Nicolas spinng a basketball on his finger

Over 224,000 adults across Essex volunteered in the provision of Sport and Physical Activity last year. Volunteer roles cover all sorts of actions, it could be providing transport, administrative roles or coaching others. These unsung heroes help so many people, achieve their goals, emulate their heroes and be active, happier individuals. One of these such people is Nicolas Saxby, our April One in a Million, a volunteer at the Canvey Yellow Door programme.

Why do you believe that Physical Activity is so important for young people:

“It offers structure, gives a positive outlet for things like depression and anger issues and gets them out of the house with more positive activities than video games or watching television. It also enables them to communicate with their peers more effectively and offers them the chance to lead sessions and team building exercises”

Nick wouldn’t describe himself as ‘sporty’ growing up:

“Growing up I wasn’t a very sport orientated person and fell into it later in life but my all-time hero has to be Usain Bolt who has broken every record in his field and does it with true skill and modesty”

However inspired by legends such as Usain Bolt, and aware of the health benefits of activity, Nick decided to embark upon a lifestyle change:

“The main reason I decided to become physically active was due to my health, fast approaching 30 and noticing that my metabolism was slowing down. I knew I couldn’t sustain a healthy body or mind by just doing nothing so I decided to take up the challenge of improving my physical fitness.

I feel physically fitter, less tired in the morning, more alert and my mental health has improved, happier in general, less lethargic and I can keep up with my 4 year old daughter a lot better.”

Nick is now very active, trying his hand at numerous activities such as Basketball, Badminton and Tag Rugby, however a few more exciting challenges beckon:

“I’m hoping to take on the White Collar Boxing Challenge for Cancer Research UK. In the summer I’ll be doing some extreme sports on a residential programme called NCS but one of my ultimate goals is to climb mount Everest but that may be a while until I can achieve that one.”

Whilst visions of summiting Mount Everest may lie in the pipeline for now, Nick’s work at the Canvey Yellow Door Project continues, as they look to embark upon an ambitious summer holiday project, delivering development and activity opportunities for young people, whilst also providing nutritious meals:

“These projects give young people the freedom to learn new skills, build friendships and also takes the strain off of lower income families who may struggle with the extra cost of feeding their children through the holidays.”

The Canvey Yellow Door Project is set to feature alongside the Active Essex Foundation as part of the Tesco Bag of Help appeal at stores across Rayleigh, Benfleet, Basildon and Wickford, for more information please click here.

Thanks to Nick for sharing his story, and we wish you well across your fitness challenges and the Fit and Fed programme.