To commemorate contributions to physical activity, sport and wellbeing, Active Essex held its annual inspirational evening on Tuesday 6th December at Chelmsford City Racecourse.
Hosted by Dr Zoe Williams, GP and TV Presenter, and Danny Crates, Paralympic Gold Medallist, the Essex Activity Awards recognised and celebrated achievements throughout our county, with support from Headline Sponsor, Writtle University College.
Across Essex, many different individuals, groups, communities, workplaces, and schools enthuse the importance of physical activity, sport, and movement, no matter how big or small. The awards highlighted a wide range of encouragement, confidence, and positivity from these people, which we hope in return, will also encourage others to find the right activity for them.
Active Essex Chair, Dr William Bird MBE, said: “As a GP, I know it’s crucial to be active for positive mental wellbeing. For some it might not come easy, but everyone has to start their physical activity journey somewhere, and I have no doubt that hosting an event like this will inspire and encourage others to find the activity that’s right for them. I would like to personally thank everyone who nominated, voted and attended the evening – it was a great way to end the year on such a high.”
Over 500 nominations were received for the 11 categories, and 3000 votes were cast by the public for 3 categories: Sports Personality of the Year, Active Club of the Year and Unsung Hero. Winners, Ottilie Robinson-Shaw, Gerry McGovern and Tollesbury Juniors FC, were crowned on the evening and praised for their fantastic contributions and achievements.
For bringing people together and encouraging community spirit, Dave Smith received the ‘Wellbeing award. On receiving his trophy, he commented: “Where I live, we’ve got miles and miles of beaches. People come down to get fitter, make new connections, make friends to improve their mental wellbeing. I’d love to see more people get down the beach and do more physical activity!”
The 180 guests who attended the ceremony heard stories from the shortlisted nominees, interviews with the winners, and talks from some VIP guests, which included Wali Noori. Wali worked for the British Army as an interpreter in Afghanistan and spoke about his story of being caught up in a devastating bomb blast in an IED explosion orchestrated by the Taliban. After becoming blind, Wali has now become an accomplished athlete, running in various athletic competitions, as well as the London Marathon. His inspiring story, as well as so many others on the night will no doubt encourage others to strive for success and achieve in their own way.
International gold and bronze medallist from Southend, Kobe Yogarajah, took the crown for the ‘Young Sports Personality of the Year’ award. As a member of the England karate team, Kobe received an award as he inspires others to follow their passions by teaching and training his peers. He commented: “Ever since I was little, I was addicted to martial arts. I joined my karate club 10 years ago, and I have always aspired to compete and make good friends at a high level.”
It was exciting to be back face-to-face this year and listen to everyone’s inspiring stories. Congratulations to all of our winners and runners up on their fantastic achievements, and Active Essex look forward to seeing more people find their active across the county through sport, movement and physical activity.
Introducing our 2022, 11 category winners:
- Ottilie Robinson-Shaw, Sports Personality
- Kobe Yogarajah, Young Sports Personality
- Gerry McGovern, Unsung Hero
- ATF, Strengthening Communities
- Tollesbury Juniors FC, Active Club of the Year
- Northlands Primary, Active Education Award
- Healthwatch Essex, Active Workplace of the Year
- Dave Smith, Wellbeing Award
- Kool Carers, Active and Inclusive Award
- SNAP, Find Your Active Project of the Year
- Mira Teodorescu, Ambassador of the Year
If you would like to watch the awards ceremony back, the livestream is still up on our Active Essex YouTube channel, and you can watch it here.