been an incredible year and I’m grateful and honoured to have received this amazing award and to be voted as Sports Personality of the Year by the public.”
Another individual who travelled to Tokyo this summer, Paralympic Silver Medallist Ellie Challis was awarded Essex’s Young Sports Personality of the Year, for her amazing achievements at the Games and her dedication to swimming. Very pleased with her award on the night, Ellie said; “I went into the Tokyo Games to use as an experience and I really didn’t expect a medal at all. Coming away with a silver medal was definitely unexpected and to win Young Sports Personality just tops off a great year.”
Following the successful launch of the Find Your Active campaign earlier this year, two new categories were introduced; celebrating individuals who have found their active and ambassadors who have championed physical activity to hugely benefit their participants mental, social and physical health.
Other honours picked up throughout the evening were by fantastic groups ATF, East of England Paddlesports and Backside to Trackside who have gone above and beyond to create inclusive opportunities for residents to get active. Groups like this are at the heart of local communities, making them stronger and more resilient. Joining the decorated list, Baker Labels and Friars Grove Primary School both received awards for their dedication in ensuring their employees and pupils can take part in regular physical activity. Essex are so proud to have these amazing organisations throughout the county.
And finally, after the success of the Essex Activity Hero Awards last year, Active Essex felt it was important to continue this category for those individuals who kept many of us active during the Covid-19 pandemic. Phil Carpenter, from Uttlesford went that extra mile to provide over 800 online workouts for people to keep moving at home.
Essex couldn’t have had their annual awards without recognising the exceptional achievements this year from the likes of Max Whitlock MBE, Triple Olympic and World Champion Gymnast and his Olympic Coach Scott Hann. Lyndsey Barrett; Founder of Sport for Confidence, Stuart Long; Founder of ATF and Carla Andrews MBE; Founder of Motivated Minds, were highlighted on the Queens Honours Lists earlier this year for their outstanding contribution in supporting residents social, mental and physical wellbeing.
Azeem Akhtar, Chairman of Active Essex, said; “It is crucial that we were able to celebrate not only our county’s sporting achievements but also the individuals and organisations that are encouraging participation at every level. Throughout the online ceremony it highlighted the importance of working closely together as a county to keep our communities active!”
“I’d like to thank everybody that played a part in this years’ Essex Activity Awards. From the public who submitted a record breaking 800 nominations and voted for their local heroes, to our wonderful sponsors and fantastic finalists, who are all championing physical activity across Essex, Southend and Thurrock!”
To watch the recorded livestream of the ceremony, please click here.
- East of England Paddlesports, Active Club of the Year
- Friars Grove Primary School, Active Education Award
- Backside to Trackside, Active Wellbeing Award
- Baker Labels, Active Workplace
- Phil Carpenter, Essex Activity Hero
- ATF, Strengthening Communities Award
- Ellie Challis, Young Sports Personality of the Year
- Bethany Shriever, Sports Personality of the Year
- Kat Gordon, Find Your Active Ambassador
- Find Your Active Participant winners
- Angel Cogger, Basildon
- Ian Woodard, Braintree
- Sonia Meggs, Brentwood
- Lesley Wood, Castle Point
- Karen MacLennan, Chelmsford
- Ben Slessor, Colchester
- John Newman, Epping Forest
- Solomon Bonsu, Harlow
- Marion Watson, Maldon
- Aiden-Lee Kilbane, Rochford
- Michael Junkere, Southend
- Alan Warren, Tendring
- Aileen Long, Thurrock
- Janet Dixon, Uttlesford